How to get a medical marijuana card from a doctor

In the United States, medical marijuana is legal in 36 states, four of five permanently inhabited US territories, and the District of Columbia. The National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws (NORML) is campaigning for reform of harmful cannabis legislation.

There are some differences in cannabis laws from state to state, including how it can be produced, sold, and consumed. The first state to implement a medical marijuana program was California in 1996. After California launched the first medical marijuana program, several other states soon followed suit.

While the United States has medical marijuana programs nationwide, cannabis remains illegal at the federal level and is still classified as a Schedule 1 substance with no medicinal value. To learn why cannabis is illegal in the United States, read our article Why is weed illegal?

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What is a Medical Marijuana Card?

A medical marijuana card is a license issued by your state stating that you can use, purchase, and grow cannabis products in that state. A medical marijuana card usually contains information such as your full legal name, date of birth, address, patient license number, and photograph.

RELATED: Does Your Medical Marijuana Card Work in Other States?

In general, most states’ medical marijuana cards last for about a year or two before you need to renew the license. Some states allow you to purchase cannabis with an out-of-state medical marijuana card, while others do not. If you’re a medical cannabis patient planning a trip, it’s a good idea to check local regulations if you intend to use your medical marijuana ID card abroad.

How to get a medical marijuana card

First and foremost, you need a doctor’s recommendation to get your medical marijuana card. In some states like California, you can have a quick 5-minute consultation with a doctor over the phone and get your medical marijuana card online. Other states like Oklahoma require you to consult with a doctor face-to-face.

RELATED: Can you fly with medical marijuana?

Of course, you must have a qualifying condition to get a medical marijuana card. Eligibility requirements vary from state to state. In California, doctors often recommend cannabis for back pain, insomnia, anxiety, as well as cancer, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, and a host of other conditions. Other states like New York have a more restrictive list of qualifying conditions.

What is a cannabis doctor?

Not all doctors can recommend medicinal cannabis. Only cannabis doctors registered in your state can recommend medical marijuana. However, some states require medical tests from your GP to confirm you need a medical marijuana ID card, so it’s always a good idea to consult your GP first.

Before you meet with a cannabis doctor, note that no doctor in the United States can prescribe cannabis. Prescriptions are subject to the FDA and cannabis is illegal nationwide. Cannabis doctors circumvent these legal obstacles by “recommending” cannabis.

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What to expect when you get your medical marijuana card

While your experience will vary from state to state, there are some general points that the cannabis doctor should address during your consultation. You should expect to be asked about your medical condition, any medications you may be taking, and any questions or concerns you have about the use of cannabis products. The cannabis doctor can ask you about your symptoms and advise you on the times of the day based on your goals.

RELATED: Are Pharmacies Giving Your Information to the Government?

In addition, your doctor should inform you of any side effects you may experience, such as increased heart rate, dizziness, drowsiness, and more. After speaking to your doctor, you may need to register with your state’s health department. You should consult your state’s regulations to ensure you are taking the proper steps to obtain your medical marijuana card.

In California, you don’t have to do anything and receive an electronic copy of your medicinal cannabis recommendation. It may take a few weeks to receive the physical copy of your medical marijuana card, but you can use the digital copy to purchase cannabis medication right away.

Now that you know how to get a medical marijuana card, you can use Jointly to find the best products and optimize your cannabis use so you can enjoy your ideal experience every time. Jointly is a cannabis wellness app that teaches you how to achieve your wellness goals with cannabis and CBD. Jointly allows you to track and record your CBD and cannabis use, including dose, time of use, cannabinoid profile, and various other factors that may affect your experience. As you track your cannabis use on Jointly, learn about the 15 factors that can impact your cannabis experience and learn how to eliminate side effects. Download the Jointly app on the App Store or Google Play Store to start your cannabis wellness journey.

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