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How do you get a medical cannabis card? Are you living in the state of Colorado? Are you a medical patient? Do you have a medical condition that qualifies for a medical cannabis card? These are just some of the questions that need to be answered before you even think about getting a card.
Cannabis for medical purposes in Colorado got approved under Initiative 20 on November 7th, 2000.
In 2010, two bills on cannabis were signed into law by Colorado Governor Bill Cutter.
- House Bill 1284 – It provides the regulatory framework for dispensaries, including giving local communities the ability to place-sensible controls on the operation, location, and ownership of dispensaries.
- Senate Bill 109 – This helps prevent abuse and fraud by ensuring that only authorized physicians in Colorado can allow medical marijuana for patients.
It ensures they do not have a DEA flag in their medical license and no financial relationship with a dispensary.
Today, you learn who qualifies and how to get a medical cannabis card from Colorado.
Who Qualifies For Medical Cannabis Card From Colorado?
A limited number of illnesses for which patients in Colorado are allowed access to a CO MMJ pot card.
These diseases include;
- HIV/AIDS (Positive status) – Most AIDS patients use CBD products to reduce related symptoms like; loss of appetite, weight loss, and nerve pain. The primary treatment for HIV is antiretroviral therapy(ART).
- Cancer – CBD for cancer is now used to reduce chemotherapy effects like nausea and neuropathic pain. Concrete evidence supports the idea that cannabinoids can reduce tumor growth in animal models of cancer.
- Glaucoma – Marijuana lowers eye pressure. But can only be recommended after long term clinical trials by a qualified physician.
- Cachexia – Patients with cachexia can use cannabis to improve; body weight, appetite, body fat level, and mood
Other diseases include; Muscle spasms, server pain, and nausea.
For patients who qualify for disabling medical conditions can also apply for a medical cannabis card from Colorado. These conditions include;
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder( PTSD) – 2018 review indicates that a combination of THC and CBD may help reduce the symptoms. CBD oil applied on the skin can reduce anxiety and improve sleep for PTSD patients.
- Autism Spectrum Disorder – CBD blocks CB1 receptors, which relieve patients from seizures and memory losses, more so in children.
- Any condition prescribed as an opioid by a CO doctor.
What is the Required Information for Colorado Medical Cannabis Card Program?
- Patients must be 18 years and older. Minors who reside in Colorado with their primary care parent need to have a qualifying medical condition after seeing two qualified physicians and submit two medical certifications during application.
- Patients must be residents of Colorado and proof with a driver's license or State Issued Identification Card.
- A certified physician must evaluate patients in Colorado.
- Patients must apply and register with the Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry. The charges are $25 that is non-refundable. The fee is waived if your household income is 185% or less than the Federal Property Guidelines. But you must fill a specific form.
- If approved, the patient will be notified with 3-5 days, and the MMJ card will be mailed to the address on the application submitted.
What are the Steps to Obtaining a Medical Cannabis Card in Colorado?
As a Colorado resident who is 18+ years, here are the steps to get a Colorado Red Card.
Step 1 – Create an Online Account
Go to the Colorado Medical Marijuana website to set up an account. You can do this before or after visiting the physician.
You can also use the account to renew your MMJ card when it's about to expire but ensure you have a valid driver's license when doing so.
Step 2 – Schedule an Appointment with a Licensed Physician
A recommendation from a friend or family member on a Colorado physician is good Schedule an appointment with them.
The physician will discuss your health conditions to determine if you are qualified for a written certification.
It's important to know that osteopathic medicine(D.O) is also allowed to provide MMJ card recommendations.
Step 3 – Complete MMJ Card Application & Submit
With all the required documentation to apply for a Red Card in Colorado, the website will ask you to choose how you want to access your weed; from a dispensary or prefer to grow your marijuana plants.
The option for you to add a caregiver is given. You then upload the doctor's written certification. A complete application must be submitted within ten days with these details:
- Signed physician certification
- A copy of your ID
- A full complete MMJ form
Also, include the payment of $25 during the completion of the application.
If you decide to apply by mail, use the following address:
Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, Colorado 80246
The personal information that you input into the form will never be made public. It will be kept confidential since the information is sensitive. It will be treated the same way as information on your medical records. This is in conjunction with the HIPPA guidelines and rules
Step 4 – Get Your MMJ Card and Visit a Dispensary
After approval, you can print your Red Card. For a mailed application, it takes 6-8 weeks to be processed.
Always start your renewal 30 days before your MMJ card expires as it involves consulting a licensed doctor again.
What are the Benefits of Having a Medical Cannabis Card from Colorado?
- Legal Protection – You get to possess up to two ounces of weed as long you can show your red card to the legal authorities.
Also, you can visit any dispensary in Colorado to purchase the same amount of marijuana and other weed products like edibles, tinctures, CBD oil, and vape liquids.
- Grow your Marijuana – With a cannabis card, you can grow up to 24 plants of weed per residence. First, patients and caregivers need to register with the local authorities.
Patients with severe health conditions listed above can qualify for a medical cannabis card from Colorado. Be sure to explain to the doctor what your medical condition is. Be honest about everything while you are at your appointment. This includes letting the doctor know if you have used marijuana before and how it has aided you in a medical sense. Be direct and forthright as the doctor wants to act in your best interest. The doctor's responsibility is to assess whether you should use marijuana as a viable treatment. The doctor will make specific recommendations about your situation to the state about your medical marijuana card application.
After consultation with a licensed physician, you get to determine whether your health conditions qualify for a red card. The Colorado doctor will then give you a written certification that you will use to apply for an MMJ card with the Colorado Department of Health and Environment.
With a CO medical marijuana badge, you can visit any dispensary in Colorado and buy the set amount for marijuana for your health condition.
Qualifying Medical Conditions
What are the qualifying medical conditions that you should be aware of? In the state of Colorado, here are some of them:
- IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome)
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Reflux Disorders
- Degenerative Disc Disease
- Severe Nausea
- Persistent Muscle Spasms
- Severe/Chronic Pain
Non-Qualifying Medical Conditions
Here are some of the medical conditions that do not qualify for a medical cannabis card. If you have any of these illnesses, then you won't be considered:
- Clinical Depression
- Type 1 and 2 Diabetes
- Diabetic Retinopathy
- Bipolar Disease
- Severe Anxiety
- Tourette’s Syndrome
When you do have your medical cannabis card, you will benefit from lower cost of cannabis products, access to products with CBD strains, and a reduction in taxes during purchase. Bear in mind that you will be allowed to possess more than an ounce of weed for recreational use and six plants for medical use and for marijuana cultivation. Learn more about getting a medical cannabis card in other states by visiting the Cannabis Training University.