While more and more states have loosened the legal reigns on marijuana use, Colorado still remains one of the most cannabis-friendly states. Back in 2012, it was one of the first states to pass referendums for recreational marijuana use (along with Washington), so ganja use isn’t anything new in the Centennial State. That said, however, while adults aged 21 and over are free to light a spliff, rip a bong, toke a bowl, or munch on edibles without having to worry about being hounded by “the man”, some Coloradans might still want to get a medical marijuana card. Why? Well, because a medical marijuana card will grant you access to high-quality, tax-free marijuana products, as well as numerous other benefits. That said, if you suffer from a medical condition – anxiety, a seizure disorder, cancer, or any other number of conditions that medicinal marijuana can assist with – if you want to ensure that you get the highest quality buds and you’d like to take advantage of all of the other perks that a medical marijuana card offers and you live in Colorado, you’re probably wondering how to go about getting yourself one.
The process of getting a Colorado medical card for marijuana use is fairly straightforward. As long as you are over 18 years of age and you have one of the qualifying medical conditions that the state has deemed marijuana can be used as a treatment for, you can apply for a medical card. That said, however, you will need to take a few steps before you can get an MMJ card that will allow you to purchase your natural medicine from Colorado medical marijuana dispensaries. If you’d like to obtain one, keep on reading to find some handy tips that you can use to secure a medical marijuana card in Colorado.
Step 1: Check That You Qualify
While adults must be 21 or over to buy cannabis for recreational use, anyone aged 18 or over can apply for a Colorado medical card; however, you will need to ensure that you have one of the qualifying conditions listed by the state government. There are several qualifying medical conditions, which are divided into two separate categories: debilitating medical conditions and disabling medical conditions. If you have been diagnosed with one or more of the following conditions in either category, you will be able to apply for a medical marijuana card:
Debilitating Medical Conditions
- Cachexia, or wasting syndrome (severe weight loss caused by a medical condition or its treatment)
- HIV or AIDS
- Persistent muscle spasms
- Severe nausea
- Severe pain
Disabling Medical Conditions
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- An Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)
- Any condition for which a physician could prescribe an opioid
If you have one of these conditions, you can create an account on the Colorado medical marijuana card online portal. However, before you get your card, you’ll also need to obtain a physician’s recommendation.
Step 2: Create an Online Account
If you have one or more of the qualifying health conditions outlined above and you wish to use marijuana as a treatment, the next step you will need to complete in order to obtain a medical marijuana card that will allow you to purchase medicinal marijuana in the State of Colorado is creating an online account with the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. It is here where you will complete your application and upload all of the necessary documentation that the state requires in order to secure a medical marijuana card. Additionally, once you obtain your card and it is set to expire, you will be able to renew it via the state’s online portal.
Setting up an account is quick and easy. Simply follow the prompts to do so. You will need to have a valid driver’s license or state identification card. As of February 14, 20220, you will also need to pay an application processing fee of $29.50. It’s important to note, however, that before you can complete and submit your application, you will need to obtain a recommendation from a licensed physician. As of January 1, 2022, only first-time medical marijuana card applications between the ages of 18 and 20 years old are required to submit recommendations from two licensed physicians from two different medical practices; however, for homebound patients, the licensed physicians do not have to be from different practices. Anyone who has a valid registry identification card with the State of Colorado that was issued before January 1, 2022, their registration will remain current.
Step 3: See A Medical Marijuana Doctor in Colorado
As mentioned, a recommendation from a licensed medical marijuana physician is a prerequisite for individuals who are interested in obtaining an MMJ card in Colorado. As such, even if you have been previously diagnosed with one of the above-mentioned qualifying medical conditions by another health professional, in order to ensure your Colorado medical card application is successful, you will need to make an appointment with two licensed medical marijuana doctors from two different medical practices and get a recommendation from them; however, if you are homebound, the recommendations can come from two different providers in the same practice.
Only certain physicians can issue recommendations for medical marijuana; the health care professional must be an MD (Doctor of Medicine) or a DO (Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine). Additionally, the doctor must be registered to issue medical marijuana certifications by the State of Colorado. You can find a list of qualified medical marijuana registry providers on the Colorado government website.
During your consultation, the doctor will ask you questions about your current state of health and the medical condition that you are afflicted with. He or she will also ask you questions about your lifestyle habits, such as your diet, how much you exercise, what you do for work, etc. Additionally, the doctor will assess your symptoms Make sure that you are open and honest with your medical care provider, as the information that he or she obtains during your appointment will allow the doctor to determine whether or not you do, in fact, have one of the above-mentioned medical conditions, and if so, if you qualify for an MMJ card.
If you do meet the necessary qualifications, your health care provider will complete and submit a medical provider certification for your MMJ application electronically, so make sure you’ve set up an account before you visit them. You should also get a printed copy of their recommendation for safekeeping.
Step 4: Complete Your Colorado Medical Card Application
After gaining your provider certification, the rest of the Colorado medical card application is fairly straightforward. Visit the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment and log-in to your account. You will need to submit your application within 60 days after receiving a doctor’s certification.
When completing the online application, you will need to provide some personal details along with some information on how you plan to use cannabis. Make sure you fill in your name, address, and any other identifying information correctly, as this information will be used for your medical card. For example, use your name how it appears as on your driver’s license, including titles, middle initials, and suffixes (Jr. Sr., etc.). Do not use any nicknames. Additionally, make sure that your address and any other pertinent identifying information is accurate. You can also include a caregiver, if any, who assists you with your medical needs.
The application will ask you how you intend on obtaining the cannabis that you will be using for medicinal purposes. While you do have the option to cultivate cannabis yourself, purchasing your marijuana from a medical marijuana dispensary is the best option. Why? Well, because doing so will grant you access to a wide range of high-quality products, such as organic, non-GMO buds, special blends, and buds that contain varying amounts of CBD, THC, and other vital cannabinoids. You will be able to select the best cannabis to suit your specific medicinal needs. Not only will you be able to purchase different types of cannabis, but you will also be able to choose from an assortment of methods of ingestion; full buds that you can grind yourself or buds that have already been ground, tinctures, edibles, dabs, pre-rolled joints, and much, much more.
Once you have completed your application, check it over to ensure that you have answered all questions and provided all necessary information, and that the information that you have provided is accurate. As mentioned, you will also need to pay a small application processing fee of $29.50, which went into effect on February 14, 2022. You can pay the application fee with a valid credit card or via an electronic check that is linked to your bank account. You will not be able to submit your application until you make this payment.
After you have successfully completed and submitted your application online, it takes between 1 and 3 business days for the application to be assessed. Whether your application has been approve or denied, you will receive a notification. If you submitted your application online and it is approved, you can print it out right away. It can take up to 8 weeks to receive your medical marijuana card in the mail, so printing it out is recommended, as dispensaries will accept printed copies of approved medical marijuana cards.
Once you receive your MMJ card, examine it to make sure that the information is accurate. Additionally, you’ll want to look for an issue date and an expiration date, both of which will be based on the date that your application was accepted. It’s important to be aware of the expiration date, because once it expires, it will no longer be valid and you will no longer be able to use it. You can, however, renew your MMJ card, which is why it’s important to be aware of the expiration date. You can begin the process of renewing your medical marijuana card 30 days before the expiration date. Starting the renewal process as soon as you are able to is highly recommended, as doing so will ensure you avoid any confusion, issues, or lapses; in other words, it will ensure that you will be able to obtain your medicinal marijuana.
In order to renew your medical marijuana card in the State of Colorado, you will need to have another consultation with a licensed physician; however, you will only need to receive an updated certification. During this appointment, the health care professional will reassess your condition to determine whether or not you are still afflicted with a medical condition that the Colorado state government has determined qualifies for medicinal marijuana use.
Step 4: Get Your Medical Card and Visit a Medical Marijuana Dispensary
As stated above, as soon as your application is approved, you can print your Colorado medical card and use it to buy medical marijuana across the state. Once you receive a copy of your medical card in the mail, you can use it or continue using the card you printed out online.
It’s best to find a dispensary that offers high-quality products at good prices. That way, you can rest assured you’ll get the products you need when you need them. Patients in Lakewood can buy quality medical cannabis from the Leiffa Lakewood Medical Dispensary. In addition to a range of great products, patients can also take advantage of various promotions and member benefits.
Remember that you’ll need to renew your medical card before it expires. Medical cards issued for debilitating conditions usually last for one year, but cards for disabling conditions may only last 60 days. It’s best to submit a renewal application at least 30 days before your card expires to allow time for processing and approval.
Best Medical Marijuana Products To Buy
Medical marijuana patients in Colorado have a wide range of products to choose from. Cannabis flower is available in many strains, each with unique perks and flavors. You can either roll cannabis flower into a joint, use it with a smoking device such as a bong or pipe, or even buy pre-rolled joints.
Those who want to avoid smoking can also try vaping. This gives you smoother, healthier hits. Some vaporizers are designed for use with weed or cannabis concentrates whereas some are designed for use with cannabis vape oils. You can also find disposable cannabis vape pens.
Tinctures are another popular choice. These liquid products allow you to apply a dose of cannabis-infused oil under your tongue for quick absorption. You can also use edibles – these provide strong and long-lasting effects that can help with nagging symptoms.
Other options include capsules, topicals, and transdermal patches. You can also find CBD products that provide the benefits of cannabidiol without psychoactive effects. For a better idea of what you can find in Colorado dispensaries, check out our Lakewood medical menu.
Patients with qualifying conditions in Colorado can obtain a Colorado medical marijuana card fairly easily. You’ll need to book an appointment with a licensed medical marijuana doctor, complete a simple online application, and pay a small processing fee. However, once you have your medical card, you’ll have access to a wide range of tax-free medical marijuana products.