A medical marijuana card (often called MMID or MMJ Card) is an ID card that patients use in order to enter medical cannabis dispensaries and purchase the plant, in order to treat a medical condition. In some states, an MMID also allows patients to grow their own plant and use it for medicinal purposes.
While the card itself is issued by the state, you do need to get a signed recommendation from a licensed physician before you can qualify to get a card. This recommendation serves as proof that both you and the physician have agreed that cannabis would be an effective treatment option for your condition.
Once you get the approval from the doctor, you have to apply for the card through the state, pay a fee, which varies depending on your state, and wait for the card to arrive. Because the plant still has a federally illegal status, the doctor can’t take action and prescribe cannabis directly to patients.
This is, in broad terms, the process of getting approved for an MMID. If you are considering applying for a medical marijuana card, but are not yet sure how and what to do, below are some tips to consider.
Before applying for an MMID, you need to ensure your medical condition is deemed appropriate for cannabis use, a fact that can vary depending on state. Make sure to check with your state’s rules and regulations before booking an appointment with your doctor.
Generally speaking, the following conditions are amongst the most commonly approved by every state that has adopted medical cannabis laws:
If your medical condition is listed on your state’s qualifying list, then you can go ahead and schedule an appointment with your physician. Perform due diligence and make sure you discuss with a doctor that is not against medical marijuana use if you want a higher chance of getting approved.
A medical marijuana evaluation usually lasts around 30 minutes, and your doctor will ask a number of questions to determine if cannabis is the right treatment for your condition.
Before scheduling an appointment for an evaluation, make sure to do research on your own as well and make sure you have a solid understanding on how medical marijuana can impact your condition or life altogether.
Before going to the doctor’s office, make sure you get your medical records together and see that it lists any illness, disability or injury that can be treated using medical marijuana. Any medical documents, such as disability paperwork, MRI scan results or X-rays, need to be brought with you as well, to further attest your needs. Also, you will be asked to bring a Government ID, such as your driver’s license or passport, so that you can prove your residency.
In some cases, you can schedule an online consultation for getting your medical marijuana card, so make sure you check out those options as well.
The number one tip you will receive before entering the physician’s office is to relax and smile. If your attitude does not suggest you have your best interest at heart when it comes to medical marijuana use, then the doctor may choose not to approve you. After all, they don’t have any legal obligation to sign your approval.
Be transparent with your doctor and respond honestly on all the questions they may ask. These include questions about your medical condition, your general health, your lifestyle and treatment history.
If you haven’t tried any other treatment yet, it is likely your physician will prescribe other types of medication first, such as opioid painkillers, and ask you to come back in 30 days for a reevaluation. Don’t be concerned if this happens, as many doctors avoid using cannabis as the first form of treatment and will only consider it if other options are not available. You can either go ahead and follow their recommendation or seek another physician’s opinion.
No doctor will sign a recommendation for someone that has no idea what cannabis is and what it can do for them. To avoid looking like someone that only sees medical marijuana as a less expensive way to get high, show your physician that you have done your research and know your facts.
If the physician asks what your knowledge of medical cannabis is, don’t be afraid to tell them what you’ve learned. If you don’t know where to start, try looking online for studies that revolve around the use of cannabis as a treatment for your medical condition. Also, make sure your show your physician you know the difference between Indica and Sativa plants, as well as between CBD and THC.
Ask your doctor if they can recommend any other studies that show the effects of cannabis on patients with a condition that is similar to yours, to show you are actively looking to educate yourself on the matter.
To show your doctor that you have done your research and are not just “looking for ways to get weed”, consider a more serious approach. Show that you are taking this process seriously by asking for the physician’s hones opinion regarding medical marijuana and your condition.