Twenty-nine states and the District of Columbia now have medical marijuana laws in effect. Having a marijuana card is the best way to have access to cannabis products without any hassles.

Michigan became a medical use state in 2008. However, the original legislation failed to provide for commercial production and sales of medical marijuana to licensed medical marijuana patients. Instead, the state opted for a “Caregiver/Patient” model that allowed licensed caregivers, or the patient, to produce limited amounts of medical cannabis. Up to now, all dispensaries and commercial sized cannabis grow operations were operating illegally.

If you live in Michigan, you have likely noticed the rise in cannabis related news. This is because the State of Michigan finally began accepting applications for commercial production and sales of medical marijuana and derivative products in late 2017. The purpose for licensing these operations is to 1) regulate product quality and safety, and 2) assess fees and tax the sale of medical marijuana and derivative products. Despite these new regulations, marijuana/cannabis is NOT legal for recreational use. You MUST have a valid Michigan Medical Marijuana Patient or Caregiver Card to purchase medical marijuana from a licensed dispensary.

Steps to getting a medical marijuana card

1.To be eligible for a Michigan marijuana card, first, you have to receive a formal diagnosis for a “Qualifying Condition”. Qualifying conditions in Michigan include: Cancer, Glaucoma, Positive status for Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV), Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome (AIDS), Hepatitis C, Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS – Lou Gehrig’s Disease), Crohn’s disease, Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease, Nail patella, Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). A patient also qualifies if s/he experiences any chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition, or it’s treatment, which produces one or more of the following symptoms or side effects: Cachexia or wasting syndrome, Severe and chronic pain, Nausea, Seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy, Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis

2.The next and most crucial stage is to have a duly licensed physician to sign off on the state required “Physician Certification” form. Most large health groups do not allow physicians to issue physician certifications. The only alternative is to locate approved medical marijuana doctors who are licensed to issue the all-important form.

3.To get your physician certification form in Michigan, you will need to schedule an in-person examination with a doctor who is willing to issue a physician certification form. This is necessary regardless of whether you have already received your diagnosis for a qualifying condition from another physician.

4.Once you have your physician certification form, you will mail it along with other required documents and fees to the State of Michigan for processing and approval. On average it takes between two to three weeks to acquire a Michigan marijuana card if the application is approved. State application fees are separate from the fee for your physician examination.

The benefits of having a Michigan medical marijuana card cannot be emphasized enough. Your marijuana card provides legal protection from state prosecution for your use, possession and/or cultivation of cannabis – when you follow the rules outlined in the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act. It also allows you to purchase cannabis and cannabis products from Michigan dispensaries.Schedule your appointment today to get legal.

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