Advice for First-Timers on Getting Their Medical Marijuana Cards

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Medical cannabis is now legal to use in 33 US states, the District of Columbia, and four out of five US territories. However, those in need are still struggling to understand the tedious process of obtaining a medical marijuana card. The method itself is not as complicated as it appears, but the fear of not getting a recommendation from a doctor hunts people as they await their consultation. 

To put it simply, a medical marijuana ID (MMID) is a card that patients need to use in order to get access to medical cannabis dispensaries and purchase the plant. Some cards even allow patients to grow their own plants in order to use them for medical purposes.

If you are considering getting your MMID, but don’t know where to start, here is some advice to keep in mind. 

Close-Up Photo of Kush On Glass Container

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Check with the state regulations

Even though medical cannabis is available in more than 30 US states, each state has different qualifying medical conditions. 

Illinois, for example, features one of the most extensive lists of medical conditions where cannabis is recommended, such as cancer, neurofibromatosis, lupus, glaucoma, and PTSD, whereas Louisiana has a much more restrictive one. Those looking for a Maine medical marijuana card need to rely on their doctor to decide if medical marijuana can be effective for their condition, as the state did not issue a medical conditions list.

Make sure you check with your state’s laws and regulations before making an appointment with the physician. 

Find a reputable physician

The MMID is issued by the state you live in, but in order to apply for one, you need a written and signed recommendation from a licensed physician, to serve as proof that medical cannabis can be an effective treatment for your condition. 

The evaluation itself involves a discussion with your physician, where they ask questions about your medical history and lifestyle and evaluate your medical documents to see if cannabis is the right treatment for you. With the right doctor, it should take between 30 minutes and an hour to get your recommendation. 

Make sure you find a reputable doctor that has experience with your type of condition and understands how cannabis can impact it

Do your research and ask questions

Before going to your appointment, do your research and gather as many facts as you can regarding the use of cannabis and your condition. Show the doctor that you have done your homework and you are not just looking for a less expensive way to procure weed, but are actually in need of treatment.

Ask your physician if they can recommend studies or books to read, which show the effects of cannabis on patients with similar conditions, to show you are interested in learning more. 

Don’t be afraid to ask your doctor questions, as they will be more than happy to clear the air for you. Some of the questions you can ask include: 

  • What are the usual costs associated with getting an MMID?
  • Are there any side effects I should be aware of?
  • Can medical marijuana interfere with my current medication?
  • Should I avoid certain activities or situations when using cannabis?

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