So you have a health condition that’s bothering you and you’ve read about medical marijuana as a solution. It seems like something you want to try, but getting started isn’t obvious. With 11 new conditions in Michigan that qualify patients for a medical marijuana card, there’s no better time to give it a try.
If you want a Michigan Medical Marijuana card, here are eight things you need to do or keep in mind.
- Review the list of conditions. You’ll need a diagnosis that meets the criteria that Michigan has approved. While some are very specific, pain is more general and it’s the most common ailment on the application form according to the State of Michigan.
- Download and print the paperwork from LARA, the state licensing board.
- Make an appointment with your physician. One of two things will happen next. You’ll go to your doctor and s/he will sign the paperwork and you’ll write the check for the filing fee ($60) and you’ll wait about three weeks and your card will come in the mail if you’re approved. A more common scenario is you’re reluctant to tell your physician you want to try medical marijuana or if you do ask, s/he refuses to sign the paperwork. There are other options, including physicians that are cannabis advocates who work in clinics that do this work for the good of the cannabis community. You’ll meet with her/him for a short examination and they’ll confirm your diagnosis and sign the paperwork for you. If you have access to any extras—xray results, physician notes, physical therapy notes bring those along. You need to show that you have the condition you claim to have. Some clinics will send it in for you, too, but we recommend you do this yourself so you know when it was mailed. Finding a clinic is as easy as web searching for Michigan Medical Marijuana card +your location.
- You’ll be asked on the form about a caregiver. This is an individual who grows cannabis for patients. If you don’t have one, don’t check the box. Check the box that says I will possess the plants. That doesn’t mean you have to start growing, but you could if you wanted to. With your card that says NO CAREGIVER on the back, you’ll need to visit a provisioning center for your meds. You can find one close to you on Leafly or Weedmaps. We have a blog post about how to visit a provisioning center.
- Your card is good mostly in Michigan. There are a few states that allow reciprocity, but not many. The recreational states are, of course, open to anyone. But if you’re in Florida, you can’t use your Michigan card there. In Michigan though, medical cards from other states are allowed in some, but not all provisioning centers. Call ahead to make sure.
Here are a few other things to keep in mind as a holder of a new medical marijuana card.
- If you’re traveling, keep in mind it’s a felony to bring cannabis across state lines. So, you have to leave your medication behind. The safest solution is to enjoy some of America’s recreational legal states (Colorado, California, Nevada, Oregon, Washington, Alaska, Maine, Vermont, Massachusetts and the District of Columbia) until the whole country ends prohibition You can also head to Canada for a nice vacation, the whole country will be recreational legal starting on October 17, 2018. This also applies to people flying. While the TSA isn’t looking for cannabis, it is still illegal to bring it across state lines.
- If you’re traveling around Michigan, keep your cannabis is the trunk of your car. Better yet, put it in a locked box in your trunk. Never leave it out in plain sight on the seat next to you.
- You can’t consume (smoke) your medication in a public place, in your car or in a hotel/motel. That’s limiting for sure. Edibles are super handy for travel or find friends who don’t mind if you consume.