How to Get an MMJ Card with the Least Amount of Hassle

At last count, 38 states and the District of Columbia had legal medical cannabis programs on the books. In each jurisdiction, people wishing to use what is otherwise known as medical marijuana (MMJ) must obtain a state-issued card of some sort. MMJ cards are the medical marijuana equivalent of a driver’s license.

The cards are easy enough to get if you know the rules. If you don’t, trying to get a card could turn into more hassle than it’s worth. So in an attempt to help would-be card holders navigate the system, this post lays out the steps for minimizing the hassles of getting a card.

Bear in mind that this guide does not explain how to get a card per se. That process differs from one state to the next. Rather, the information presented here pertains to completing the process without creating unnecessary problems for yourself.

Step #1: Check the Qualifying Conditions List

The first step to avoiding any kind of hassle is checking your state’s qualifying conditions list. Why? Because no state allows medical cannabis consumption indiscriminately. You wouldn’t take penicillin to help reduce high blood pressure, for instance. States do not want you using marijuana that way, either.

Chronic pain, PTSD, cancer, and seizure disorders are on just about every state list. Beyond these four conditions, anything goes. That’s why you need to check the list in your state. If you have not been diagnosed with one of the qualifying conditions, you cannot get a card.

Step #2: Check Medical Exam Requirements

Next, check to see if state law requires you to undergo a medical exam prior to obtaining your MMJ card. According to cannabis dispensary Beehive Farmacy in Salt Lake City, Utah patients must see either a qualified medical provider (QMP) or limited medical provider (LMP). Regardless of the category, the provider does not necessarily need to be a medical doctor. A provider can be a physician assistant, nurse practitioner, or other medical professional with prescribing authority in the state.

#3: Learn How the Application Process Works

The next step is to do your homework and learn how the application system works. It is easier in some states than in others. Going back to Utah, patients can only apply for their cards online. But in order to do so, they need to have both Utah IDs and an electronic verification system (EVS) account.

Utah’s application process also has two parts. The patient completes the first part prior to their medical examination. The second part is completed by the medical provider. Only when both parts are completed can the patient finish the application process and submit their fee.

Step #4: Make Sure You Can Pay the Fee

Speaking of application fees, it is a wise idea to make sure you can cover the costs before you apply. You will need to be able to cover both the application fee and the cost of seeing your medical provider. If you start the application process but cannot afford to see it all the way through, your data may expire at some point in the future. Then you’ll have to start all over again when you have the money.

Getting an MMJ card with as little hassle as possible really boils down to learning how the process works before you get started. This is one situation in which knowledge is power. If you know the system inside and out, you will be able to navigate it with ease. Otherwise, you may spend a lot of time pulling your hair out.