What Is a Medical Marijuana Card?
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The term “medical marijuana” refers to the use of marijuana (cannabis) and its constituent parts for therapeutic purposes. Numerous substances found in the cannabis plant, such as cannabinoids, may have medical use. The two most well-researched and well-known cannabinoids are CBD and THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). Medical marijuana is responsible for alleviating the symptoms of various medical conditions. To use medical marijuana, you will need a medical marijuana card. In this article, we will learn more about medical marijuana cards and we will also let you know how you can get this card.

What is a Medical Marijuana Card?

A medical cannabis card, also known as a medical marijuana card, is a state-issued identity card that permits a patient with a prescription from a doctor to acquire, possess, or grow cannabis for medical purposes even though the plant has not undergone the standard efficacy and safety testing required by the Food and Drug Administration. These cards are provided by a county or state that has legalized medical marijuana. Generally, a patient needs to pay the state a fee in order to receive a medical marijuana card. The question arises here: how did medical cannabis become legal? Let’s find it out.

During the 19th and early 20th centuries, cannabis was widely used as a patent medicine in the United States. In 1937, the Marihuana Tax Act was passed, marking the start of federal restrictions on cannabis use and sales. After the act of 1937, cannabis was removed from the United States Pharmacopoeia in 1942. The Controlled Substances Act of 1970 brought about federal prohibition on the drug, and the Boggs and Narcotic Control Acts of 1951 and 1956, respectively, increased the penalties for possession. Apart from making cannabis illegal, these laws also imposed restrictions on the purchase of the drug for researching purposes, which further limited study.

After the Compassionate Use Act was passed in 1996, California became the first state to legally allow the use of medical cannabis for medical purposes under a doctor’s supervision. That’s how medical cannabis started becoming legal in the majority of the U.S. states.

The Legalities of Medical Marijuana Cards

Marijuana is legal on the state level but it is illegal on the federal level. Since the 1930s, federal law has prohibited the use, sale, or distribution of marijuana. The CSA (Controlled Substances Act), which was passed in 1970, categorizes and controls illicit substances. Marijuana falls under Schedule I of the Controlled Substances Act. Drugs with this classification have little medicinal benefit and a significant potential for misuse. It is probably against federal law for anyone to possess, cultivate, sell, or distribute marijuana.

But as we mentioned above, it is completely legal on the state level. As of November 2023, 36 states including the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands, and the Mariana Islands have legalized medical marijuana. Find out if medical marijuana is allowed in your state before pursuing any interest in it. The citizens of American Samoa, Nebraska and Idaho cannot possess medical marijuana as their states haven’t legalized medical cannabis. So, it’s better to check your state’s latest laws.

Benefits of Having a Medical Marijuana Card

Medical marijuana has demonstrated potential in reducing symptoms and enhancing the quality of life for those suffering from a variety of diseases. The following are some conditions that medical marijuana may be able to treat:

  • Chronic Pain
  • Nausea and Vomiting
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Appetite Stimulation
  • Seizure Disorders
  • Anxiety and Depression

Additional Benefits of Having an MMJ Card:

You can get the following additional benefits by having an MMJ card:

  • Patients who possess an MMJ card can obtain products with established cannabis traits. They can also get guidance on dosing from medical professionals.
  • Some states offer flexibility in tax. This way, patients can save their money on their treatment.
  • If you hold an MMJ card, you will get legal protection. You can save yourself from the criminal charges and other penalties related to the possession and use of medical marijuana.
  • With an MMJ card, you can get access to high quality products. These products meet the quality standard and will not cause any negative side effects.
  • With an MMJ card, patients can have higher possession limits for their medical needs.

Qualifying Conditions for a Medical Marijuana Card

Following are some of the qualifying conditions for a Medical Marijuana Card:

  • AIDS
  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • ALS
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pancreatitis
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Ehlers-Danlos syndrome
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV
  • Lupus
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Muscular dystrophy

It’s always recommended to consult with your healthcare provider. Your healthcare provider will assess you and let you know if you are eligible for getting an MMJ card or not.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card

Follow these steps to get a medical marijuana card:

  • The first step in obtaining a medical marijuana card is to consult with your healthcare provider. Your doctor will assess whether medicinal marijuana is necessary for your condition and will go through any risks or negative side effects. You can proceed with the procedure once you obtain your doctor’s approval.
  • Most states need you to register for the state’s medical marijuana registry, which you can probably do online, but the procedure differs from state to state. As part of the registration process, you’ll need to provide documentation proving your doctor has prescribed medical marijuana to treat your symptoms.
  • Lastly, you will pay the state fee for your card. Every state has its own fees so it’s better to check with your state website. Once you get your card, you can legally purchase medical cannabis.

You will need the following documents while applying:

  • Your previous medical record
  • A copy of your doctor’s recommendation.
  • Proof of Residency
  • Driver license or ID card

Using Your Medical Marijuana Card

MMJ cards can be used at the dispensary to purchase the cannabis product. You just have to show your card at the dispensary, the dispensary staff will verify your card. They are knowledgeable about different strains, products and consumption methods. You can ask them to provide the product that your doctor recommended. Don’t hesitate to ask questions at the dispensary!

Renewal and Expiry

You won’t be allowed to buy medical marijuana if you let your medical card expire, but you usually don’t have to start again when you want to renew. Even though your medical card has expired, the state still has you in its database, so renewing is a quicker and simpler process than it was the first time you became a patient. Since renewal requirements are typically less difficult, the patient can proceed more swiftly. Renewal applications often require less documentation and are less expensive than those for new patients.

A patient should renew their medical marijuana card thirty days before it expires. In certain states, you can begin the procedure up to 60 days before. You can follow the below process to renew your MMJ card:

  • Make an appointment to obtain a new certificate or recommendation from a medical marijuana physician.
  • Once your recommendation or certificate for renewal has been approved, fulfill any further conditions set forth by the medical marijuana program in your state. The majority of states demand an application fee for renewals.
  • Your state will issue you an updated medical cannabis ID card with a new expiration date after receiving and approving the materials. If your state has a digital registration system, your profile will be updated.


Having a medicinal marijuana certificate has numerous advantages. A medical marijuana card can help you meet your medical needs while giving you access to higher-quality cannabis, reducing your tax burden, and possibly avoiding legal issues.

By Kif Team

The Kif Team has expert team of writers with a profound understanding of holistic medicine. We specialize in assisting individuals in obtaining their medical marijuana cards. We firmly believe in the therapeutic benefits of medical cannabis for various health conditions. Our mission is to educate and enlighten as many people as possible about its potential advantages.

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