Jun 10, 2016 4:02 AM

5 Tips to Help You Obtain Your First Medical Cannabis Card

Almost half of America's states have legalized marijuana. Some states have quite strict laws about obtaining medical cannabis cards, with only a few medical conditions that qualify for this treatment. Other states decided to make the process of getting a medical marijuana card a bit simpler. But regardless of the place where you live, if it is the first time you need to get a medical cannabis card, you still have to go through the same procedure.

Like any unfamiliar procedure, this one may seem somewhat confusing at first. Though, there is nothing impossible if you follow these five easy tips.

1. Find out the state law details

You can be really surprised how drastically can the cannabis laws vary from state to state. For instance, 15 states legalized only CBD extract, while THC is still beyond the law. Only nine states approved cannabis as a treatment for PTSD. Most of the states allow medicinal use to treat only a short list of diseases and disorders, such as HIV/AIDS, chronic pain, glaucoma, and seizures. At the same time, the Californian law allows your physician to recommend marijuana use for a wide range of conditions, including depression and insomnia.

It is important to know whether your conditions are covered in the state you live. Check your state's Department of Health's website, and if your condition is on the list, you have the right to obtain a medical marijuana card.

2. Find a doctor that can help you

If the thought of asking your local doctor to prescribe you medical marijuana makes you shiver, there is no reason to stress yourself. If you Google, you may find doctors who specifically work with medical cannabis. Do not expect them to prescribe it to every single patient, but if you need this treatment, they will give you the prescription with no problems.

While there are exceptions to the rule, services of this kind are available in most states with legal medical marijuana. In California, for instance, there is a special service called NuggMD that allows you to get a doctor consultation via the Internet, so you can obtain the medical cannabis card without even leaving your home.

3. Be prepared for any issues

There is a chance that you may get a rejection. In most cases, it happens because of trivial reasons, such as filling the application form incorrectly or forgetting to include required materials. In this case, you will receive a letter explaining the reason for the rejection.

This is not a tragedy; you still can resubmit your application and start the process again. But it is better to check the forms twice and make sure that you fill in everything correctly from the very beginning, as the application form and as well as a consultation appointment with a doctor cost money.

4. Visit a dispensary

Instead of purchasing cannabis via the Internet, we would rather recommend you to find a reputable dispensary and ask the workers to help you. Experienced budtenders know a lot about cannabis strains, so they can give you advice and help you find the strain with perfect potency and cannabinoid content for your specific case.

Some states have the caregiver system instead of dispensaries. It means that you will have to find a person who grows marijuana and delivers it directly to the patients. In most states, caregivers have limits to the number of patients they can have, so in some cases finding a caregiver might take you longer than you would normally expect.

5. Use your medical card wisely

Once you get your medical cannabis card, you can relax and enjoy the fruits of your labor. No need to look for medical cannabis on the black market, no need to worry whether anyone can find out that you are a consumer. Now, everything is legal.

The only thing you need to worry about now is to stay within the bounds of the law. Keep your card in a safe place, do not let the others use it.

You should remember that on a federal level marijuana is still illegal, and that means that your employer in most cases can legally institute a no-drugs policy at the workplace. That means that the company you work for may administer drug tests, and your medical marijuana card will not serve you as an excuse if your test is positive. It is better to find out your company policy in advance. It is also advisable to check you company’s official policy with regard to medicinal marijuana use.

If you are going outside your state, your medical marijuana ID card may be invalid there. There are only five states that accept out of state medical cards: Maine, Michigan, Arizona, and Rhode Island.

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