As much as legalized cannabis has exploded over the past decade, each state still has their own laws about who has access. In many states, medical use has become legal, but recreational use is not. That means if you’d like to use cannabis in a medical-use-only state, you’ll need to obtain a medical cannabis card to shop at a dispensary.
The staff here at Star Buds are grateful to operate in Missouri, Maryland, Oklahoma, and Jamaica – all places where medical cannabis is legal, safe, and well-regulated. If you are interested in becoming a medical cannabis patient in one of these locations, we want to help!
Each state has its own rules and steps to take to become a medical patient, which can make getting your card seem complicated. But don’t worry! We’ve put together this handy guide on how to access legal cannabis in our locations where a medical card is required.
How to Get A Medical Cannabis Card in Missouri
After decades of activism, voters in Missouri finally made medical cannabis legal by passing Amendment 2 in November 2018. This legislation authorized the state Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) to create The Missouri medical marijuana program, which allows people with qualifying medical conditions to apply for an ID card to purchase medical marijuana.
What is a Qualifying Medical Condition in Missouri?
To become a medical marijuana patient in Missouri, you must be diagnosed with at least one of the qualifying medical conditions listed on the DHSS website. Here are some of the most common reasons people in Missouri qualify for medical cannabis use:
- Debilitating psychiatric disorders, including, but not limited to, post-traumatic stress order if diagnosed by a state-licensed psychiatrist
- A chronic medical condition that causes severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to those associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures, Parkinson’s disease, and Tourette’s syndrome
- A terminal illness
If you are a Missouri resident and are wondering how to get a medical marijuana card, we’ve got the answers for you! As long as you have a qualifying condition, chances are you or your caregiver will be eligible.
Here’s how to obtain your patient certification and medical marijuana card in a few simple steps:
Step 1: Certification
The first step of the application process is obtaining a doctor’s recommendation by visiting a Missouri-licensed physician who is in good standing to practice medicine (MD) or osteopathy (DO). They will help you determine if medical marijuana is right for you by discussing your medical history, health conditions, the medications you take, and the risks and benefits of using cannabis.
Once you and your doctor decide that cannabis is a good option for you, you will need to complete a physician certification form. This form also indicates the amount of cannabis the patient requires per month. If your doctor determines you need more than the standard 4 ounces per month, you will need to complete two alternative physician certification forms by two separate physicians.
If you would like a caregiver to be able to pick up medical cannabis from a dispensary on your behalf and assist you with using your medicine, they will need to complete a patient authorization form. Patients must be 18 to apply for a patient card directly. But prospective patients who are younger than 18 may have a parent or guardian submit a parent/legal guardian consent form, along with a patient authorization form.
Step 2: Registration
The next step is to apply for an identification card through the DHSS online registry.To be considered, you will need to submit the following:
- A completed and signed physician’s recommendation that is no older than 30 days.
- A completed application which includes identifying information like name, date of birth, social security number, and contact information.
- Proof of Missouri residency.
- A copy of the patient’s photo ID issued by a state or federal agency.
- A color photo of the patient’s face taken within the past three months.
- A $25 application fee.
- An indication if the patient is seeking to cultivate, and an additional $100 fee if applicable.
- If the patient is a minor, submit the parent/legal guardian consent form and patient authorization form.
- Patients who wish to designate a caregiver will submit a patient authorization form.
Step 3: Obtaining Your Card
The DHSS has 30 days to approve or deny your application. When you’re approved, you can download a copy of your medical marijuana ID card by visiting the DHSS website.
Applications may be rejected due to inaccurate information, so make sure to double-check that everything is filled out correctly when you apply. If your application is denied, the DHSS will notify you by email and you’ll have ten days to correct and resubmit an application.
Step 4: Visit a Dispensary
Once your application is approved you’re all set to go to a dispensary! Make sure to bring your ID and medical cannabis card to show to the staff. Missouri allows patients to purchase up to 4 ounces of flower in a 30 day period.
How to Get a Medical Cannabis Card in Maryland
If you are a Maryland resident and are interested in getting your medical cannabis card, you’re in luck! Maryland’s HB 881 medical cannabis program became operational in 2017, and it has helped thousands of residents get access to the medicine they need.
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) is the department that regulates medical cannabis in Maryland, and they recognize the following as qualifying conditions for medical cannabis treatment:
- Wasting syndrome
- Severe pain
- Severe nausea
- Severe or persistent muscle spasms
- Post-traumatic stress disorder
- Chronic pain
Unlike most other states, you’ll need to register with the MMCC before visiting a physician to get the application process started.
Here are the steps you’ll need to take:
Step 1: Get Ready to Register
Before you can apply for your Maryland medical cannabis card, you need to register with the MMCC. The process can be done entirely online but requires patients to upload documents. So the first step is to get all the pertinent information ready.
Here’s what you’ll need to prepare for the registration process:
- An electronic copy of a valid government-issued photo ID (driver’s license or passport).
- Proof of Maryland address. You’ll need two documents (bank statement, utility bill, etc.).
- An electronic copy of a clear, recent photograph. Hospice patients can get a letter from the Attending of Hospice Record (AOHR) instead of a photo.
- The last four digits of your social security number.
- A valid email account to use for the application.
Step 2: Register Online with the MMCC
Visit the MMCC’s new patient landing page, and under the patient heading, choose “create account.” Answer the application questions and upload your documents. Once you’re finished, you’ll verify your application via the email address you provided when you registered.
After the state processes your application, you will be assigned a patient number in a follow-up email. It could take up to 45 days for you to receive the follow-up email.
Step 3: Obtain a Written Certification from a Registered Physician
Once you have your patient ID number, you can make an appointment to visit an MMCC registered provider. If you meet one of the qualifying medical conditions and your doctor feels that medical cannabis is right for you, they will issue a certification using your MMCC patient ID number you received after registration.
The MMCC maintains a list of registered providers. Keep in mind that you can’t use your primary care physician unless they are on the list.
Step 4: Visit a Dispensary!
Once you receive your written certification, you’ll be able to visit a licensed Maryland dispensary and purchase cannabis. The dispensary staff will ask to see your ID and verify your current MMCC registration, and you’ll be all set to make your purchase. Patients are allowed to buy a maximum of a thirty-day supply at one time.
Please note: A certification that isn’t used to purchase medical cannabis within 120 days of issuance becomes void.
How to Get a Medical Cannabis Card in Oklahoma
If you are looking to get your medical cannabis card in Oklahoma, you’ll be happy to hear that it’s a quick and simple process compared to many other states. Oklahoma residents voted to approve bill SQ 788 in June of 2018. That same month, the Oklahoma State Department of Health created the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA). And while most states take around two years to go from newly-passed legislation to a fully functional medical cannabis program, Oklahoma patients had access to medical cannabis six months later!
Even though things seem to move a little faster with cannabis in the Sooner State, it’s still a process to obtain your card. Here are the steps you need to take to access medical cannabis in Oklahoma:
Step 1: See a Doctor Who Will Recommend Medical Cannabis
Your first step is to find a doctor who is willing to consult with you about medical cannabis. Oklahoma allows any state-licensed physician to recommend medical marijuana, but family doctors tend to be reluctant to have the conversation, let alone recommend cannabis. But don’t worry!
Many doctors in Oklahoma are happy to talk to you about cannabis. Star Buds is proud to partner with Integrity Patient Services. Their sole focus is to serve patients seeking a medical cannabis card with compassion and kindness. And the OMMA maintains lists of cannabis-friendly physicians.
Once you find a doctor, you’ll bring a physician recommendation form to your appointment. While the OMMA doesn’t have a list of specific qualifying conditions, you should be ready to share why you believe you need medical cannabis. Physicians can recommend cannabis for any condition they believe it will benefit. Oklahoma doctors don’t need to be registered with the OMMA to sign a physician recommendation form, but registration will help the application process move faster.
Step 2: Apply for you Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Card Online
The next step is to visit the OMMA website and submit an online application within 30 days of the physician’s signature on your recommendation form.
The application will ask you to enter:
- Patient’s full name and date of birth.
- Proof of Identity (state driver’s license, state ID card, passport, tribal ID card).
- Contact information including address, telephone number, and email.
- Proof of Oklahoma residency (state driver’s license, state ID card, state voter ID card, utility bill, property deed of ownership, rental agreement).
- Physician’s contact information.
- A clear, color, full-face digital photograph.
You’ll need to pay a $100 fee when you submit your application. The fee is reduced to $20 for those with proof of Medicaid or Medicare enrollment.
You can expect a response from the state of Oklahoma within two weeks of submitting your application. If you qualify for a medical marijuana card, you should receive it within 14 days of the notification. Cards are valid for two years.
Step 3: Visit a Dispensary
Once your application is approved and you receive your card, you can legally buy cannabis from a dispensary! Be ready to show the dispensary staff your card and your photo ID. Oklahoma allows patients to carry up to 3 ounces of cannabis in public and store up to 8 ounces at home. You are allowed to possess up to one ounce of concentrates and up to 72 ounces of edibles.
How to Get a Medical Cannabis Card in Jamaica
Everything is more relaxed on the tropical island of Jamaica — and getting your medical cannabis card is no exception. While states in the US have strict step-by-step processes to obtain medical cannabis, Jamaica makes it very simple.
The Jamaican Cannabis Licensing Authority regulates medical cannabis. They allow for practitioners registered with the Medical Council of Jamaica to write prescriptions for medical marijuana if they believe it is the best treatment for their patient. These doctors are trained to legally write prescriptions for cannabis patients.
So what does that mean for you? While in Jamaica you’ll need to visit a doctor that’s registered with the Medical Council of Jamaica and talk to them about your need for medical cannabis. If searching for a doctor while you’re in Jamaica doesn’t sound like something you want to put on your to-do list, we can help!
Star Buds partners with an easy-to-use telemedicine service called MDLink that can help you get a prescription. They provide access to practitioners in Jamaica that are trained in medical cannabis and understand how it can help you. You can easily register with their patient portal to consult with a doctor online. Using MDLink can save you time and quickly get you on your way to accessing your medicine in Jamaica. Once you have your prescription, you can visit any Jamaican dispensary and make your purchases!