Washington Medical Marijuana Card Renewal >
In Washington, a medical marijuana card (MMJ card), also known as a medical cannabis card, is a form of identification given to patients and designated providers (caregivers) that are registered in the Washington State medical cannabis database. Cardholders are protected from criminal liabilities for possession and purchasing up to the permissible amount of marijuana per the Revised Code of Washington (RCW) 69.51A.210. Although marijuana is illegal under the Federal Controlled Substance Act, the Washington State Initiative 17, enacted on February 26, 2015, legalized marijuana use by adults 21 years or older. They can possess not more than two ounces of marijuana, use it on private properties, and cultivate not more than six marijuana plants with a minimum of three matured plants.
The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) is responsible for the administration of the state's medical marijuana authorization database. The Department is also responsible for licensing and regulation of the medical marijuana consultant certificate, and setting the standard for medical marijuana products with the state.
Any resident (adult or minor) diagnosed with one or more qualifying medical conditions, and issued a medical cannabis authorization form by an authorized healthcare practitioner, can apply for a Washington MMJ card.
Yes, per RCW 69.51A.030 practitioners can authorize marijuana use by patients regardless of age as long as it is medically appropriate and acceptable per Washington's medical professional's standard of care. Minors (patients under 18 years) would have to designate a provider (at least 21 years old) to help in legally purchasing, growing, or providing marijuana to these minors. Designated providers can be the under-aged patient's parents or legal guardians. Patients in Washington are only legally allowed one designated provider at a time.
The only medical conditions that qualify for medical cannabis use and medical marijuana cards in Washington are:
Mental health conditions, including depression, bipolar disorder, and anxiety, do not qualify for medical marijuana in Washington. This is due to insufficient scientific evidence that attests to improved health outcomes from medical marijuana use in these conditions. Numerous petitions requesting the addition of mental health conditions to Washington's list of qualifying medical conditions before July 24, 2015, were declined. The addition of a medical condition to Washington's list would require legislative action.
Unlike other states, Washington medical marijuana cards are issued by medically endorsed stores. To obtain a Washington medical marijuana card:
In Washington, designated providers, also known as primary caregivers, can get their medical marijuana identification cards (MMIC) by registering in the state medical cannabis authorization database. To register, a designated provider must be at least 21 years or older and must:
A primary caregiver would need two copies of their patient's medical marijuana authorization forms printed on tamper-resistant paper. These two copies are required to be separately signed by the designated provider and their patient. With these forms and state-issued photo identification, designated providers can visit any medically endorsed store to meet their in-house certified medical marijuana consultant. The consultant adds the caregiver’s information to the medical cannabis authorization database and issues them an MMIC.
Immediately a caregiver or patient information is registered in the state medical marijuana authorization database, their medical marijuana identification card (MMIC) is generated and issued by the certified medical marijuana consultant.
Washington only issues medical marijuana cards through its licensed medically-endorsed retail stores. Applicants must visit these stores to submit their details and receive MMJ cards.
Medical marijuana cards in Washington costs are between $1 and $10, but can also be more depending on the medically endorsed retail store (dispensaries) you go to. Dispensaries are not restricted in the amounts they are allowed to charge for medical marijuana cards and these fees are later transferred to the Washington State Department of Health.
The following documents are required for a patient or caregivers to be registered in Washington's medical marijuana authorization database:
Yes, per RCW 42.56.625 all patients and designated providers' records in the Washington state medical marijuana authorization database are exempted from disclosure. These records include personally identifiable information such as names and addresses. The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) also set the national standard for patients' healthcare information protection. The federal act was enacted in 1996 and it prohibits the disclosure of sensitive patient information to third parties without the patient's consent. Violation of this act can lead to fines between $100 to a maximum of $1.5 million per record leaked by covered entries.
Common information found on a Washington medical marijuana card includes;
No, nobody can track you through the Washington state medical marijuana authorization database as it would be a violation of HIPAA and state laws. Although a selected few professionals can access the state database for different reasons. These professionals include healthcare practitioners, certified medical marijuana consultants, database administrators for data maintenance, and the Washington State Department of Health to ensure patients compliance.
Other agencies given access to the database include the Washington State Department of Revenue for tax reports,Washington State Liquor, and Cannabis Board for aggregated data reports. Law enforcement agencies and employees of medically endorsed marijuana retail stores are also provided access to the database to enable them to verify MMJ card authenticity.