The Washington State Department of Health (DOH) issues and renews patients' medical cannabis cards, also known as medical recognition cards, in Washington. The following steps are required to renew an expired medical marijuana card in Washington State:
Currently, Washington State does not have an online system for cannabis patients to initiate a medical marijuana card renewal process. Patients must see their licensed physicians, who will renew their medical cannabis authorization. After that, the patient can meet a certified medical cannabis consultant at any medically-endorsed retail store and obtain a new medical marijuana recognition card.
A medical marijuana card in Washington is valid for as long as the patient's medical cannabis authorization is valid and must be renewed at the expiration of the medical cannabis authorization. Depending on a patient's treatment plan, medical cannabis authorization validity in Washington varies. Per RCW 69.51A.030, medical cannabis authorization for an adult patient aged 18 years and older in Washington State may remain valid for up to one year after issuance. For a marijuana patient who is a minor, the state's medical cannabis authorization may be good for up to six months after issuance.
Every registered medical marijuana patient in Washington State needs a doctor to renew their medical marijuana card. At the expiration of their medical cannabis authorization, hence, medical cannabis recognition card, a patient must schedule an appointment with their healthcare practitioner. The healthcare provider will complete and sign the Washington State Medical Cannabis Authorization Form to recertify the patient for a debilitating medical condition and recommend them for medical marijuana treatment.
The Washington State Department of Health does not keep a database of specific practitioners but permits the following types of practitioners to authorize qualifying patients for medical marijuana use:
Typically, medical marijuana patients must pay a Washington medical marijuana card renewal fee of $1 to the medically-endorsed retail store, which is remitted to the state's Department of Health. However, medically-endorsed retail stores are not restricted from charging more than $1, and the average renewal cost of a Washington medical cannabis recognition card may range between $1 and $10, depending on the store. Patients may also make some out-of-pocket expenses during healthcare visits for medical cannabis authorization.
After renewing their medical cannabis authorization from an approved Washington State healthcare practitioner, a cannabis patient can meet a certified medical marijuana consultant in any of the state's medically-endorsed marijuana stores. After the appointment with the consultant, the patient will be issued a new medical cannabis recognition card.
No. Washington medical marijuana laws do not make provisions for medical cannabis reciprocity. However, anyone aged 21 and older visiting Washington from out of state can buy marijuana products from any state-licensed cannabis retailer. If such a person needs marijuana for medical purposes, they may consider buying from a medically-endorsed retail store. This is because medically-endorsed retail stores typically serve registered patients and may have products suitable for medical use. However, out-of-state visitors who are also card-holding cannabis patients in their states will not enjoy the same benefits or protections as Washington medical marijuana cardholders.