How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Michigan

photo of a woman in a lab coat inspecting a cannabis plant in a field of lots of cannabis plants

Although recreational cannabis is not legal in Michigan, residents with a qualifying health condition can take advantage of medical marijuana. In fact, the state was an early adopter of medical marijuana laws in 2008, and according to Lansing State Journal, there are over 200,000 registered medical marijuana patients in Michigan. Whether you’re new to Michigan or just want to see if medical marijuana improves your health problems, the process for getting a medical marijuana card is pretty straightforward. All you have to do is download a form off the Internet, meet with a doctor, and get approved by the state. Then, you can take advantage of the many medical marijuana dispensaries in Michigan.

Here is a quick step-by-step guide to getting a medical marijuana card Michigan style:

Step 1 ? Download the Application

Compared to other countries and states, Michigan officials actually made it pretty easy for qualifying patients to receive medical marijuana. The first step is just to download the application to enroll in the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program. As explained in the application, you have to be at least 18 years old and a resident of Michigan to apply. If you are applying for a medical marijuana card on behalf of a minor, download and follow the instructions listed on the Michigan Medical Marihuana for Minors Program form instead. And for both forms, make sure you are downloading the official form from Michigan.gov.

According to Michigan medical marijuana laws, you can apply for someone else as their caregiver. This might be handy if you have an elderly person in your life with conditions that medical marijuana can assist with. Some examples of conditions improved by medical marijuana are arthritis, cancer symptoms, glaucoma, and tumors.

Step 2 ? Meet With a Doctor photo of a doctor with a clipboard talking to a female patient, showing that you have to talk to a doctor before you can get a medical marijuana card michigan

Once you have your form in hand, you will need to schedule and appointment with a doctor. There are some guidelines for selecting the right doctor:

  • The doctor must be a current licensed/practicing doctor
  • They must be in the state of Michigan (i.e. you can’t go to another state to get doctor’s approval)
  • The doctor must diagnose you with a condition or disease that qualifies for medical marijuana treatment

Before you make an appointment with a doctor, you may want to call around and see if the doctor is open to medical marijuana prescriptions. Unfortunately, the state of Michigan does not offer a list of cannabis-friendly physicians. Instead, you might have some trial and error trying to find the right doctor to discuss this alternative form of medicine. One good option is to ask other people using medical marijuana which doctor they went to – this will increase your chances of getting approved for a medical marijuana card.

It’s also important to note that your doctor may charge a consultation fee in addition to your usual insurance co-payment and medical marijuana application fees. When you are in the appointment, be honest with your doctor about why you think medical marijuana would be helpful for you and have the doctor fill out the Physical Recommendation Form.

Step 3 ? Gather & Submit Paperwork

After your doctor has done their part of the paperwork, there will still be a pretty good portion of it for the patient to complete. Keep in mind you will need access to a printer and scanner. If you are on a fixed budget, you can usually print and scan documents very cheaply at the public library.

Only residents of Michigan can apply for medical marijuana cards, so you will have to prove your residency status with a driver’s license, ID card from the state, or voter registration card and birth certificate. Select one of those items, scan it, and include it with your medical marijuana application packet.  If you go with the voter registration card, make sure it is signed. And of course, no matter what proof of residency you choose, make sure the copy is clear and legible. This will improve your chances of getting approved.

Once all of your paperwork is scanned, printed, and filled out, you are ready to submit it to the state for approval. The fee for the medical marijuana card Michigan is $60. If a caregiver is submitting it, there is an additional $25 fee.

Mail the application packet to:

Michigan Medical Marihuana Program
PO Box 30083
Lansing, MI 48909

Step 4 ? Wait for Approval

When all of that is done, the hardest part is waiting! It will take about 15 business days before you are informed of acceptance or rejection. If you wait over five weeks and do not get any information, call 517-284-6400 and select extension four for help with your application status.

If you’re approved, continue reading to learn how you can renew your card down the line and find out where the medical marijuana dispensaries are near you!

Step 5 ? Renewing Your Medical Marijuana Card Michigan

While it may be a huge relief when you get your medical marijuana card application approved, keep in mind it doesn’t last forever. You will have to renew your card 60 days prior to the expiration date listed on the card. Usually the renewal is processed quicker, in about two weeks instead of five weeks. But – keep in mind you will have to basically redo that process all over again, getting a doctor to fill out the forms and everything. The only good news is that starting October 8th 2018, Michigan doctors are allowed to complete the entire process with you online.

Medical Marijuana Laws in Michigan

Who is eligible for a medical marijuana card?

If you are looking for a little loophole to get weed legally, getting a medical marijuana card is a good way to protect yourself and ensure that you stay out of trouble. However, in states like Michigan, the list for people who qualify for medical marijuana is pretty short. To qualify, you have to have one of the following conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Hepatitis C
  • PTSD
  • Crohn's disease
  • OCD (Obsessive Compulsive Disorder)
  • Chronic Pain
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Autism
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Tourette's Syndrome
  • Parkinson's Disease
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Alzheimer's
  • Any chronic disease which causes pain, severe nausea, wasting syndrome, seizures, epilepsy, or severe muscle spasms

What can you get with your marijuana card? photo of marijuana tincture placed on top of a marijuana leaf

Once you have a medical marijuana card, you will have access to some pretty amazing products like edibles, concentrates, vape pens, bath bombs, tinctures, salves, and of course, dried flower that is actually the strain it is labeled as. You can speak with the patient specialist at the dispensary to find out what strains, products, and THC/CBD ratios might be most beneficial for your condition.

Patients in Michigan are allowed a maximum of 2.5 ounces of dried cannabis flower and can possess up to 12 plants for personal use. All medical marijuana products should be stored in a locked container or facility.

If you’re using medical marijuana for the first time, make sure you take things slow, especially with edibles. If you try cannabis for the first time and get too high, you can use some of the resources from Leafbuyer to calm down and bring yourself back to baseline. But overall, cannabis use will help you feel a big decrease in symptoms and improve your quality of life.

Finding Medical Marijuana in Michigan

Looking for a medical marijuana dispensary in Michigan? Here are a few to get you started, or you can view a full list by searching for your city at Leafbuyer.com.

Arbors Wellness

321 E Liberty St,
Ann Arbor, MI 48104
734-929-2602

Far West

21221 West 8 Mile Road,
Detroit, MI 48219
313-977-9911

Higher Society

10539 Joy Road,
Detroit, MI 48204
586-275-7207

Superior Alternative

132 East Aurora Street,
Ironwood, MI 49938
906-285-1284