Washington first approved medical marijuana in 1998, though the first medical dispensary didn’t open until 2012. Today patients in Washington can grow up to 15 plants in their residence and be in possession of up to three ounces of usable marijuana, 48 ounces of marijuana-infused product in solid form, 216 ounces of marijuana-infused product in liquid form, or 21 grams of marijuana concentrate. In 2012, Washington joined Colorado as the first two states to legalize marijuana possession and retail sales for recreational use.
How to Get a Medical Card in Washington
1. Schedule an appointment with your healthcare provider
To receive approval for a medical marijuana permit in the state of Washington, an applicant must first schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider licensed by the state.
2. Have healthcare provider fill out an authorization form
Have your healthcare provider fill out a printed copy of the state’s medical marijuana authorization form. (PDF available here) The form must state that the applicant has one of the medical conditions authorized for the use of medical marijuana. (See list of qualifying conditions below.)
3. Take the form to a licensed retail marijuana store
Take your printed and signed authorization form to a licensed dispensary, where it will be entered into the database. The fee for joining the registry is $1. After entering the registry, the patient will receive a medical recognition card. Here you can find a list of dispensaries with a certified medical marijuana consultant on staff who can register you into the database and create and issue a card. Contact the store first to see if you need to make an appointment.
The qualifying conditions for which patients in Washington can receive medical cannabis include:
- Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Epilepsy or other seizure disorder, or spasticity disorders
- Intractable pain, limited for the purpose of this chapter to mean pain unrelieved by standard medical treatments and medications
- Glaucoma, either acute or chronic, limited for the purpose of this chapter to mean increased intraocular pressure unrelieved by standard treatments and medications
- Crohn’s disease with debilitating symptoms unrelieved by standard treatments or medications
- Hepatitis C with debilitating nausea or intractable pain unrelieved by standard treatments or medications
- Diseases, including anorexia, which result in nausea, vomiting, wasting, appetite loss, cramping, seizures, muscle spasms, or spasticity, when these symptoms are unrelieved by standard treatments or medications
- Chronic renal failure requiring hemodialysis
- Posttraumatic stress disorder
- Traumatic brain injury
Mental health conditions do not qualify a patient to receive medical marijuana.
Where to Buy
Patients can purchase marijuana legally at hundreds of recreational use marijuana dispensaries across the state with or without a medical marijuana license.
Washington does not honor out-of-state medical marijuana licenses.
Taxes and Medical Marijuana in Washington
Medical marijuana is exempt from sales tax in Washington and the state’s 37% excise tax placed on retail marijuana sales.
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