Medical Marijuana Registries by State

state mmj registries
By Nick Congleton Updated March 5th

Fact-checked by Deb Tharp

The legalization of medical marijuana for many states in the US has led to a number of medical marijuana programs. This allows MMJ patients to conveniently access medical cannabis while providing benefits available only to medical marijuana users.

In this article, we discuss medical marijuana registries by state: what they are, who can sign up, and how you can learn more about your state’s program.

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What is a Medical Marijuana Registry?

Medical marijuana registries are a way for states with legal medical cannabis programs to keep track of patients, caregivers, and physicians that are enrolled in the program. It allows the state to monitor medical cannabis ID cards, who holds them, and when they expire. 

In some states, it’s a way for dispensaries to look up registered patients. It’s also a way for law enforcement to distinguish between legal cannabis patients (residents and visitors) and people who are using cannabis illegally. 

The state registry websites are also a wealth of information about the state’s program for patients, caregivers, and families. These websites will break down how to qualify for the program, who can recommend medical cannabis, and how to get started with medical cannabis. Alameda County in California has an excellent example of a medical cannabis registry from a long-running and well-established program. It’s a great resource to get acquainted with what to look for on a state registry website. 

Who is Required to Sign Up for the Registry?

Medical Marijuana Registries by State

In most states, patients need to register with the state’s medical cannabis registry in order to receive a medical cannabis ID. The registration is usually confidential, and can only be accessed by the state and possibly licensed dispensaries. In many cases, law enforcement only has access to the registry to check a patient’s registration status. 

Caregivers for minor patients and patients that require assistance in purchasing and administering their medication are also required to register. They usually receive ID cards of their own, since they will be handling medication.

In a few states – like California and Virginia – the state registry is optional, but may offer patients access to unique benefits, like greater tax savings or a physical patient ID to supplement their digital recommendation.

Some states also have specific requirements for physicians to be able to recommend medical cannabis. In those situations, the physicians are usually required to register as well.

How Do Patients Register with the State?

Not all state registries are the same. 

  • Some require patients to register manually. Most often, those states have an online registration form to fill out, including uploading key documentation, like your state ID and the physician’s recommendation. 
  • Other states will have the physician automatically register patients after their evaluation. 

Each state will also have its own requirements for registration. 

  • Most require patients to be over 18 years old. Patients under 18 will require a parent or guardian as a caregiver, who will also need to register. 
  • Most states also have a list of qualifying medical conditions. A licensed physician will need to evaluate the patient for one of those conditions and recommend medical cannabis 

For your state’s laws and procedures, check out NuggMD’s in-depth guides on state laws and regulations, or select your state below to get started.

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What are Qualifying Conditions?

In most states, patients need to have been diagnosed with a serious medical condition that has been approved by the state legislative body, regulators, or medical board. 

Some states have longer and more exhaustive lists, while others are much more restrictive. And a few states have done away with their list of qualifying conditions, entirely, allowing physicians to use their own discretion as to whether or not medical cannabis would be an effective treatment. 

While there’s no universal list of qualifying conditions, there are some that are common across most states with medical cannabis programs.

Medical Marijuana Registry by State

US marijuana legality by state 2022
StateMMJ RegistryLimited to Specific List of Conditions?Age of Eligibility Without Parental ConsentResidency Required?
AL(registry not active as of Oct 2022) Alabama Medical Cannabis CommissionYes, but chronic pain for which conventional therapies and opiates should not be used or are ineffective included19 yrs
Note: Patients under 19 can't use cannabis with more than 3% THC 
Residents only
AKMedical Marijuana Registry - State of AlaskaYes, but severe or chronic pain included18 yrsResidents only
ARArkansas Department of HealthYes, but intractable pain (pain that has not responded to ordinary medications, treatment, or surgical measures for more than six (6) months) included18 yrs
Note: Patients under 21 can't smoke cannabis
Residents only. Out-of-state patients with an Arkansas-approved qualifying condition and MMJ card or equivalent from home state can apply for a 90-day visitor's card.
AZArizona Department of Health ServicesYes, but chronic pain included18 yrs 
Note: Patients under 18 need a parent or guardian caregiver
Residents only. MMJ patients from other states can POSSESS, but not purchase cannabis in Arizona.
CADepartment of Cannabis ControlNo, although SB420 lists conditions, Prop 215 allows cannabis for any condition the doctor feels will benefit18 yrsResidents only, but possible to apply without a permanent California address
COColorado Department of Public Health & EnvironmentYes, but severe pain included18 yrs
Note: First time applicants 18-20 years old will need to submit certifications from two providers from two different medical practices
Residents only
CTConnecticut State Department of Consumer ProtectionYes, but chronic pain of at least 6 months duration associated with a specified underlying chronic condition refractory to other treatment intervention included18 yrs
Note: Patients under 18 need a recommendation from two independent physicians, one of whom must be the patient’s primary physician
Residents only
DCAlcoholic Beverage Regulation AdministrationNo for adults
Yes for minors
18 yrs
Note: Patients 21 and over can self-certify without a doctor’s recommendation or qualifying condition
Residents only. MMJ patients from other states can use their home-state card to purchase at dispensaries.
DEDelaware Health and Social ServicesYes18 yrs
Note: Qualifying conditions and product types limited for patients under 18
Residents only
FLFlorida Department of HealthYes, but medical conditions of the same kind or class included18 yrsResidents only, but seasonal residents can apply for the program
GAGA Access to Medical Cannabis CommissionYes, but intractable pain included18 yrsResidents only. Sales haven't started yet. Out-of-state patients can possess low THC oil.
HIState of Hawaii Department of HealthYes, but severe pain caused by a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment included18 yrsOut of state patients can apply for two 60-day cards per year
IAThe Office of Medical CannabidiolYes, but chronic pain included18 yrsResidents only. Out-of-state patients may possess cannabis in accordance with Iowa rules.
IDN/AN/AN/AN/A
ILIllinois Department of Public HealthYes, but chronic pain included18 yrs
Note: Patients under 21 are only allowed infused products, only allowed for seizures if under 18 
Residents only
INN/AN/AN/AN/A
KSN/AN/AN/AN/A
KYN/AN/AN/AN/A
LALouisiana Department of HealthYes18 yrs
Note: Patients under 21 need a specific recommendation from their physician for smokable cannabis. Patients under 18 with autism must also have certification from a pediatric subspecialist
Residents only
MACannabis Control CommissionNo18 yrs 
Note: Patients under 18 need parental consent and certification by two certifying health care providers, one of whom must be a pediatrician or pediatric specialist
Residents only
MDMaryland Medical Cannabis CommissionYes, but severe or chronic pain included18 yrsResidents only
MEOffice of Cannabis PolicyYes, but intractable pain included18 yrsResidents only. Visiting qualifying patients can purchase up to 2.5 oz.
MIMichigan Medical Marijuana ProgramYes, but chronic pain included18 yrsResidents only. Visiting patients from other states are allowed to purchase.
MNMinnesota Department of HealthYes, but chronic pain included18 yrsResidents only
MOMissouri Department of Health & Senior ServicesNo18 yrs unless emancipatedResidents only. If Amendment 3 passes in November, out-of-state patients can purchase.
MSMississippi State Department of HealthYes, but chronic pain caused by a medical condition or its treatment included18 yrsOut of state patients can apply for a temporary card
MTCannabis Control DivisionYes, but Chronic pain that persistent andsignificantly interferes with dailyactivities included18 yrs
Note: patients under 18 can't smoke
Residents only
NCN/AN/AN/AN/A
NDNorth Dakota Department of HealthYes, but severe debilitating pain is allowed19 yrs
Note: minor patients are limited to products with no more than 6% THC
Residents only
NEN/AN/AN/AN/A
NHNew Hampshire Department of Health & Human ServicesYes, but moderate to severe chronic pain included18 yrsResident's only. Visiting qualifying patients will be allowed once regulations are promulgated for recently passed law.
NJNew Jersey Division of Medical CannabisYes, but chronic pain included18 yrsResidents only. Visiting qualifying patients can purchase.
NMNew Mexico Department of HealthYes, but severe chronic pain included18 yrsResidents only. Visiting qualifying patients can purchase.
NVNevada Department of Health and Human ServicesYes, but severe pain included18 yrsResidents only. Visitors from some states are offered reciprocity.
NYNew York Office of Cannabis ManagementNo18 yrsResidents only
OHMedical Marijuana Control ProgramYes, but pain that is either chronic and severe or intractable included18 yrsResidents only
OKOklahoma Medical Marijuana AuthorityNo18 yrsResidents only. Visitors from some states can apply for a temporary card.
OROregon Health AuthorityYes, but medical condition or treatment that causes severe pain included18 yrsResidents only
PAPennsylvania Department of HealthYes, but severe chronic or intractable pain included18 yrsResidents only
RIRhode Island Department of HealthYes, but severe, debilitating, chronic pain included18 yrsResidents only, but they offer full reciprocity to out-of-state patients
SCN/AN/AN/AN/A
SDSouth Dakota Department of HealthYes18 yrs
Note: patients under 21 may not smoke
Residents only
TNN/AN/AN/AN/A
TX(Low-THC only) Texas Department of Public SafetyYes18 yrsResidents only
UTUtah Department of Health & Human ServicesYes, but pain or rare conditions not managed by conventional meds or physical interventions includedPatients under 21 must petition the Compassionate Use Board to join programResidents only. Reciprocity offered to patients from other states with similar conditions.
VAVirginia Board of PharmacyNo18 yrsResidents only
VTVermont Cannabis Control BoardYes, but medical conditions that cause chronic pain included18 yrsResidents only
WAWashington Department of HealthYes, but intractable pain unrelieved by standard treatments or medications is included18 yrsResidents only
WIN/AN/AN/AN/A
WVOffice of Medical CannabisYes, but severe chronic or intractable pain included18 yrsResidents only
WYN/AN/AN/AN/A

Medical Marijuana Registry FAQs

mmj registry by state

Is my data privacy safe?

Each state database is different, but they’re generally only accessible by authorized personnel within the state government. Most states have laws about when and how law enforcement can access the medical marijuana registry.

What happens when I’m included in the medical marijuana registry?

In most states, not much. The registry is just a tool the state uses to keep track of who can legally purchase and possess medical cannabis.

Is the registration process different for caregivers?

The process is usually very similar, and physicians can register caregivers at the same time as patients in some states. But every state has its own process for caregivers (and some don’t allow caregivers at all). So it’s best to check with your state’s registry for the exact details. 

Can I own a gun if I’m on a medical cannabis registry?

No. Since the federal government still considers cannabis an illegal drug, even for medical purposes, it is illegal for medical cannabis patients to own a firearm. In some very rare cases, legislation may attempt to override federal law on this point. For instance, in Texas, the program specifically states that being an MMJ patient does not necessarily disqualify a resident from owning firearms. In Missouri, Amendment 3 would codify medical marijuana patients' Second Amendment rights if it passes. Check with a qualified attorney in your state to learn more.

Will I be on a government list if I register?

Since the registration is a government list, yes. That said, access to the list is limited in nearly all states because the list is essentially a medical record. Many states have laws preventing any kind of persecution based on registration status, and the registry can’t be used by law enforcement except to look up registration status in most states. 

How long will it take to get my medical marijuana card after I register?

That varies from state to state. Some states issue temporary forms of ID for use until the permanent card arrives (typically within 2-3 weeks of registering). Others don’t provide physical ID cards at all. And in some states, patients must wait for the state to process their application and mail their physical card, which can take 30 days or longer.

Can I take my name off the registry?

Most states allow patients to leave the medical cannabis program and have their names removed from the registry whenever they choose. That said, registration only lasts for a year at a time in most states, and you’ll be removed from the registry if your card expires.

Can the federal government see that I’m a medical cannabis patient?

In recent years, the federal government hasn’t interfered with state medical cannabis programs. That doesn’t mean it’s impossible, but these registries are internal state databases for use within the state, and granting the federal government access would probably require a court order of some sort.

No appointment needed. Only billed if approved.

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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