1) Find out if you qualify for the program
You must be a Colorado resident, and have one of the states approved qualifying conditions. You can find the list of qualifying conditions in the section below.
2) Get an evaluation from a qualified Colorado medical marijuana doctor
If you have a disabling condition, you can get your medical marijuana recommendation from a dentist, physician assistant, advanced nurse practitioner, podiatrist, or optometrist.
If your condition is only debilitating, you must get your recommendation from a licensed Colorado M.D. or D.O.
3) Apply with the state online, in person or by mail
The fastest way to get your medical marijuana card in Colorado is to apply online. If your information is complete, you should be approved in 1 to 3 days.
In the past, Colorado has frequently made headlines regarding its progressive attitude towards the legalization of marijuana. Medical marijuana has been legal in the state for 20 years, first being legalized by Amendment 20 in November of 2000. So how do you become a medical marijuana patient in Colorado?
Colorado residents must apply with the Medical Marijuana Registry program established by the Department of Public Health and Environment. However, not everyone qualifies for the program.
To become a patient, residents:
* Must have residency in the state of Colorado along with a valid social security number
* Must be receiving treatment for a medical condition that qualifies for marijuana treatments
* Must be evaluated by a state-licensed marijuana physician and receive a recommendation for medical use.
Only those patients that are certified as having one of the following are eligible for cannabis treatments:
* HIV or AIDS
Any on-going or debilitating medical condition or disease that produces the following symptoms of which medical marijuana treatments can reasonably be expected to help alleviate:
* Persistent muscle spasms
* Severe nausea
* Severe pain
Then patients must apply with the Department of Public Health and Environment. This can be done online, by mail or in-person.
Applying online: This is the quickest and easiest way to apply. Most applications are approved within 1- 3 days if the information is correct. Just head on over to the Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry.
Applying by mail: Patients must first complete the applications found here. Applications must be personally mailed in by the patient. We recommend that you send in your application through certified mail so you can ensure its delivery. Alongside your application, you must include your physician recommendation, a copy of your driver's license or ID, and payment for the $15 application fee.
For those patients without a driver's licenses or IDs from Colorado, a Proof of Identity and Residency Waiver must be included instead, along with the necessary residency documents. Keep in mind that these waivers are only valid for a year. Those patients designating a caregiver during their application process, they must include their Caregiver Acknowledgement form and a copy of their caregiver's ID. If the applying patient is a minor, their parent or guardian must also submit their parental consent form.
Applying in person: Some patients may also choose to apply in person. This can be done Monday-Friday from the hours of 7AM to 6PM. To do so, patients must submit all the previously mentioned documentation in a sealed envelope inside the Registry's drop-box. The box can be found at 710 South Ash Street, Denver, Colorado.
There is perhaps no other state as famous for its progressive cannabis policies than Colorado. California may come in a close second, but Colorado became the first U.S. state to legalize recreational marijuana in 2012. Medical marijuana had long been legal in Colorado, with the Medical Use of Marijuana Initiative being passed in the year 2000. The measure passed with slim margins, as only 54% of Colorado residents voted in favor. Nevertheless, voters would go on to pass Amendment 64 that legalized recreational marijuana in the state.
The resulting legislation, along with the allowance for out-of-state buyers, has created a growing cannabis tourism industry. More recently, a bill was passed in 2019 that allows businesses to set up social marijuana smoking locations where the legal use of cannabis is permitted.
Colorado is a western state located west of the Great Plains bordered by Wyoming, Utah, New Mexico, Kansas, Nebraska, Arizona, and Oklahoma. Housing just shy of 6 million residents, Colorado is the 21st most populated U.S. state. The state derives its name from the Colorado River, of which Spanish explorers named it the Rio Colorado. The area was first established as a territory of the United States during the Civil War so that the Union had greater control over the resource-rich Rocky Mountains. In 1876 the state was admitted into the Union as the 38th state.
Colorado is a famously popular tourist attraction for skiers and snowboarders given its proximity to the Rocky Mountains. Some of the most notable attractions are Mesa Verde National Park, Garden of the Gods, Pikes Peak, the Great Sand Dunes, Vail Ski Resort, Breckenridge Ski Resort, Aspen, Maroon Bells, Copper Mountain, and Mount Evans.
Colorado was one of the earliest states to legalize medical and recreational marijuana. It is perhaps the state most famous for having done so, as well. The state program is wildly successful, generating hundreds of millions in additional tax revenues, which are used to invest in school programs.
Anyone that is at least 21 years old is allowed to purchase and possess up to 1 ounce or 28 grams in one instance. This applies to out-of-state visitors as well. Qualifying medical patients are limited to 2-ounce possession limits. However, those patients with severe medical conditions may be eligible for large amounts.
Colorado residents are also allowed to buy a mix of several forms of marijuana products at once. However, the marijuana laws were changed in October of 2016 regarding products with high levels of THC, such as dabs, wax, budder, etc. These changes limited the purchasing and possession limits of these products for recreational users. Some have argued that because 28 grams of marijuana concentrate contains significantly more THC than 28 grams of flower, consumers should be limited to much smaller amounts when purchasing. As such, the Marijuana Equivalency rule was established, which states that 8g of concentrates should be viewed the same as 1oz of flower. 800mg of edible marijuana products are the equivalent to 1oz of flower, as well.
Keep in mind, the Marijuana Equivalency rule only applies to amounts sold. All medical marijuana patients and recreational users are allowed to legally possess 1oz (or 28g) of THC, regardless of its particular form.
Several forms of marijuana are available to Colorado medical patients. A wide variety of strains of flower are available. Edibles, hash, kief, THC concentrates (such as wax, shatter, budder) can be found at nearly every dispensary. As of now, the Colorado Medical Marijuana Program has placed few regulatory restrictions on the types of marijuana that can be sold.
Colorado's medical marijuana legislation mandates that dispensaries are allowed to operate between the hours of 8AM to 12PM. Local municipalities can pass additional restrictions on dispensaries hours of operation if they so choose. The city of Denver, for example, does not allow its dispensaries to operate past 10PM. Be sure to check the specific rules, if any, that are in your local area.
No, it is against the law to consume marijuana in public. Colorado medical patients can only use their cannabis in private places, such as their residence. Smoking in public areas may result in criminal penalties.
Colorado residents, medical patients or otherwise, are not allowed to smoke or consume marijuana in a dispensary. The same goes for smoke shops and other indoor public places, such as restaurants, lounges, bars, etc. However, there are some cannabis lounges that patients are allowed to consume marijuana at. Not only that, but legislation passed in 2019 permits businesses to open social smoking areas on their property if they wish.
No, medical and recreational cannabis cannot be transported over state lines. To do so is a criminal offense. Driving under the influence will also result in DUIs, and those patients caught with cannabis products within their vehicles can be charged with criminal offenses.
Colorado's legislation outlines penalties that can be imposed on those that violate the marijuana laws. There is a range of different penalties that could be imposed, from anything between small fines to prison sentences.
Colorado's medical marijuana application costs $25. Patients must pay the fee every time their registration is renewed.
The earliest patients can renew their cards is 30 days from the expiration of their current registration. If a patient currently has online access to their registry account, a notification will be sent when they are eligible to renew.
Yes. You must revisit your evaluating physician every year when renewing your MMJ registration.
Medical marijuana registry cards can have valid registration periods from anywhere between 60 days to one year. Those patients with debilitating medical conditions are typically registered for one year. Ultimately, it is up to the evaluating physician to determine the appropriate registration period. The period begins on the day you are approved for medical use.
Patients can request access to their registration information by following these steps:
* Log into the patient account.
* Click “New Request Access to Patient Registration.”
* Enter all the requested information.
* Provide a copy of a valid Colorado ID or driver’s license.
* Electronically sign the form and submit the request.
Employees of the MMJ Registry will then review the patient's request. Following their review, the Registry will send the patient an email with additional instructions on how to access their information.
No. The Health Department can provide paper applications to be received by mail to those patients that do not have access to the internet. Just keep in mind that applications done by mail will take significantly longer to process than those done online. Not only that but if applying by mail, patients must conduct all their communications with the Marijuana Registry by mail.
No, patients cannot get medical marijuana from a dispensary and their cultivating caregiver. If a patient has a designated cultivating caregiver, they must get their cannabis from them. However, this does not apply to parents of a patient under the age of 18. These parents are listed as the primary caregiver for the minor patient and are allowed to legally obtain cannabis from a cultivating caregiver and a dispensary.
Only those patients without the ability to leave their homes or who are minors can designate a transporting caregiver.
You can find all the necessary corrections under the "Patient Notifications" tab in your profile.
No. The Medical Marijuana Registry is not responsible for maintaining info on what dispensaries a patient is registered to. Instead, this is the responsibility of the Marijuana Enforcement Division (MED) in the Department of Revenue. When a patient chooses to obtain their medical marijuana from a licensed dispensary, they must work with the dispensary to complete the forms and documentation required by the MED. If you need additional information, feel free to visit the MED’s website, or call their offices at 303-205-8421.
The role of the caregiver was changed when Senate Bill 15-014 was passed. This bill required caregivers to register with the Department of Revenue beginning on January 1, 2017.
Yes, there are four kinds of caregivers in Colorado. They are:
* Parents of patients who are under the age of 18.
* Advising Caregivers, who merely advise a patient on their medicinal use of cannabis and nothing else.
* Transporting Caregivers, who are allowed to transport marijuana on behalf of those patients who are homebound. (Must register with the DOR).
* Cultivating Caregivers, who are allowed to grow marijuana on behalf of their designated patients. (Must register with the DOR).
No, as of now, caregivers cannot apply through mail-in applications. All caregivers must apply online using the Caregiver Registration system.
To renew your status as a caregiver, simply click the “save and re-submit registration" button found in your account. All caregivers must renew their registrations every year. Failure to do so will result in a revocation of your patient counts.
The exact amount of cultivating plants can vary depending upon the local jurisdiction. Caregivers must review the local laws, ordinances, or rules regarding marijuana cultivation in their municipality to learn their cultivation limit.
No, the parents or legal guardians for patients under the age of 18 do not need to register with the Caregiver Registry, despite being considered a primary caregiver. However, they will need to register as a caregiver if they are cultivating more than 36 plants for their designated patient.
Yes, cultivating or transporting caregivers must maintain a list of their patients, including the registry identification card number of each patient and a recommended total plant count, at all times, according to Colorado Revised Statues § 25-1.5-106 (II).
Yes, all patient information is kept safe and secure by the MMJ Registry. Working alongside the Colorado Office of Information Technology, the Registry has established a secure online database that stores patient, caregiver, and physician informational while keeping it confidential. This database is in compliance with all Colorado and federal requirements regarding the confidentiality, accessibility, and security of health information. This means that no information, at any point, can be sold to third parties for any reason. The information can only be accessed by patients, physicians, and caregivers. To ensure the safety of your information, do not share your registration information with anyone, including your doctor or dispensary staff.
Colorado established a new medical marijuana system that can be accessed online that consolidates information regarding the patients, physicians, and caregivers. However, no one can access this data besides those state agencies that are legally authorized to do so.
Patient and Provider Information
Given the fact that personal health information must remain confidential, data regarding the patients and physicians is stored in a database that can only be accessed by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. This information cannot legally be shared with any other state entity or government department. If a patient is approached or arrested by a member of law enforcement, their status as a medical marijuana patient can be verified with information from the medical marijuana registry.
All information and data regarding Colorado caregivers are stored in a separate database than that of medical patients. All medical marijuana caregivers must also register with the Department of Revenue (DOR). As such, the DOR is permitted to verify a primary caregiver's cultivation or transportation addresses with local municipalities or law enforcement agencies if they receive requests for information verification.
Designated caregivers have access to their patient's registry ID numbers, but not their names or other forms of personal identification. Using patient ID numbers can access the total number of patients they are designated to, along with the patient's cultivating plant count.