The state of Michigan has long been one of the leaders in progressive cannabis legislation.
Medical use of cannabis has been legal in the state since 2008, when the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act became law. In 2019, adult recreational use of cannabis was legalized in Michigan and dispensaries have opened to the public statewide.
If recreational use is legal, why should you bother getting a medical marijuana card? We’ll show you how to get a Michigan medical marijuana card and go over some of the benefits.
How to Easily get a Medical Marijuana Card in Michigan
If talking to a doctor about medical cannabis feels a little overwhelming, there are services available to help you sail through it with ease. Veriheal, a medical cannabis network, helps connect patients with doctors who are licensed to provide medical cannabis certifications in their state.
They can even help you set up the appointment. Whether meeting with a doctor in person fills you with anxiety or you simply don’t have time to sit in a waiting room, some states even allow you to obtain your certification through an online video evaluation.
Veriheal can save you money, too. Their $199 fee includes your copay, the consultation fee, and the cost of your medical evaluation. If you aren’t approved, they even give you your money back!
Application Process And Fees
Once you obtain a recommendation from your doctor, you’ll need to apply to the Michigan Medical Marijuana Program. The application process is fairly straightforward and inexpensive, and you can apply online or by mail.
First, you’ll need to fill out the application form for a registry identification card which requires your contact information and date of birth. This form also affords you the option to designate a caregiver who is authorized to obtain medical marijuana on your behalf. You will need your caregiver’s contact information and date of birth as well.
With your application, you’ll need to submit a $40 application fee, your Physician Certification Form, and proof of Michigan residency in the form of a valid Michigan driver’s license, a personal identification card, or signed voter registration(submitting a copy of your voter registration requires an additional form of identity verification.)
If you designated a caregiver, a copy of their driver’s license or personal identification card is also required. If you’re filling out the application on behalf of someone else, you’ll need to submit proof of legal guardianship or Medical Durable Power of Attorney.
Online applicants will receive an email indicating whether their application has been approved or denied and an approval email can serve as a temporary card until your registration ID is received. Cards are valid for two years and must be renewed. The cost to renew your medical registration is also $40.
Benefits of a Michigan Marijuana Card
You may be wondering why anyone would bother getting an MMJ registration ID when cannabis is legal for personal use. As it turns out, there are a few key benefits:
This shouldn’t be considered legal advice, but being part of a medical marijuana program can help keep you out of legal hot water if you’re found in possession of cannabis. You should still make an effort to operate within all confines of the law, but local governments have many of their own regulations and ordinances(take Ann Arbor, for example) and having a registration ID for medical use can offer an added degree of protection.
It could also offer you protection from employer harassment if you’re using cannabis as recommended by your physician.
While medical users must still pay a 6% sales tax on their products, the state of Michigan recently lifted the former 3% excise tax on medical cannabis.
Recreational users are still required to pay this tax. While 3% may not sound like a lot, think about it this way: If you spend $300 per month on weed, that’s an extra $108 per year in taxes.
If you use cannabis to manage a health condition on your own, doing so under medical supervision could offer better results. Your physician can make dosing recommendations based on your condition and their experience, which could help you feel better in the long run.
There are a number of health-related reasons you may be eligible for a medical marijuana card. To obtain a medical marijuana card in Michigan, a medical doctor or doctor of osteopathic medicine with a current license to practice in the state must verify that you have at least one of the qualifying conditions outlined by the Marijuana Regulatory Agency.
These conditions include:
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Alzheimer’s Disease
- Nail Patella
- Post traumatic stress disorder
- Obsessive compulsive disorder
- Rheumatoid Arthritis
- Spinal Cord Injury
- Ulcerative colitis
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Chronic Pain
- Cerebral Palsy
You are also qualified if you have a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces any of the following:
- Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
- Severe and Chronic Pain
- Severe nausea
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms
If your doctor determines that medical marijuana is an appropriate treatment for your qualifying condition, they’ll fill out and sign a Physician Certification Form, which you’ll need for your application.
Michigan Marijuana Laws
Michigan has legalized the recreational use of cannabis for adults 21 years of age or older, with the notable exception of Ann Arbor, home of the University of Michigan. In the rest of the state, possession of up to 2.5 ounces(or 10 ounces if you are within your personal residence) has been decriminalized.
Possession of up to 15 grams of cannabis concentrate is also permitted. Additionally, there is also no penalty for the cultivation of fewer than 12 cannabis plants for personal use.
While personal use has been legalized, the possession of larger quantities or unlicensed distribution still carries potential fines and jail time. Driving under the influence of a controlled substance is also strictly prohibited.
Overall, the process is not too difficult or costly. Do keep in mind that you will probably have to pay more than $50 to obtain your medical marijuana card in Michigan. The price of individual consultations may vary.