Medical marijuana has actually been around in Michigan for quite some time – believe it or not, state voters approved the original legislation way back in November 2008. However, under a new set of laws that went into effect back in December 2016, the state is finally starting to see its expected surge in MMJ applicants. And fortunately, the new application process is very streamlined and simple.
If you live in The Great Lakes State and require an MMJ card, then this informative guide on how to get a medical marijuana card in Michigan is for you.
Make Sure Your MI Medical Marijuana Application is Legitimate!
First, though, it’s important to understand that only applicants through the official Michigan Medical Marijuana Program may obtain a registry ID card. There have been reports of third-party licensing and rumors that a physician’s recommendation and a completed application may serve as a temporary registration card, but this is not true.
| Unless you have an official MMJ ID card from the state of Michigan, you may not purchase medical cannabis.
Also, if you are applying for a medical card in Michigan or have applied for one in the past, it is important to understand the following:
- All aspects of medical marijuana registration are administered through the Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation (BMMR), which is housed in the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs (LARA)
- Any other vendor(s) claiming to supply marijuana ID cards – or claiming to be able to issue them in the same day – in MI are not legitimate.
How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card?
Residents of Michigan actually have it relatively easy compared to other states in the country in terms of applying for medical marijuana. Here are the basic steps for how to apply for a medical marijuana card in Michigan:
Update: As of December 6, 2018, recreational cannabis is legal in Michigan (due to the passing of Proposal 1). However, recreational dispensaries will not be up and running and adults will not be able to access any marijuana products until early 2020. For the time being, applying for an MMJ card is still the only way to purchase and use legal medical marijuana in Michigan.
Step 1 – Download the official application and meet with a doctor
The first step to applying for a medical marijuana card in the state of Michigan is to download and print the official MMMP Application Packet.
Once you have the application, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with a currently licensed/practicing doctor in the state of Michigan to see whether or not you have a condition that qualifies for treatment with medical marijuana (see list of qualifying conditions below).
On the last page of the application is the Physician Recommendation Form – this will need to be filled out and signed by the recommending doctor and submitted along with the other documents in the application packet.
Also, it is important to understand that the state of Michigan does not supply a list of marijuana-recommending physicians – you will need to take initiative and get in touch with a physician’s office to see if a cannabis recommendation is a possibility (feel free to get in touch with us for recommendations on where you can go).
Also, beware that many offices will charge a consultation fee that is additional to the state’s application fee.
Step 2 – Complete the application packet and gather supplemental documents
After you have visited your doctor and he/she has filled out the Physician Recommendation Form documenting that you have a medical marijuana-qualifying condition, you will need to proceed with filling out the rest of the Application Packet.
Please note that in order to get a Medical Marijuana Card in Michigan, you MUST be a resident of the state. You will need to provide proof of residency via one of the following ways:
- A valid Michigan driver’s license, OR
- A personal ID card from the state of MI, OR
- A signed MI voter registration card
A clear and legible copy of one of the above forms MUST be mailed in with the application packet to be considered for approval. Also, be aware that a copy of a voter registration card without a signature is not valid – if you submit your proof of residency via voter registration, you will need to include additional proof of identity via a government-issued document that includes your name and birth (if you have any questions about which type of documents qualify, call 517-284-6400 or e-mail BHP-MMMPINFO@michigan.gov).
In addition to the proof of residency, all completed applications must include:
- A $60 patient application fee (in the form of a check or money order made out to State of Michigan – MMMP)
*Please beware that the process of how to apply for medical marijuana in Michigan is different for individuals under the age of 18. To apply for medical marijuana in Michigan as a minor, please refer to this form.
Also, if you need to have your official caregiver submit your application on your behalf, be advised that the process is somewhat different (refer to the state’s Frequently Asked Question page on caregiver registry.).
Step 3 – Submit the application packet and wait for approval
Once you have your payment and all of your documents completed and in order, you are then ready to mail the Application Packet to the MMMP program for reviewal. Submit all documents (including application packet, physician recommendation form, payment, and proof of residency) to the following address:
Michigan Medical Marihuana Program
PO Box 30083
Lansing, MI 48909
If the application was submitted completely and in order, Michigan is actually required by law to notify you within 15 business days whether it was accepted or rejected. (If you submitted your application more than 5 weeks ago and have not received your registry ID card, you can inquire by calling 517-284-6400 and selecting option #4).
What are the Medical Marijuana Costs Involved?
The Michigan Registry Patient fee is $60. Caregiver Fees are priced at $25.
What Conditions are Eligible to Receive a Medical Marijuana Card?
The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act, Proposal 1 allows patients suffering from the following conditions to apply for an MMJ card and buy cannabis products from operating dispensaries:
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Crohn’s Disease
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease
Also, patients suffering from a “chronic or debilitating medical condition” that causes one of the following will be allowed to apply for an MMJ card:
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome;
- severe and chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Seizures, including those characteristics of epilepsy; or
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristics of multiple sclerosis
What Are Approved Medical Marijuana Patients Entitled To?
If your application for medical marijuana is approved by the state of Michigan, you will be allowed to:
Possess an “adequate supply of cannabis,” which is defined as: a maximum quantity of no more than 2.5 ounces and 12 plants (though please note that the state does require you to keep all marijuana substances in a closed and locked facility).
Also, if you decide you want to cultivate and grow your own medicine, you will need to declare as such on the application form. Beware, however, that there is a distinction between personal cultivation and commercial cultivation. Personal cultivation allows for an aforementioned 12 plants, while commercial permits are divided into three classes:
- Class A – Permits you to grow a maximum of 500 plants
- Class B – Permits you to grow a maximum of 1000 plants
- Class C – Permits you to grow a maximum of 1500 plants
How to Renew Your Medical Marijuana Card in Michigan?
The process for renewing a medical marijuana card in Michigan is similar to those applying for the first time. To renew your card, you are required to submit an application 60 days prior to the expiration of your card. All cards are processed in the order they are received by the state, though you will typically receive your renewal in 2-3 weeks.
Related Article: 3 Ways to Get a Medical Marijuana Card Online (in Minutes)
Can I use Medical Marijuana Anywhere in Michigan?
Even with a valid medical marijuana card, it is prohibited to smoke marijuana in public or while operating a vehicle. Also, it is always important to remember that if smoking in public, it may be assumed that you are using it for recreational use, which is illegal on a federal level. It is advised to consume your medicine responsibly, in the safety of your home or a private residence.
Also, the laws of Michigan require you to store your marijuana in a secure, locked place. It is illegal to travel across state lines with cannabis, even if you have a valid Michigan Registration ID card.
What are the Current Michigan Laws?
Without a valid MMJ card, marijuana laws in Michigan used to be quite harsh. In past years, those caught with illegal weed of any amount were prone to receiving a misdemeanor criminal charge, and/or facing jail time of up to 1 year and a fine of $2,000. If caught using or possessing weed in a public park, the charge was a felony with a maximum jail sentence of 2 years – no matter the amount of possession.
Furthermore, the penalties for the illegal sale and distribution of marijuana in Michigan were even more severe; distribution of any amount of weed without remuneration (i.e. even if you don’t get paid for the product), was a misdemeanor charge with a potential 1-year jail sentence.
Also, the sale of any amount of weed less than 5 kg was a felony charge with a potential jail sentence of 4 years and a maximum fine of $20,000. For amounts over 5 kg, the potential incarceration time is 15 years with a maximum fine of $10,000,000.
However, with the passing of Proposal 1 in November 2018, the possession and use of marijuana is now legal for Michigan residents over the age of 21. Here is everything you need to know about the new law:
ADULT USE MARIJUANA IN MICHIGAN: ALL YOU NEED TO KNOW
Now that Proposal 1 has passed, can I legally buy/possess/use marijuana?
Not yet. While recreational marijuana “technically” becomes legal in Michigan on December 6, 2018, it will be 2020 at the earliest before recreational dispensaries are opened and cannabis becomes available to purchase for adult residents.
When will I be able to buy marijuana in Michigan?
With the passing of Proposal 1, state legislators in Michigan now have to sit down and develop rules and regulations that will govern things like the appropriation of licenses for recreational dispensaries, how the products will be manufactured and taxed, what types of products will be allowed, how many dispensaries will be allowed to operate in the state, etc. This is a lengthy process, and Michigan residents should not expect recreational marijuana to be available for purchase until early 2020.
How much will I be able to buy/possess?
Adults over the age of 21 will be able to possess up to 10 oz of marijuana, as long as it is kept at a private residence. Any amount over 2.5 oz must be secured in a locked container. In addition, adults over the age of 21 will be able to grow up to 12 plants in a private residence, as long as they are kept out of public view.
Can I still get arrested for using or possessing marijuana in Michigan?
It depends on how much you have, and what you’re doing with it. With the passing of Proposal 1, the possession of small amounts of marijuana will no longer be considered a criminal charge. According to Lansing attorney Jeffrey Hank, “adults will no longer be arrested for [the] simple possession and use of marijuana.” If you’re caught with pounds of cannabis with an obvious intent to sell or distribute, however, you will still of course be subject to severe criminal penalty.
If I have a prior marijuana-related charge in Michigan, will I be able to get it dropped or removed from my record?
Will marijuana be available everywhere in Michigan?
Not exactly. Local municipalities will still have the option to ban or restrict the use and sale of cannabis, so residents of some cities/regions within the state may not have legal access.
Clearly, if you are suffering from a medical condition and want to treat with marijuana in Michigan, make sure you apply for a medical marijuana card.
Other Important FAQ on the Use of Medical Marijuana in Michigan
Can I Consume Medical Cannabis in My Car?
No. This would be considered a public place and is prohibited.
Where Can I Buy Medical Marijuana in Michigan?
There are dozens of operating medical marijuana dispensaries throughout the state of Michigan that serve the nearly 220,000 MMJ patients in the state. Incidentally, however, as of July 2018 none of these dispensaries are currently licensed in the state.
Some of the operations have been selling cannabis to legal MMJ patients since 2016, but it has only been within the past year that the state has required they apply for official licensing. Apparently, if they do not apply for and obtain a state license by September 15th 2018, they run the risk of being shut down.
Can I take My Meds from Michigan to a Different State?
No. Medical marijuana patients may face federal and local charges of transporting marijuana if they decide to cross state lines with it. This is true even if the states between which they are traveling allow medical marijuana.
Should you need to travel from state to state with your marijuana, it would be best to contact the state’s Bureau of health to understand the specific laws of the state you are going to not risk breaking any laws.
How Much Should I consume in Michigan?
Please note, we are not physicians or doctors, and therefore you should always consult with a professional prior to using medical marijuana.
Should you have any other questions, feel free to contact us through our Facebook Page.
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