Michigan has had an interesting history with cannabis. In the early 1970s, Ann Arbor enacted some of the most lenient laws in the country regarding cannabis use and possession. However, it wasn’t until 2008 that the state of Michigan officially adopted a functional MMJ program (called the Michigan Compassionate Care Initiative). This program legally allowed for the use of medical marijuana for the very first time.
Fast-forward to the present day, and the state is now one of the most liberal in the USA in terms of cannabis legislation. Proposal 1 was passed in late 2018, which allows Michigan residents 21 and older to possess up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana at a time. Recreational sales began in December 2019.
With this in mind, you may be asking yourself, “why get a Michigan MMJ card if I can buy 2.5 ounces without it?” Reasons to consider getting medical marijuana include lower costs, higher potency products, lower age restrictions, and the potential to purchase cannabis in states that have a reciprocity agreement with your own.
If the above sounds good, and you want to apply for a Michigan medical marijuana card, continue reading our step-by-step guide below.
How to Get a Michigan Medical Marijuana Card
To get a Michigan MMJ card, individuals must first go to the official MRA website and create an online account. After opening the link, click on the button that says ‘New Users: Register for an Account.’
You’ll need to create a username and password and fill out some basic personal information (name, address, DOB, etc.). Steer clear of third-party vendors that claim they can get a Michigan Medical Marijuana Card for you. The only legal way to do it is by creating an account and applying through the state’s official government website.
After you’ve gone to the link above and created your online user account, you’ll need to proceed with the following steps.
Step 1 – See Whether You Qualify for Medical Marijuana in MI
To get approved for an MMJ card in Michigan, individuals must have one of the state’s approved qualifying conditions. We outline the list of conditions a little later on.
Next, you need to find a Michigan marijuana doctor and set up an in-person evaluation. Patients cannot get approved for a Michigan MMJ card without a doctor’s approval. The state does not provide a list of cannabis doctors, so you’ll need to go online and search for ‘Michigan Marijuana Doctor near me.’ There are hundreds of MMJ evaluation clinics across the state.
The exact protocol for the Michigan MMJ card application process varies from clinic to clinic. Some offices will require you to obtain your medical records and bring them with you. Others can do virtually everything for you. Now, it’s time to see the physician and submit your application.
Step 2 – Go to Your Appointment and Gain the Physician’s Approval
A Michigan medical marijuana evaluation is just like any other doctor’s visit. Once you are in the room for your consultation, the doctor will perform a standard exam. They will look at your medical records and discuss the practicality of medical marijuana as an option for your condition.
If you’re completely new to the world of medical marijuana, this would be a good time to ask questions about how cannabis works and what strains may be best suited to your needs.
If you are deemed eligible, the doctor or a staff member will explain the state’s medical marijuana rules. Then, the office will complete the requisite paperwork and submit the remaining portion of your application.
Step 3 – Complete and Submit the MI Application for an MMJ Card
Beware that for the MMJ evaluation center to complete your application packet; you will need to show proof of Michigan residency in one of the following ways:
- A valid Michigan driver’s license
- A personal ID card from the state of MI
- A signed MI voter registration card
Also, beware that a copy of a voter registration card without a signature is not valid. Furthermore, the process of how to apply for medical marijuana in Michigan is different for minors. To apply for medical marijuana in Michigan as a minor, please refer to this form.
Lastly, suppose you need an official caregiver to apply for medical cannabis on your behalf. You will need to refer to the state’s Frequently Asked Question page on the caregiver registry in that case.
Step 4 – Get Approved and Visit a Michigan Medical Marijuana Dispensary!
In the past, approval for a Michigan Medical Marijuana card could take up to six weeks. Now, many patients are approved on the same day that their application is submitted through the MMJ doctor’s clinic. And the best news for MI patients is that they do not need to wait for their official Michigan MMJ Card to arrive in the mail.
If you’re approved for medical cannabis, you will receive a confirmatory email. This is sufficient to use at almost any Michigan MMJ dispensary.
You can still mail a paper application if you wish, though you will still need to set up an online account with LARA. In this case, you’ll need to print off all required paperwork and submit everything to the following address:
Michigan Medical Marihuana Program
PO Box 30083
Lansing, MI 48909
If your application was submitted correctly, the state should notify you within 15 business days whether it was accepted or rejected.
Once you receive your MMJ card or confirmatory email, you are allowed to visit a Michigan dispensary. You can choose from various products, including oils, marijuana flower, concentrates, topicals, and edibles.
What Are the Michigan Medical Marijuana Costs?
The application fee for a Michigan MMJ card is $40. However, the majority of clinics will have a consultation fee, which is typically around $200. Michigan MMJ card renewals take place every two years and cost $150. You can renew the card up to 90 days before it is due to expire.
What Conditions Qualify for a Michigan Medical Marijuana Card?
Patients diagnosed with one of the following conditions can apply for a Michigan MMJ card.
- Hepatitis C
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
- Crohn’s disease
- Agitation of Alzheimer’s disease
- Nail patella
- Cachexia or wasting syndrome
- Severe and chronic pain
- Severe nausea
- Seizures, including characteristics of epilepsy
- Severe and persistent muscle spasms, including characteristics of multiple sclerosis
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease
- Parkinson’s disease
- Tourette’s Syndrome
- Chronic pain
- Cerebral palsy
- Ulcerative colitis
- Spinal cord injury
Other Information on the Michigan Medical Marijuana Process
Even though it is relatively straightforward to get a Michigan MMJ card, applicants often have many questions. We tackle some of the most frequently asked below.
How Much Cannabis Can I Buy and Possess with My MMJ Card?
Certified Michigan MMJ patients can buy and possess up to:
- 16 ounces of ‘marijuana-infused product in a solid form.’
- 15 grams of ‘marijuana-infused product in a gaseous form.’
- 36 fluid ounces of ‘marijuana-infused product in a liquid form.’
- 5 ounces of usable marijuana
Am I Allowed to Cultivate Cannabis at Home?
Yes. MMJ patients and primary caregivers can also grow and possess up to 12 marijuana plants at a time. This is as long as the plants are locked in an enclosed space.
Also, if you intend to cultivate and grow your own medicine, you will need to declare it on your Michigan Medical Marijuana application form.
Where Can I Use Medical Marijuana in Michigan?
Even with a valid medical marijuana card, you can’t legally smoke marijuana in public or while operating a vehicle. The only place you can use it is in a private residence.
Does Michigan Have Reciprocity Laws?
Yes. Michigan does accept out-of-state MMJ cards, but only if your home state also allows for reciprocity. However, you can purchase cannabis recreationally in Michigan if you are aged 21+. Please note that it is illegal to travel across state lines in possession of marijuana, even if you have an MMJ card.
Can I Consume Medical Cannabis in My Car?
No. Your car is considered a public place, so using cannabis there is prohibited.
Where Can I Buy Medical Marijuana in Michigan?
At present, there are over 400 operating medical marijuana dispensaries throughout Michigan and 250+ recreational dispensaries. You will find numerous options in every major city in the state.
What Are the Rules About Michigan MMJ Caregivers?
Only adults aged 21+ can become medical marijuana caregivers in Michigan. However, they must not have a conviction for a drug-related or violent felony. Also, a primary caregiver must not have committed any felony within the last ten years. A caregiver is allowed up to five patients at a time and is permitted to grow cannabis on their behalf.
Final Thoughts on Getting a Michigan Medical Marijuana Card
While recreational cannabis is now widely available in Michigan, you might find it advantageous to apply for a medical marijuana card. You benefit from higher purchasing limits, can buy cannabis when aged 18+, and have a far greater variety of products to choose from. If you’re interested in applying for a Michigan MMJ card, let us help you begin today!