Residency Requirement - 16 of the 18 states require proof of residency to be considered a qualifying patient for medical marijuana use. Only Oregon has announced that it will accept out-of-state applications. It is unknown if Delaware will accept applications from non-state residents once the program is established.
Home Cultivation - Karen O'Keefe, JD, Director of State Policies for Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), told ProCon.org in a February 21, 2013 email that "Some or all patients and/or their caregivers can cultivate in 15 of the 18 states. Home cultivation is not allowed in Connecticut, Delaware, New Jersey, or the District of Columbia and a special license is required in New Mexico. In Arizona, patients can only cultivate if they lived 25 miles or more from a dispensary when they applied for their card. In Massachusetts, patients can only cultivate until the department issues regulations unless they get a hardship waiver."
Patient Registration - Karen O'Keefe stated the following in a Nov. 7, 2012 email to ProCon.org:
"Affirmative defenses, which protect from conviction but not arrest, are or may be available in several states even if the patient doesn't have an ID card: Rhode Island, Michigan, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, and, in some circumstances, Delaware. Hawaii also has a separate 'choice of evils' defense. Patient ID cards are voluntary in Maine and California, but in California they offer the strongest legal protection. In Delaware, the defense is only available between when a patient submits a valid application and receives their ID card.The states with no protection unless you're registered are: Alaska (except for that even non-medical use is protected in one's home due to the state constitutional right to privacy), Arizona, Connecticut, Montana, Vermont, New Mexico, and New Jersey. Washington, D.C. also requires registration."
Maryland - Maryland passed two laws that, although favorable to medical marijuana, do not legalize its use. Senate Bill 502 (72 KB), the "Darrell Putman Bill" (Resolution #0756-2003) was approved in the state senate by a vote of 29-17, signed into law by Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich, Jr. on May 22, 2003, and took effect on Oct. 1, 2003. The law allows defendants being prosecuted for the use or possession of marijuana to introduce evidence of medical necessity and physician approval, to be considered by the court as a mitigating factor. If the court finds that the case involves medical necessity, the maximum penalty is a fine not exceeding $100. The law does not protect users of medical marijuana from arrest nor does it establish a registry program.On May 10, 2011, Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley signed SB 308 (500 KB), into law. SB 308 removed criminal penalties for medical marijuana patients who meet the specified conditions, but patients are still subject to arrest. The bill provides an affirmative defense for defendants who have been diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition that is "severe and resistant to conventional medicine." The affirmative defense does not apply to defendants who used medical marijuana in public or who were in possession of more than one ounce of marijuana. The bill also created a Work Group to "develop a model program to facilitate patient access to marijuana for medical purposes."
Several states with legal medical marijuana have received letters from their respective United States Attorney's offices explaining that marijuana is a Schedule I substance and that the federal government considers growing, distribution, or possession of marijuana to be a federal crime regardless of the state laws. These letters have caused some states to delay or alter implementation of their medical marijuana programs.
II. Details by State: 18 states and DC that have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana
State and Relevant Medical Marijuana Laws
Contact and Program Details
1. AlaskaBallot Measure 8 (100 KB) -- Approved Nov. 3, 1998 by 58% of voters
Effective: Mar. 4, 1999Removed state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physician advising that they "might benefit from the medical use of marijuana."Approved Conditions: Cachexia, cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures, glaucoma, HIV or AIDS, multiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity, and nausea. Other conditions are subject to approval by the Alaska Department of Health and Social Services.Possession/Cultivation: Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than one ounce of usable marijuana, and may cultivate no more than six marijuana plants, of which no more than three may be mature. The law establishes a confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients.
Amended: Senate Bill 94Effective: June 2, 1999
Mandates all patients seeking legal protection under this act to enroll in the state patient registry and possess a valid identification card. Patients not enrolled in the registry will no longer be able to argue the "affirmative defense of medical necessity" if they are arrested on marijuana charges.
Update: Alaska Statute Title 17 Chapter 37 (36 KB)
Creates a confidential statewide registry of medical marijuana patients and caregivers and establishes identification card.
Alaska Bureau of Vital Statistics
P.O. Box 110699
Juneau, AK 99811-0699
Phone: 907-465-5423BVSSpecialServices@health.state.ak.usAK Marijuana Registry OnlineInformation provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
None foundPatient Registry Fee:
$25 new application/$20 renewal
Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
1: Unknown [Editor's Note: Four phone calls made Jan. 5-8, 2010 and an email sent on Jan. 6, 2010 by ProCon.org to the Alaska Marijuana Registry have not yet been returned and the information is not available on the state's website (as of Jan. 11, 2010).]
2. ArizonaBallot Proposition 203 (300 KB) "Arizona Medical Marijuana Act" -- Approved Nov. 2, 2010 by 50.13% of votersAllows registered qualifying patients (who must have a physician's written certification that they have been diagnosed with a debilitating condition and that they would likely receive benefit from marijuana) to obtain marijuana from a registered nonprofit dispensary, and to possess and use medical marijuana to treat the condition.Requires the Arizona Department of Health Services to establish a registration and renewal application system for patients and nonprofit dispensaries. Requires a web-based verification system for law enforcement and dispensaries to verify registry identification cards. Allows certification of a number of dispensaries not to exceed 10% of the number of pharmacies in the state (which would cap the number of dispensaries around 124).Specifies that a registered patient's use of medical marijuana is to be considered equivalent to the use of any other medication under the direction of a physician and does not disqualify a patient from medical care, including organ transplants.
Specifies that employers may not discriminate against registered patients unless that employer would lose money or licensing under federal law. Employers also may not penalize registered patients solely for testing positive for marijuana in drug tests, although the law does not authorize patients to use, possess, or be impaired by marijuana on the employment premises or during the hours of employment.
Approved Conditions: Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, ALS, Crohn's disease, Alzheimer's disease, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe and chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures (including epilepsy), severe or persistent muscle spasms (including multiple sclerosis).
Possession/Cultivation: Qualified patients or their registered designated caregivers may obtain up to 2.5 ounces of marijuana in a 14-day period from a registered nonprofit medical marijuana dispensary. 2: If the patient lives more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary, the patient or caregiver may cultivate up to 12 marijuana plants in an enclosed, locked facility.
[Editor's Note: On Apr. 11, 2012, the Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS) announced the revised rules (1.1 MB) for regulating medical marijuana and set the application dates for May 14 through May 25.
On Nov. 15, 2012, the first dispensary was awarded "approval to operate." ADHS Director Will Humble stated on his blog that, "[W]e’ll be declining new 'requests to cultivate' among new cardholders in most of the metro area… because self-grow (12 plants) is only allowed when the patient lives more than 25 miles from the nearest dispensary. The vast majority of the Valley is within 25 miles of this new dispensary."
On Dec. 6, 2012, the state's first dispensary, Arizona Organix, opened in Glendale.]
Arizona Department of Health Services (ADHS)
Medical Marijuana Program
150 North 18th Avenue
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
Phone: 602-542-1023Prop 203 Information HubInformation provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
"Qualifying patients can obtain medical marijuana from a dispensary, the qualifying patient's designated caregiver, another qualifying patient, or, if authorized to cultivate, from home cultivation. When a qualifying patient obtains or renews a registry identification card, the Department will provide a list of all operating dispensaries to the qualifying patient."
ADHS, "Qualifying Patients FAQs," (150 KB) Mar. 25, 2010Patient Registry Fee:
$150 / $75 for Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program participantsAccepts other states' registry ID cards?
3: Yes, but does not permit visiting patients to obtain marijuana from an Arizona dispensary
3. CaliforniaBallot Proposition 215 (45 KB) -- Approved Nov. 5, 1996 by 56% of voters
Effective: Nov. 6, 1996Removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a "written or oral recommendation" from their physician that he or she "would benefit from medical marijuana." Patients diagnosed with any debilitating illness where the medical use of marijuana has been "deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician" are afforded legal protection under this act.Approved Conditions: AIDS, anorexia, arthritis, cachexia, cancer, chronic pain, glaucoma, migraine, persistent muscle spasms, including spasms associated with multiple sclerosis, seizures, including seizures associated with epilepsy, severe nausea; Other chronic or persistent medical symptoms.Amended: Senate Bill 420 (70 KB)
Effective: Jan. 1, 2004
Imposes statewide guidelines outlining how much medicinal marijuana patients may grow and possess.
Possession/Cultivation: Qualified patients and their primary caregivers may possess no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana and/or six mature (or 12 immature) marijuana plants. However, S.B. 420 allows patients to possess larger amounts of marijuana when recommended by a physician. The legislation also allows counties and municipalities to approve and/or maintain local ordinances permitting patients to possess larger quantities of medicinal pot than allowed under the new state guidelines.
S.B. 420 also grants implied legal protection to the state's medicinal marijuana dispensaries, stating, "Qualified patients, persons with valid identification cards, and the designated primary caregivers of qualified patients ... who associate within the state of California in order collectively or cooperatively to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes, shall not solely on the basis of that fact be subject to state criminal sanctions."
4: [Editor's Note: On Jan. 21, 2010, the California Supreme Court affirmed (S164830 (300 KB)) the May 22, 2008 Second District Court of Appeals ruling (50 KB) in the Kelly Case that the possession limits set by SB 420 violate the California constitution because the voter-approved Prop. 215 can only be amended by the voters.
ProCon.org contacted the California Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) on Dec. 6, 2010 to ask 1) how the ruling affected the implementation of the program, and 2) what instructions are given to patients regarding possession limits. A California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Office of Public Affairs representative wrote the following in a Dec. 7, 2010 email to ProCon.org: "The role of MMP under Senate Bill 420 is to implement the State Medical Marijuana ID Card Program in all California counties. CDPH does not oversee the amounts that a patient may possess or grow. When asked what a patient can possess, patients are referred to www.courtinfo.ca.gov, case S164830 which is the Kelly case, changing the amounts a patient can possess from 8 oz, 6 mature plants or 12 immature plants to 'the amount needed for a patient’s personal use.' MMP can only cite what the law says."
According to a Jan. 21, 2010 article titled "California Supreme Court Further Clarifies Medical Marijuana Laws," by Aaron Smith, California Policy Director at the Marijuana Policy Project, the impact of the ruling is that people growing more than 6 mature or 12 immature plants are still subject to arrest and prosecution, but they will be allowed to use a medical necessity defense in court.]
Attorney General's Guidelines:
On Aug. 25, 2008, California Attorney General Jerry Brown issued guidelines for law enforcement and medical marijuana patients to clarify the state's laws. Read more about the guidelines here.
California Department of Public Health
Office of County Health Services
Attention: Medical Marijuana Program Unit
P.O. Box 997377
Sacramento, CA 95899-7377
Fax: email@example.comCA Medical Marijuana ProgramGuidelines for the Security and Non-diversion of Marijuana Grown for Medical Use (55 KB)Information provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
"Dispensaries, growing collectives, etc., are licensed through local city or county business ordinances and the regulatory authority lies with the State Attorney General's Office. Their number is 1-800-952-5225." (accessed Jan. 11, 2010)
Patient Registry Fee:
$66 non Medi-Cal / $33 Medi-Cal, plus additional county fees (varies by location)
Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
4. ColoradoBallot Amendment 20 -- Approved Nov. 7, 2000 by 54% of voters
Effective: June 1, 2001Removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess written documentation from their physician affirming that he or she suffers from a debilitating condition and advising that they "might benefit from the medical use of marijuana." (Patients must possess this documentation prior to an arrest.)Approved Conditions: Cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS positive, cachexia; severe pain; severe nausea; seizures, including those that are characteristic of epilepsy; or persistent muscle spasms, including those that are characteristic of multiple sclerosis. Other conditions are subject to approval by the Colorado Board of Health.Possession/Cultivation: A patient or a primary caregiver who has been issued a Medical Marijuana Registry identification card may possess no more than two ounces of a usable form of marijuana and not more than six marijuana plants, with three or fewer being mature, flowering plants that are producing a usable form of marijuana.
Patients who do not join the registry or possess greater amounts of marijuana than allowed by law may argue the "affirmative defense of medical necessity" if they are arrested on marijuana charges.
Amended:House Bill 1284 (236 KB) and Senate Bill 109 (50 KB)
Effective: June 7, 2010
Colorado Governor Bill Ritter signed the bills into law and stated the following in a June 7, 2010 press release:
"House Bill 1284 provides a regulatory framework for dispensaries, including giving local communities the ability to ban or place sensible and much-needed controls on the operation, location and ownership of these establishments.
Senate Bill 109 will help prevent fraud and abuse, ensuring that physicians who authorize medical marijuana for their patients actually perform a physical exam, do not have a DEA flag on their medical license and do not have a financial relationship with a dispensary."
Medical Marijuana Registry
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment
4300 Cherry Creek Drive South
Denver, CO 80246-1530
Phone: firstname.lastname@example.orgCO Medical Marijuana RegistryInformation provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
"The Colorado Medical Marijuana amendment, statutes and regulations are silent on the issue of dispensaries. While the Registry is aware that a number of such businesses have been established across the state, we do not have a formal relationship with them." (accessed Jan. 11, 2010)Patient Registry Fee:
Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
5. ConnecticutHB 5389 (310 KB) -- Signed into law by Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D) on May 31, 2012
Approved: By House 96-51, by Senate 21-13
Effective: Some sections from passage (May 4, 2012), other sections on Oct. 1, 2012"A qualifying patient shall register with the Department of Consumer Protection... prior to engaging in the palliative use of marijuana. A qualifying patient who has a valid registration certificate... shall not be subject to arrest or prosecution, penalized in any manner,... or denied any right or privilege."Patients must be Connecticut residents at least 18 years of age. "Prison inmates, or others under the supervision of the Department of Corrections, would not qualify, regardless of their medical condition."Approved Conditions: "Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome [HIV/AIDS], Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, epilepsy, cachexia, wasting syndrome, Crohn's disease, posttraumatic stress disorder, or... any medical condition, medical treatment or disease approved by the Department of Consumer Protection..."
Possession/Cultivation: Qualifying patients may possess "an amount of usable marijuana reasonably necessary to ensure uninterrupted availability for a period of one month, as determined by the Department of Consumer Protection."
The Connecticut Medical Marijuana Program website posted an update on Sep. 23, 2012 with instructions on how to register for the program starting on Oct. 1, 2012. "Patients who are currently receiving medical treatment for a debilitating medical conditions set out in the law may qualify for a temporary registration certificate beginning October 1, 2012. To qualify, a patient must also be at least 18 years of age and a Connecticut resident."
Draft Regulations on Medical Marijuana (482 KB) were posted on Jan. 16, 2013.
Medical Marijuana Program
Department of Consumer Protection (DCP)
165 Capitol Avenue
Hartford, CT 06106
Toll-Free: email@example.comThe DCP will "issue temporary patient registration certificates starting on October 1, 2012."CT Medical Marijuana ProgramInformation provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
"The Commissioner of Consumer Protection shall determine the number of dispensaries appropriate to meet the needs of qualifying patients in this state."
Patient Registry Fee:
*The Commissioner of Consumer Protection will establish a "reasonable fee."
Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
6. District of Columbia (DC)Amendment Act B18-622 (80KB) "Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Amendment Act of 2010" -- Approved 13-0 by the Council of the District of Columbia on May 4, 2010; signed by the Mayor on May 21, 2010|Effective: July 27, 2010 [After being signed by the Mayor, the law underwent a 30-day Congessional review period. Neither the Senate nor the House acted to stop the law, so it became effective when the review period ended.]Approved Conditions: HIV, AIDS, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, cancer, other conditions that are chronic, long-lasting, debilitating, or that interfere with the basic functions of life, serious medical conditions for which the use of medical marijuana is beneficial, patients undergoing treatments such as chemotherapy and radiotherapy.Possession/Cultivation: The maximum amount of medical marijuana that any qualifying patient or caregiver may possess at any moment is two ounces of dried medical marijuana. The Mayor may increase the quantity of dried medical marijuana that may be possessed up to four ounces; and shall decide limits on medical marijuana of a form other than dried.
On Apr. 14, 2011, Mayor Vincent C. Gray announced the adoption of an emergency amendment (450 KB) to title 22 of the District of Columbia Municipal Regulations (DCMR), which added a new subtitle C entitled "Medical Marijuana." The emergency amendment "will set forth the process and procedure" for patients, caregivers, physicians, and dispensaries, and "implement the provisions of the Act that must be addressed at the onset to enable the Department to administer the program."
On Feb. 14, 2012, the DC Department of Health's Health Regulation and Licensing Administration posted a revised timeline for the dispensary application process (180 KB), which listed June 8, 2012 as the date by which the Department intends to announce dispensary applicants available for registration.
Medical Marijuana ProgramThe law establishes a medical marijuana program to "regulate the manufacture, cultivation, distribution, dispensing, purchase, delivery, sale, possession, and administration of medical marijuana and the manufacture, possession, purchase, sale, and use of paraphernalia. The Program shall be administered by the Mayor."Patient Registry Fee:
**[Editor's Note: Although the law took effect on July 27, 2010, the Mayor and the Department of Health have yet to determine how the medical marijuana program will be run. A DC Department of Health spokesperson told ProCon.org by phone on Jan. 19, 2011 that no announcement has been made regarding when the program will begin.]Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
Program not yet established (as of Feb. 22, 2012)
7.DelawareSenate Bill 17 (100 KB) -- Signed into law by Gov. Jack Markell (D) on May 13, 2011
Approved: By House 27-14, by Senate 17-4
Effective: July 1, 2011Under this law, a patient is only protected from arrest if his or her physician certifies, in writing, that the patient has a specified debilitating medical condition and that the patient would receive therapeutic benefit from medical marijuana. The patient must send a copy of the written certification to the state Department of Health and Social Services, and the Department will issue an ID card after verifying the information. As long as the patient is in compliance with the law, there will be no arrest.The law does not allow patients or caregivers to grow marijuana at home, but it does allow for the state-regulated, non-profit distribution of medical marijuana by compassion centers.Approved Conditions: Approved for treatment of debilitating medical conditions, defined as cancer, HIV/AIDS, decompensated cirrhosis, ALS, Alzheimer's disease, post-traumatic stress disorder; or a medical condition that produces wasting syndrome, severe debilitating pain that has not responded to other treatments for more than three months or for which other treatments produced serious side effects, severe nausea, seizures, or severe and persistent muscle spasms.
Possession/Cultivation: Patients 18 and older with certain debilitating conditions may possess up to six ounces of marijuana with a doctor's written recommendation. A registered compassion center may not dispense more than 3 ounces of marijuana to a registered qualifying patient in any fourteen-day period, and a patient may register with only one compassion center.
[Editor's Note: On Feb. 12, 2012, Gov. Markell released the following statement (presented in its entirety), available on delaware.gov, in response to a letter from US District Attorney Charles Oberly (2 MB):
"I am very disappointed by the change in policy at the federal department of justice, as it requires us to stop implementation of the compassion centers. To do otherwise would put our state employees in legal jeopardy and I will not do that. Unfortunately, this shift in the federal position will stand in the way of people in pain receiving help. Our law sought to provide that in a manner that was both highly regulated and safe."
Although the Governor suspended implementation of the compassion centers, Senate Bill 17 contains a provision that allows for an affirmative defense for individuals "in possession of no more than six ounces of usable marijuana."]
The Apr. 2012 Delaware Register of Regulations included the proposed regulations for the Delaware medical marijuana program (250 KB).
Delaware Department of Health and Social Services
Division of Public Health
Fax: 302-739-3071MedicalMarijuanaDPH@state.de.usDE Medical Marijuana ProgramInformation provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
The Delaware Medical Marijuana Program website states (as of Oct. 18, 2012), "The creation of the state-licensed, privately owned compassion centers has been suspended by the state. Based on guidance from the US Attorney, the compassion centers concept conflicts with federal law. As a result there is no plan to open compassion centers at this time."Patient Registry Fee:
$125 (a sliding scale fee is available based on income)
Accepts other states' registry ID cards?5: Yes (a visiting qualifying patient is not subject to arrest if a visitor ID card is obtained)
8. HawaiiSenate Bill 862 (40 KB) -- Signed into law by Gov. Ben Cayetano on June 14, 2000
Approved: By House 32-18, by Senate 13-12
Effective: Dec. 28, 2000Removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a signed statement from their physician affirming that he or she suffers from a debilitating condition and that the "potential benefits of medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks." The law establishes a mandatory, confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients.Approved conditions: Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for HIV/AIDS; A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy, or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease. Other conditions are subject to approval by the Hawaii Department of Health.Possession/Cultivation: The amount of marijuana that may be possessed jointly between the qualifying patient and the primary caregiver is an "adequate supply," which shall not exceed three mature marijuana plants, four immature marijuana plants, and one ounce of usable marijuana per each mature plant.
Narcotics Enforcement Division
3375 Koapaka Street, Suite D-100
Honolulu, HI 96819
Fax: 808-837-8474HI Medical Marijuana Application infoInformation provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
"Hawaii law does not authorize any person or entity to sell or dispense marijuana... Hawaii law authorizes the medical use of marijuana, it does not authorize the distribution of marijuana (Dispensaries) other than the transfer from a qualifying patient's primary caregiver to the qualifying patient."(accessed Jan. 11, 2010)Patient Registry Fee:
$25Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
9. MaineBallot Question 2 -- Approved Nov. 2, 1999 by 61% of voters
Effective: Dec. 22, 1999Removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess an oral or written "professional opinion" from their physician that he or she "might benefit from the medical use of marijuana." The law does not establish a state-run patient registry.Approved diagnosis: epilepsy and other disorders characterized by seizures; glaucoma; multiple sclerosis and other disorders characterized by muscle spasticity; and nausea or vomiting as a result of AIDS or cancer chemotherapy.Possession/Cultivation: Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than one and one-quarter (1.25) ounces of usable marijuana, and may cultivate no more than six marijuana plants, of which no more than three may be mature. Those patients who possess greater amounts of marijuana than allowed by law are afforded a "simple defense" to a charge of marijuana possession.
Amended:Senate Bill 611
Effective: Signed into law on Apr. 2, 2002
Increases the amount of useable marijuana a person may possess from one and one-quarter (1.25) ounces to two and one-half (2.5) ounces.
Amended:Question 5 (135 KB) -- Approved Nov. 3, 2009 by 59% of voters
List of approved conditions changed to include cancer, glaucoma, HIV, acquired immune deficiency syndrome, hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Crohn's disease, Alzheimer's, nail-patella syndrome, chronic intractable pain, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe nausea, seizures (epilepsy), severe and persistent muscle spasms, and multiple sclerosis.
Instructs the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) to establish a registry identification program for patients and caregivers. Stipulates provisions for the operation of nonprofit dispensaries.
[Editor's Note: An Aug. 19, 2010 email to ProCon.org from Catherine M. Cobb, Director of Maine's Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services, stated:
"We have just set up our interface to do background checks on caregivers and those who are associated with dispensaries. They may not have a disqualifying drug offense."]
Department of Health and Human Services
Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services
John Thiele, Program Manager
11 State House Station
Augusta, ME 04333
207-287-9300Maine Medical Marijuana Program
Information provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
"The patient may either cultivate or designate a caregiver or dispensary to cultivate marijuana." ("Program Bulletin," Maine.gov, Sep. 28, 2011)Patient Registry Fee:
Caregivers pay $300/patient (limit of 5 patients; if not growing marijuana, there is no fee)Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
6: "Law enforcement will accept appropriate authorization from a participating state, but that patient cannot purchase marijuana in Maine without registering here. That requires a Maine physician and a Maine driver license or other picture ID issued by the state of Maine. The letter from a physician in another state is only good for 30 days."(Aug. 19, 2010 email from Maine's Division of Licensing and Regulatory Services)Registration:
"In addition to either a registry ID card or a physician certification form, all patients, including both non-registered and voluntarily registered patients, must also present their Maine driver license or other Maine-issued photo identification card to law enforcement, upon request." ("Program Bulletin," Maine.gov, Sep. 28, 2011)
10. MassachusettsBallot Question 3 -- Approved Nov. 6, 2012 by 63% of voters
Effective: Jan. 1, 2013"The citizens of Massachusetts intend that there should be no punishment under state law for qualifying patients, physicians and health care professionals, personal caregivers for patients, or medical marijuana treatment center agents for the medical use of marijuana...In the first year after the effective date, the Department shall issue registrations for up to thirty-five non-profit medical marijuana treatment centers, provided that at least one treatment center shall be located in each county, and not more than five shall be located in any one county."Approved diagnosis: "Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS), hepatitis C, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), Crohn's disease, Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and other conditions as determined in writing by a qualifying patient’s physician."
Possession/Cultivation: Patients may possess "no more marijuana than is necessary for the patient's personal, medical use, not exceeding the amount necessary for a sixty-day supply...
Within 120 days of the effective date of this law, the department shall issue regulations defining the quantity of marijuana that could reasonably be presumed to be a sixty-day supply for qualifying patients, based on the best available evidence."
"The Department shall issue a cultivation registration to a qualifying patient whose access to a medical treatment center is limited by verified financial hardship, a physical incapacity to access reasonable transportation, or the lack of a treatment center within a reasonable distance of the patient’s residence. The Department may deny a registration based on the provision of false information by the applicant. Such registration shall allow the patient or the patient’s personal caregiver to cultivate a limited number of plants, sufficient to maintain a 60-day supply of marijuana, and shall require cultivation and storage only in an enclosed, locked facility.
The department shall issue regulations consistent with this section within 120 days of the effective date of this law. Until the department issues such final regulations, the written recommendation of a qualifying patient's physician shall constitute a limited cultivation registration."
Department of Public Health of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts
One Ashburton Place
Boston, MA 02108
Information provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
The state will issue registrations for up to 35 nonprofit medical marijuana treatment centersPatient Registry Fee:
7To be determined by DPH within 120 days of the effective date of Jan. 1, 2013.Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
"Until the approval of final regulations, written certification by a physician shall constitute a registration card for a qualifying patient."
11.MichiganProposal 1 (60 KB) "Michigan Medical Marihuana Act" -- Approved by 63% of voters on Nov. 4, 2008
Approved: Nov. 4, 2008
Effective: Dec. 4, 2008Approved Conditions: Approved for treatment of debilitating medical conditions, defined as cancer, glaucoma, HIV, AIDS, 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, epilepsy, muscle spasms, and multiple sclerosis.Possession/Cultivation: Patients may possess up to two and one-half (2.5) ounces of usable marijuana and twelve marijuana plants kept in an enclosed, locked facility. The twelve plants may be kept by the patient only if he or she has not specified a primary caregiver to cultivate the marijuana for him or her.Amended:HB 4856 (40 KB)
Effective: Dec. 31, 2012
Makes it illegal to "transport or posess" usable marijuana by car unless the marijuana is "enclosed in a case that is carried in the trunk of the vehicle." Violation of the law is a misdemeanor "punishable by imprisonment for not more than 93 days or a fine of not more than $500.00, or both."
Amended:HB 4834 (40 KB)
Effective: Apr. 1, 2013
Requires proof of Michigan residency when applying for a registry ID card (driver license, official state ID, or valid voter registration) and makes cards valid for two years instead of one.
Amended:HB 4851 (40 KB)
Effective: Apr. 1, 2013
Requires a "bona fide physician-patient relationship," defined in part as one in which the physician "has created and maintained records of the patient's condition in accord with medically accepted standards" and "will provide follow-up care;" protects patient from arrest only with registry identification card and valid photo ID.
Amended:State of Michigan vs. McQueen (90 KB)
Decided: Feb. 8, 2013
The Michigan Supreme Court ruled 4-1 that dispensaries are illegal. As a result, medical marijuana patients in Michigan will have to grow their own marijuana or get it from a designated caregiver who is limited to five patients.
Michigan Medical Marihuana Program
Bureau of Health Professions, Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs
P.O. Box 30083
Lansing, MI 48909
Phone: 517-373-0395BHP-MMMPINFO@michigan.govMI Medical Marihuana ProgramInformation provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
"The MMMP is not a resource for the growing process and does not have information to give to patients." (accessed Jan. 7, 2013)Patient Registry Fee:
$100 new or renewal application / $25 Medicaid patients
Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
12. MontanaInitiative 148 (76 KB) -- Approved by 62% of voters on Nov. 2, 2004
Effective: Nov. 2, 2004Approved Conditions: Cancer, glaucoma, or positive status for HIV/AIDS, or the treatment of these conditions; a chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, including seizures caused by epilepsy, or severe or persistent muscle spasms, including spasms caused by multiple sclerosis or Chrohn's disease; or any other medical condition or treatment for a medical condition adopted by the department by rule.Possession/Cultivation: A qualifying patient and a qualifying patient's caregiver may each possess six marijuana plants and one ounce of usable marijuana. "Usable marijuana" means the dried leaves and flowers of marijuana and any mixture or preparation of marijuana.Amended: SB 423 (100 KB) -- Passed on Apr. 28, 2011 and transmitted to the Governor on May 3, 2011
Effective: July 1, 2011
SB 423 changes the application process to require a Montana driver's license or state issued ID card. A second physician is required to confirm a chronic pain diagnosis.
"A provider or marijuana-infused products provider may assist a maximum of three registered cardholders..." and "may not accept anything of value, including monetary remuneration, for any services or products provided to a registered cardholder."
Approved Conditions: Cancer, glaucoma, or positive status for HIV/AIDS when the condition or disease results in symptoms that seriously and adversely affect the patient's health status; Cachexia or wasting syndrome; Severe, chronic pain that is persistent pain of severe intensity that significantly interferes with daily activities as documented by the patient's treating physician; Intractable nausea or vomiting; Epilepsy or intractable seizure disorder; Multiple sclerosis; Chron's Disease; Painful peripheral neuropathy; A central nervous system disorder resulting in chronic, painful spasticity or muscle spasms; Admittance into hospice care.
Possession/Cultivation: Amended to 12 seedlings (less than 12"), four mature flowering plants, and one ounce of usable marijuana.
On Nov. 6, 2012, Montana voters approved initiative referendum No. 124 by a vote of 56.5% to 43.5%, upholding SB 423.
Medical Marijuana Program
Montana Department of Health and Human Services
2401 Colonial Drive, 2nd Floor
P.O. Box 202953
Helena, MT 59620-2953
Phone: firstname.lastname@example.orgMT Medical Marijuana ProgramMedical Marijuana Program FAQs (35 KB)Information provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
"The Medical Marijuana Act... allows a patient or caregiver to grow up to six plants or possess up to one ounce of usable marijuana. The department cannot give advice or referrals on how to obtain a supply of marijuana... State law is silent on where grow sites can be located."(accessed Jan. 11, 2010)
Patient Registry Fee:
$25 new application/$10 renewal
(reduced from $50 as of Oct. 1, 2009)
Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
No (reciprocity ended when SB 423 took effect)
13. NevadaBallot Question 9 -- Approved Nov. 7, 2000 by 65% of voters
Effective: Oct. 1, 2001Removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who have "written documentation" from their physician that marijuana may alleviate his or her condition.Approved Conditions: AIDS; cancer; glaucoma; and any medical condition or treatment to a medical condition that produces cachexia, persistent muscle spasms or seizures, severe nausea or pain. Other conditions are subject to approval by the health division of the state Department of Human Resources.Possession/Cultivation: Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess no more than one ounce of usable marijuana, three mature plants, and four immature plants.
Registry: The law establishes a confidential state-run patient registry that issues identification cards to qualifying patients. Patients who do not join the registry or possess greater amounts of marijuana than allowed by law may argue the "affirmative defense of medical necessity" if they are arrested on marijuana charges. Legislators added a preamble to the legislation stating, "[T]he state of Nevada as a sovereign state has the duty to carry out the will of the people of this state and regulate the health, medical practices and well-being of those people in a manner that respects their personal decisions concerning the relief of suffering through the medical use of marijuana." A separate provision requires the Nevada School of Medicine to "aggressively" seek federal permission to establish a state-run medical marijuana distribution program.
Amended:Assembly Bill 453 (25 KB)
Effective: Oct. 1, 2001
Created a state registry for patients whose physicians recommend medical marijuana and tasked the Department of Motor Vehicles with issuing identification cards. No state money will be used for the program, which will be funded entirely by donations.
Nevada State Health Division
4150 Technology Way, Suite 104
Carson City, Nevada
NV Medical Marijuana ProgramInformation provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
"The NMMP is not a resource for the growing process and does not have information to give to patients."Patient Registry Fee:
$50 application fee, plus $150 for the card (new or renewal), plus $15-42 in additional related costsAccepts other states' registry ID cards?
14. New JerseySenate Bill 119 (175 KB)
Approved: Jan. 11, 2010 by House, 48-14; by Senate, 25-13
Signed into law by Gov. Jon Corzine on Jan. 18, 2010
Effective: Six months from enactmentProtects "patients who use marijuana to alleviate suffering from debilitating medical conditions, as well as their physicians, primary caregivers, and those who are authorized to produce marijuana for medical purposes" from "arrest, prosecution, property forfeiture, and criminal and other penalties."Also provides for the creation of alternative treatment centers, "at least two each in the northern, central, and southern regions of the state. The first two centers issued a permit in each region shall be nonprofit entities, and centers subsequently issued permits may be nonprofit or for-profit entities."Approved Conditions: Seizure disorder, including epilepsy, intractable skeletal muscular spasticity, glaucoma; severe or chronic pain, severe nausea or vomiting, cachexia, or wasting syndrome resulting from HIV/AIDS or cancer; amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig's Disease), multiple sclerosis, terminal cancer, muscular dystrophy, or inflammatory bowel disease, including Crohn’s disease; terminal illness, if the physician has determined a prognosis of less than 12 months of life or any other medical condition or its treatment that is approved by the Department of Health and Senior Services.
Possession/Cultivation: Physicians determine how much marijuana a patient needs and give written instructions to be presented to an alternative treatment center. The maximum amount for a 30-day period is two ounces.
The New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services released draft rules (385 KB) outlining the registration and application process on Oct. 6, 2010. A public hearing to discuss the proposed rules was held on Dec. 6, 2010 at at the New Jersey Department of Health and Senior Services, according to the New Jersey Register.
On Dec. 20, 2011, Senator Nicholas Scutari (D), lead sponsor of the medical marijuana bill, submitted Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) 140 (25 KB) declaring that the "Board of Medical Examiners proposed medicinal marijuana program rules are inconsistent with legislative intent." The New Jersey Senate Health, Human Services and Senior Citizens committee held a public hearing to discuss SCR 140 and a similar bill, SCR 130, on Jan. 20, 2010.
On Feb. 3, 2011, DHSS proposed new rules (200 KB) that streamlined the permit process for cultivating and dispensing, prohibited home delivery by alternative treatment centers, and required that "conditions originally named in the Act be resistant to conventional medical therapy in order to qualify as debilitating medical conditions."
On Aug. 9, 2012, the New Jersey Medical Marijuana Program opened the patient registration system on its website. Patients must have a physician's recommendation, a government-issued ID, and proof of New Jersey residency to register. The first dispensary is expected to be licensed to open in September.
On Oct. 16, 2012, the Department of Health issued the first dispensary permit (24 KB) to Greenleaf Compassion Center, allowing it to operate as an Alternative Treatment Center and dispense marijuana. The center opened on Dec. 6, 2012, becoming New Jersey's first dispensary.
Five other treatment centers are "in various stages of finalizing locations or background examinations of the principals of their organizations."
S119 was supposed to become effective six months after it was enacted on Jan. 18, 2010, but the legislature, DHHS, and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie did not agree on the details of how the program would be run.The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS), the state agency in charge of the program, issued its first dispensary permit on Oct. 16, 2012.Medicinal Marijuana ProgramInformation provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
Patients are not allowed to grow their own marijuana. On Mar. 21, 2011, the New Jersey DHHS announced the locations of six nonprofit alternative treatment centers(ATCs) (100 KB) from which medical marijuana may be obtained.Medical marijuana is not covered by Medicaid.
Patient Registry Fee:
$200 (valid for two years). Reduced fee of $20 for patients qualifying for state or federal assistance programs
Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
No ("[T]o be eligible for the New Jersey Medicinal Marijuana program you must... hold a valid patient identification card issued by the New Jersey Medicinal Marijuana Program.")
15. New MexicoSenate Bill 523 (71 KB) "The Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act"
Approved: Mar. 13, 2007 by House, 36-31; by Senate, 32-3
Effective: July 1, 2007Removes state-level criminal penalties on the use and possession of marijuana by patients "in a regulated system for alleviating symptoms caused by debilitating medical conditions and their medical treatments." The New Mexico Department of Health designated to administer the program and register patients, caregivers, and providers.Approved Conditions: The 15 current qualifying conditions for medical cannabis are: severe chronic pain, painful peripheral neuropathy, intractable nausea/vomiting, severe anorexia/cachexia, hepatitis C infection, Crohn's disease, Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, ALS (Lou Gehrig's disease), cancer, glaucoma, multiple sclerosis, damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with intractable spasticity, epilepsy, HIV/AIDS, and hospice patients.Possession/Cultivation: Patients have the right to possess up to six ounces of usable cannabis, four mature plants and 12 seedlings. Usable cannabis is defined as dried leaves and flowers; it does not include seeds, stalks or roots. A primary caregiver may provide services to a maximum of four qualified patients under the Medical Cannabis Program.
New Mexico Department of Health
1190 St. Francis Drive
P.O. Box 26110
Santa Fe, NM 87502-6110
Phone: email@example.comNM Medical Cannabis ProgramInformation provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
"Patients can apply for a license to produce their own medical cannabis... Once a patient is approved we provide them with information about how to contact the licensed producers to receive medical cannabis." (accessed Jan. 11, 2010)Patient Registry Fee:
Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
16. OregonBallot Measure 67 (75 KB) -- Approved by 55% of voters on Nov. 3, 1998
Effective: Dec. 3, 1998Removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess a signed recommendation from their physician stating that marijuana "may mitigate" his or her debilitating symptoms.Approved Conditions: Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for HIV/AIDS, or treatment for these conditions; A medical condition or treatment for a medical condition that produces cachexia, severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, including seizures caused by epilepsy, or persistent muscle spasms, including spasms caused by multiple sclerosis. Other conditions are subject to approval by the Health Division of the Oregon Department of Human Resources.Possession/Cultivation: A registry identification cardholder or the designated primary caregiver of the cardholder may possess up to six mature marijuana plants and 24 ounces of usable marijuana. A registry identification cardholder and the designated primary caregiver of the cardholder may possess a combined total of up to 18 marijuana seedlings. (per Oregon Revised Statutes ORS 475.300 -- ORS 475.346) (52 KB)
Amended:Senate Bill 1085 (52 KB)
Effective: Jan. 1, 2006
State-qualified patients who possess cannabis in amounts exceeding the new state guidelines will no longer retain the ability to argue an "affirmative defense" of medical necessity at trial. Patients who fail to register with the state, but who possess medical cannabis in amounts compliant with state law, still retain the ability to raise an "affirmative defense" at trial.
The law also redefines "mature plants" to include only those cannabis plants that are more than 12 inches in height and diameter, and establish a state-registry for those authorized to produce medical cannabis to qualified patients.
Amended:House Bill 3052
Effective: July 21, 1999
Mandates that patients (or their caregivers) may only cultivate marijuana in one location, and requires that patients must be diagnosed by their physicians at least 12 months prior to an arrest in order to present an "affirmative defense." This bill also states that law enforcement officials who seize marijuana from a patient pending trial do not have to keep those plants alive. Last year the Oregon Board of Health approved agitation due to Alzheimer’s disease to the list of debilitating conditions qualifying for legal protection.
In August 2001, program administrators filed established temporary procedures further defining the relationship between physicians and patients. The new rule defines attending physician as "a physician who has established a physician/patient relationship with the patient;... is primarily responsible for the care and treatment of the patients;... has reviewed a patient’s medical records at the patient’s request, has conducted a thorough physical examination of the patient, has provided a treatment plan and/or follow-up care, and has documented these activities in a patient file."
[Editor's Note: On Nov. 2, 2010, 55.79% of Oregon Voters rejected Measure 74 (100 KB), which would have allowed for the creation of state-regulated dispensaries.]
Oregon Department of Human Services
Medical Marijuana Program
PO Box 14450
Portland, OR 97293-0450
Fax: 971-673-1278OR Medical Marijuana Program (OMMP)Information provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
"The OMMP is not a resource for the growing process and does not have information to give to patients." (accessed Jan. 11, 2010)Patient Registry Fee:
7:$200 for new applications and renewals; $100 for application and annual renewal fee for persons receiving SNAP (food stamp) and for Oregon Health Plan cardholders; $20 for persons receiving SSI benefitsAn additional $50 grow site registration fee is charged if the patient is not his or her own grower.
Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
17. Rhode IslandSenate Bill 0710 -- Approved by state House and Senate, vetoed by the Governor. Veto was over-ridden by House and Senate.Timeline:
Approved Conditions: Cancer, glaucoma, positive status for HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, or the treatment of these conditions; A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces cachexia or wasting syndrome; severe, debilitating, chronic pain; severe nausea; seizures, including but not limited to, those characteristic of epilepsy; or severe and persistent muscle spasms, including but not limited to, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn’s disease; or agitation of Alzheimer's Disease; or any other medical condition or its treatment approved by the state Department of Health.
If you have a medical marijuana registry identification card from any other state, U.S. territory, or the District of Columbia you may use it in Rhode Island. It has the same force and effect as a card issued by the Rhode Island Department of Health.
Possession/Cultivation: Limits the amount of marijuana that can be possessed and grown to up to 12 marijuana plants or 2.5 ounces of cultivated marijuana. Primary caregivers may not possess an amount of marijuana in excess of 24 marijuana plants and five ounces of usable marijuana for qualifying patients to whom he or she is connected through the Department's registration process.
Amended: H5359 (70 KB) - The Edward O. Hawkins and Thomas C. Slater Medical Marijuana Act (substituted for the original bill)
June 16, 2009: House overrode the veto 67-0Effective June 16, 2009: Allows the creation of compassion centers, which may acquire, possess, cultivate, manufacture, deliver, transfer, transport, supply, or dispense marijuana, or related supplies and educational materials, to registered qualifying patients and their registered primary caregivers.
Rhode Island Department of Health
Office of Health Professions Regulation, Room 104
3 Capitol Hill
Providence, RI 02908-5097
RI Medical Marijuana Program (MMP)Information provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
"The MMP is not a resource for marijuana and does not have information to give to patients related to the supply of marijuana." (accessed Jan. 11, 2010)Patient Registry Fee:
$75/$10 for applicants on Medicaid or Supplemental Security Income (SSI)Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
Yes, but only for the conditions approved in Rhode Island
18. VermontSenate Bill 76 (45 KB) -- Approved 22-7; House Bill 645 (41 KB) -- Approved 82-59
"Act Relating to Marijuana Use by Persons with Severe Illness" (Sec. 1. 18 V.S.A. chapter 86 (41 KB) passed by the General Assembly) Gov. James Douglas (R), allowed the act to pass into law unsigned on May 26, 2004
Effective: July 1, 2004Amended:Senate Bill 00007 (65 KB)
Effective: May 30, 2007Approved Conditions: Cancer, AIDS, positive status for HIV, multiple sclerosis, or the treatment of these conditions if the disease or the treatment results in severe, persistent, and intractable symptoms; or a disease, medical condition, or its treatment that is chronic, debilitating and produces severe, persistent, and one or more of the following intractable symptoms: cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe pain or nausea or seizures.Possession/Cultivation: No more than two mature marijuana plants, seven immature plants, and two ounces of usable marijuana may be collectively possessed between the registered patient and the patient’s registered caregiver. A marijuana plant shall be considered mature when male or female flower buds are readily observed on the plant by unaided visual examination. Until this sexual differentiation has taken place, a marijuana plant will be considered immature.
Amended:Senate Bill 17 (100 KB) "An Act Relating To Registering Four Nonprofit Organizations To Dispense Marijuana For Symptom Relief"
Signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin on June 2, 2011
The bill "establishes a framework for registering up to four nonprofit marijuana dispensaries in the state... A dispensary will be permitted to cultivate and possess at any one time up to 28 mature marijuana plants, 98 immature marijuana plants, and 28 ounces of usable marijuana."
On Sep. 12, 2012, the State of Vermont Department of Public Safety announced conditional approval (65 KB) of two medical marijuana dispensaries.
Department of Public Safety
103 South Main Street
Waterbury, Vermont 05671
VT Marijuana Registry ProgramInformation provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
"The Marijuana Registry is neither a source for marijuana nor can the Registry provide information to patients on how to obtain marijuana." (accessed Jan. 11, 2010)Patient Registry Fee:
$50Accepts other states' registry ID cards?
19. WashingtonChapter 69.51A RCW (4KB) Ballot Initiative I-692 -- Approved by 59% of voters on Nov. 3, 1998
Effective: Nov. 3, 1998Removes state-level criminal penalties on the use, possession and cultivation of marijuana by patients who possess "valid documentation" from their physician affirming that he or she suffers from a debilitating condition and that the "potential benefits of the medical use of marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks."Approved Conditions: Cachexia; cancer; HIV or AIDS; epilepsy; glaucoma; intractable pain (defined as pain unrelieved by standard treatment or medications); and multiple sclerosis. Other conditions are subject to approval by the Washington Board of Health.Possession/Cultivation: Patients (or their primary caregivers) may legally possess or cultivate no more than a 60-day supply of marijuana. The law does not establish a state-run patient registry.
Amended: Senate Bill 6032 (29 KB)
Effective: 2007 (rules being defined by Legislature with a July 1, 2008 due date)
Amended: Final Rule (123 KB) based on Significant Analysis (370 KB)
Effective: Nov. 2, 2008
Approved Conditions: Added Crohn's disease, Hepatitis C with debilitating nausea or intractable pain, diseases, including anorexia, which result in nausea, vomiting, wasting, appetite loss, cramping, seizures, muscle spasms, or spasticity, when those conditions are unrelieved by standard treatments or medications.
Possession/Cultivation: A qualifying patient and designated provider may possess a total of no more than twenty-four ounces of usable marijuana, and no more than fifteen plants. This quantity became the state's official "60-day supply" on Nov. 2, 2008.
[Editor's Note: On Jan. 21, 2010, the Supreme Court of the State of Washington ruled that Ballot Initiative "I-692 did not legalize marijuana, but rather provided an authorized user with an affirmative defense if the user shows compliance with the requirements for medical marijuana possession." State v. Fry (125 KB)
ProCon.org contacted the Washington Department of Health to ask whether it had received any instructions in light of this ruling. Kristi Weeks, Director of Policy and Legislation, stated the following in a Jan. 25, 2010 email response to ProCon.org:
"The Department of Health has a limited role related to medical marijuana in the state of Washington. Specifically, we were directed by the Legislature to determine the amount of a 60 day supply and conduct a study of issues related to access to medical marijuana. Both of these tasks have been completed. We have maintained the medical marijuana webpage for the convenience of the public.
The department has not received 'any instructions' in light of State v. Fry. That case does not change the law or affect the 60 day supply. Chapter 69.51A RCW, as confirmed in Fry, provides an affirmative defense to prosecution for possession of marijuana for qualifying patients and caregivers."]
Amended: SB 5073 (375 KB)
Effective: July 22, 2011
Gov. Christine Gregoire signed sections of the bill and partially vetoed others, as explained in the Apr. 29, 2011 veto notice. (50 KB) Gov. Gregoire struck down sections related to creating state-licensed medical marijuana dispensaries and a voluntary patient registry.
[Editor's Note: On Nov. 6, 2012, Washington voters passed Initiative 502, which allows the state to "license and regulate marijuana production, distribution, and possession for persons over 21 and tax marijuana sales." The website for Washington's medical marijuana program states that the intiative "does not amend or repeal the medical marijuana laws (chapter 69.51A RCW) in any way. The laws relating to authorization of medical marijuana by healthcare providers are still valid and enforceable."]
Department of Health
PO Box 47866
Olympia, WA 98504-7866
Fax: 360-236-4768MedicalMarijuana@doh.wa.govWA Medical Marijuana websiteInformation provided by the state on sources for medical marijuana:
"The law allows a qualifying patient or designated provider to grow medical marijuana. It is not legal to buy or sell it. The law does not allow dispensaries."(accessed Jan. 11, 2010)Patient Registry Fee:
***No state registration program has been established
Accepts other states' registry ID cards?