What is Medical Marijuana?
Medical marijuana is a drug that can be used to treat certain medical conditions. It is made from the cannabis plant. It is sometimes called medical weed or medical pot, but it should not be confused with industrial hemp, which has no psychoactive properties. In most jurisdictions the use of cannabis for these purposes is illegal. However, there are several studies showing its effectiveness in treating pain and nausea caused by cancer treatments and other causes.
What are the Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana in Michigan?
To be a qualifying condition for medical marijuana in Michigan, your illness or disease must have a set number of symptoms.
No matter the severity of the symptoms, only one of these conditions qualifies you for a certified card:
A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition that results in severe and persistent muscle spasms.
Class A felony convictions related to controlled substances within the last ten years without evidence of substantial rehabilitation may disqualify patients from receiving certification.
An irreversible and incurable brain disorder that causes severe and persistent muscle spasms or seizures, such as from epilepsy or trauma.
A chronic disease or medical condition resulting from treatment for cancer which causes severe pain, nausea, vomiting, wasting syndrome, seizures, muscle spasms or difficulty breathing.
A chronic disease or infection that is resistant to conventional medicine may qualify as a debilitating condition under Michigan law if all of the following are true: The patient has been diagnosed by an MD as being infected with HIV/AIDS; The patient is considering alternative treatments involving medical use of marihuana; The patient is under the continuing supervision of a physician or psychologist licensed to practice in the state, and the physician or psychologist has discussed with the patient both alternative treatments involving use of marijuana and other treatment options.
An acquired immune deficiency syndrome wasting syndrome.
A chronic disease that produces severe impairment of a body part or organ including but not limited to nephritis, sickle cell anemia, cancer supportive care side effects from radiation therapy, Type 2 diabetes mellitus, Hepatitis C.
Post-traumatic stress disorder resulting from direct exposure to a severely traumatizing event during which the person experienced intense fear as defined by 404(2)(d).
Spinal cord injury causing spasticity.
A chronic or debilitating disease, medical condition or its treatment that produces one or more of the following: cachexia; anorexia; severe pain; severe nausea; seizures, including but not limited to those characteristic of epilepsy; and muscle spasms, including but not limited to those characteristic of multiple sclerosis.
Cancer which is a condition diagnosed by a physician as requiring the patient to receive chemotherapy, radiation therapy, surgery and/or other therapeutic procedures by a licensed health care professional who has authority to prescribe such therapy.
How Much Does it Cost to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Michigan?
You can get your medical marijuana card in Michigan for $100 with proof that you have been accepted into the Michigan Medical Marihuana Program as a qualifying patient or caregiver.
If you live in one of the following cities: Ann Arbor, Detroit, Flint, Grand Rapids or Ypsilanti, there is an extra fee for local taxes totaling 5% of the state tax fee. You must also pay this amount when renewing your medical marijuana card in Michigan every two years.
The fee for renewing a medical marijuana card in Michigan is $60 every two years except for those who have been accepted into the program with a chronic debilitating condition that requires hospice care. A person living with cancer may renew his/her card for free within 90 days prior to treatment ending or recertification by their physician after treatment has ended.
Your annual cost for this medicinal alternative will vary depending on how much product you use per month and what type of strains are effective for your condition.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Michigan?
The processing time for a medical marijuana card in Michigan is 30 days from the date of application, unless you have been diagnosed with a chronic debilitating disease that requires hospice care, in which case approval takes 10 days.
You can also check on the status of your submitted application online on the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs website or by calling 517-284-6400 Monday through Friday from 8:30am -5:30pm EST. If approved, you will receive a temporary registry identification card within five business days via USPS mail after paying the fee online. The permanent card will be mailed to you within 90 days.
If your application is denied, you can reapply with new information or an appeal within 30 days. If your appeal is not successful, you have the right to defend yourself in court on the basis of medical necessity.
A medical marijuana card can be the answer to many of your everyday struggles, whether you are suffering from a debilitating condition or not. However, it can be a little overwhelming and confusing trying to figure out how to get a medical marijuana card in Michigan.
If you are suffering from any of the conditions listed above, you may be eligible for a medical marijuana card in Michigan. If you are suffering from a chronic debilitating disease that requires hospice care, you can get your card within 10 days of applying. If approved, you will receive a temporary registry identification card within five business days and the permanent card will be mailed to you within 90 days.
For this reason, if your application is denied, you can reapply with new information or an appeal within 30 days. The processing time for a medical marijuana card in Michigan is 30 days from the date of application unless you are diagnosed with cancer, hepatitis C or HIV/AIDS. The processing time will be 10 days if so.
For more information on Michigan legislation, please visit the MI Legalize website or contact them by phone at 517-819-0020.
John DiBella is a medical marijuana advocate, owner of The Sanctuary Wellness Institute, and a writer. When he’s not writing blogs about medical marijuana, he enjoys hiking, camping and sailing.