How to Get A Medical Marijuana Card in Iowa Step by Step

Since the state of Iowa passed the Medical Cannabidiol Act in 2017 and its 2020 addendum, Iowa patients have been able to legally obtain medical cannabis to treat their qualifying conditions. Using cannabis medicinally can ease the symptoms of a variety of medical conditions, such as epilepsy, intractable autism, severe wasting/wasting syndrome, untreatable pain, and HIV/AIDS.

The application process for an Iowa medical marijuana card can be confusing, but the Sanctuary is here to help. Here is a step-by-step guide detailing how to navigate the process.

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Step 1: Identify Your Qualifying Condition

Iowa's medical cannabidiol program permits a wide range of qualifying conditions. In order for you to become eligible, a healthcare practitioner must certify that you have one of the following conditions:

  • Cancer resulting in severe pain, nausea, vomiting, cachexia, or wasting
  • Seizures
  • Crohn's disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Multiple sclerosis with persistent muscle spasms
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder
  • Any terminal illness
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Intractable pediatric autism with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors
  • Corticobasal degeneration

Step 2: Meet with A Licensed Physician

Next, you must schedule an appointment with a licensed physician and request that they certify your qualifying condition. Iowa defines eligible healthcare practitioners as any licensed physicians, physician assistants, advanced practice registered nurses, or podiatrists. Bring a blank copy of the Iowa Healthcare Practitioner Certification Form to your appointment.

Once your physician fills out the form, you must submit it online. Typically, it is easiest to use the attached QR code on the form to upload it. Keep in mind that it will only remain valid for 60 days after it‘s signed.

If you need assistance finding a doctor, the Sanctuary can help. Contact us for more info on our Iowa telemedicine services.

An extra form is required to purchase more than 4.5 grams of THC at a time. Bring the appropriate waiver to the appointment with you if you wish to have that privilege. You can find the form on the Iowa Department of Public Health (IDPH) website.

Step 3: Compile the Necessary Paperwork

Once you have seen a medical marijuana doctor and gotten your paperwork signed, you must submit an application to the IDPH. They will require the following documents:

  • The Healthcare Practitioner Certification Form
  • Photocopy or scan of your Iowa driver's license or non-operator ID
  • Proof of reduced payment if applicable
  • Valid payment info (debit card, credit card, or e-check)

Minors and adult patients with caregivers must complete a caregiver registration application. Iowa MMJ cards remain valid for one year and must be renewed annually.

Step 4: Submit Your Application

Once you have compiled your paperwork, go to the IDPH's website. Scroll down until you see the "Online Patient Registration" button and click on it.

This will load up the online adult application form, which includes the following info:

  • First name
  • Middle name
  • Last name
  • Gender
  • Date of birth
  • Primary phone number
  • Secondary phone number
  • Email address
  • Primary contact method
  • Permanent Iowa address

All of your required documents can be uploaded on the same page. Be sure to include copies of your photo ID, Healthcare Practitioner Certification, and payment waiver (if applicable). You can use a Social Security Disability benefit notice, Supplemental Security Income payment receipt, or Iowa Medicaid card to reduce or nullify your payment.

Finally, click the “Submit“ button at the bottom and read the attestation statement on the next page. Make sure you enter the same email address you entered for the contact information section at the bottom of the page. Then check the box that says you understand the attestation statement and provide an e-signature.

The last page will be a payment form. Most patients have to pay $100, but you can pay a reduced fee of $25 by submitting a waiver with your application.

Step 5: Receive Your Medical Marijuana Card

Once your payment has been made, you will receive an email stating whether you were approved or denied. If approved, you will get a temporary card in an email that can be used at dispensaries immediately. A hard copy will arrive in the mail later on.

Based on your unique application, the state may request that you submit additional personal information or medical records before issuing you a card.

The same application process is required to acquire a caregiver card.

Once you’re enrolled in Iowa’s medical marijuana program, you’ll be able to use your cannabis card to purchase a variety of cannabis products, such as topical creams, tinctures, lotions, vapes, gels, and even CBD items.

Need Help Obtaining A Iowa Medical Marijuana Card?

Would you like to apply for an Iowa medical cannabidiol card? The Sanctuary Wellness Institute can help guide you through the process so that you can submit a strong application.

At the Sanctuary, we connect Iowa patients with qualifying conditions to licensed physicians who can certify them for medical marijuana treatment. Contact us today to learn more about how we can help you obtain an Iowa medical marijuana card.