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Becoming a Medical Cannabis Patient In Michigan

November 15, 2019 04:12 pm ET
Becoming a Medical Cannabis Patient In Michigan

Michigan is one of the more cannabis-friendly states in the US. The Great Lakes State implemented the Compassionate Care Initiative that allowed those suffering from specific illnesses to possess and grow their own cannabis medicine with a physician’s recommendation. Ten years later in 2018, recreational usage became legalized. The laws surrounding cannabis have always been lenient in Michigan, even stemming back to prohibition days. Now, a growling list of qualifying conditions allows residents to have legal access to their medicine. 

Michigan Medical Cannabis Laws: 

In most state’s medical marijuana programs, patients must suffer at least one of the state’s sanctioned qualifying conditions to become eligible as a cardholder. However, Michigan is a little different. There are two routes to become a medical cannabis patient. A person can officially register with the state or remain unregistered and utilize Affirmative Defense in the event of criminal prosecution. 

In order to register with the state, a patient must suffer from at least one qualifying condition.

Qualifying Conditions: 

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV Positive
  • AIDS
  • Hepatitis C
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Agitation of Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Nail Patella
  • Post – Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder
  • Arthritis
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis
  • Spinal Cord Injury
  • Colitis
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease
  • Ulcerative Colitis
  • Parkinson’s Disease
  • Tourette’s Disease
  • Autism
  • Chronic Pain
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • A chronic or debilitating disease or medical condition or its treatment that produces 1 or more of the following:
    • Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
    • Severe and Chronic Pain
    • Severe Nausea
    • Seizures (Including but not limited to characteristics of epilepsy)
    • Severe and Persistent Muscle Spasms (Including but not limited to characteristics of multiple sclerosis)

In the event of criminal prosecution of an unregistered cannabis user, the state will allow them to assert Affirmative Defense which permits the medical use of cannabis for any unspecified chronic or debilitating illness as long as it can be validated by a physician. This also applies to both patients and caregivers who are involved with possession, cultivation, manufacturing, transporting, and using (as a patient). It’s the opinion of many that Affirmative Defense has better protection for patients than the state’s main Medical Marijuana Act. And to top it all off, Michigan also accepts petitions from the public to include more conditions to the list. 

How To Register As A Patient: 

Once certified by a licensed physician, prospective patients can apply to become an official patient manually or utilize the online patient portal on the state’s Department of Licensing And Regulatory Affairs website (LARA). Physicians will need to have an online account with LARA and submit the patient’s certification form following evaluation. Patients will need to provide proof of residency via a government-issued ID card or driver’s license, pay a $40 application fee, and be able to provide the certifying physician’s license no. Once completed, they will either receive the determination status in the mail or be able to see the results in the online portal upon login. Patients that choose to register with a paper application will need to send in the original signed application and physician certification form, and be sure that these documents have been signed within the last 6 months. 

How Veriheal Can Help 

Finding the right physician can be tough especially if you are unsure. Veriheal also offers convenient services that streamline the whole entire process. When patients book a consultation through Veriheal, they will be linked with a licensed doctor in their state that will approve them for their card. Upon their doctor’s approval, and receipt of their “Physician Certification” form, patients can go ahead and register for their medical card through the state. The card will come through the mail in about 2-3 weeks. All patients will need to annually recertify their license by seeing a licensed physician again. Veriheal will get in touch with you when your certification is approaching its expiration to help you set up a renewal consultation. Renewals will be accepted within 90 days of the card’s expiration. 

What’s next?

Once the card arrives, patients can begin purchasing legally from any dispensary in Michigan. Patients are able to carry up to 2.5 oz. of cannabis flower, up to 15g of cannabis concentrates, and keep up to 10 oz secured away at their residence. Patients can cultivate up to 12 plants for personal use as long as they are grown indoors or are hidden from the public. 

Navigating the cannabis realm can be challenging as states operate their own set of individual rules and regulations. Make a point to stay abreast so you don’t accidentally break the law. Veriheal takes the hard part out of the equation and is happy to educate those who are looking for answers and point them in the right direction so that you can have access to their medicine as soon as possible. Get on the path to healing today.

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