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How Long Does It Take To Get A Medical Card?

Emily Mullins

by Emily Mullins

March 27, 2024 11:29 am ET Estimated Read Time: 9 Minutes
Fact checked by Kymberly Drapcho
How Long Does It Take To Get A Medical Card?

Getting a medical cannabis card can help with a variety of conditions ranging from mental illnesses like anxiety to physical ailments such as seizures or insomnia. Medical cards also have numerous associated benefits, including enhanced legal protection, tax exemptions, access to higher potency strains, and more.

While getting a medical card is easy and streamlined when using a service like Veriheal, many customers want to know how quickly they will get their card after the consultation. This can vary based on factors like your state, your condition, the length of time it takes to process your application, the type of card, and how quickly your mail service runs.

It’s difficult to determine the exact amount of time it will take, but we compiled some averages so you can have a better expectation for when your medical card will arrive.

How Long Does it Take to Get a Medical Card?

Thirty-eight states and Washington, D.C. currently have legal medicinal marijuana, and the process for getting a card is slightly different in all of them. However, they all follow the same basic steps:

  • receive a certification from a qualified healthcare practitioner
  • apply for your card online through your state’s program
  • pay any necessary fees
  • print your card (if provided virtually) or wait until you are approved and it arrives in the mail

Once you complete your healthcare appointment and application, all you can do is wait until your state approves you and sends over the card. This can take anywhere from a few hours to eight weeks, depending on where you live.

For more information on how long it may take for your card to arrive in your state, check our list below:

  • Alabama: Alabama’s medical program is new, so the state hasn’t yet said how long it will take to process applications. However, more information should be available later this year.
  • Alaska: Alaska takes about five weeks to process applications, after which time you will receive your card in the mail
  • Arizona: The state processes MMJ applications within five days. Digital cards are ready in 1-5 days, and physical cards should arrive within about 10 days.
  • Arkansas: Arkansas can process your application in up to 14 days. Once they do, you’ll receive a notification to print your card.
  • California: The state has 30 days to process your application, after which time it must provide your card within five days. Some healthcare providers can help you access your card much faster and give you a virtual card until your physical one arrives.
  • Colorado: Applications submitted online are approved in 1-3 days, while those sent by mail can take 6-8 weeks. Your card should arrive within two weeks after approval.
  • Connecticut: The state’s MMJ program will send you both digital and physical cards within 30 days of applying.
  • Delaware: Your physical card should arrive within 45 days of submitting your application.
  • District of Columbia: Your card should arrive in the mail within 2-3 weeks of applying.
  • Florida: After 1-2 weeks, you’ll receive a temporary registration verification that can be used at dispensaries until your physical card arrives another week or two later.
  • Hawaii: On average, it takes between 2-4 weeks to get your med card in Hawaii, but sometimes patients receive their cards faster.
  • Illinois: The Department of Health has 30 days to review applications, after which time they must send patients their cards within 15 days.
  • Iowa: Cards arrive in the mail 30 days after submitting an application.
  • Kentucky: The state must approve or deny an application within 30 days, and patients will receive their card within five days after that.
  • Louisiana: Louisiana does not distribute medical cards. Instead, your certificate will be sent to the dispensary of your choice. You can usually start shopping for cannabis within one or two days.
  • Maine: Maine uses certificates instead of cards, which can arrive in 3-5 business days after you are approved.
  • Maryland: It may take between 30 and 90 days to receive your card in the mail. However, patients can purchase cannabis using a temporary digital card until the physical one arrives.
  • Massachusetts: The state will send your card ten days after you submit your application, but they also provide a temporary card you can use until yours arrives.
  • Michigan: It can take anywhere from 2-6 weeks to receive your card, but you can start purchasing marijuana 21 days after your application is submitted.
  • Minnesota: Instead of a physical card, Minnesota will send you a verification email within 30 days of applying. This email functions as your MMJ card.
  • Mississippi: The state has 30 days to review and approve your application. You’ll then receive your card within five days.
  • Missouri: You’ll receive a digital card within 30 days of applying.
  • Montana: Your card will arrive in the mail about 30 days after applying.
  • Nevada: Patients typically receive their card in the mail 7-10 days after applying, but they also receive a temporary virtual card that can be used in the meantime.
  • New Hampshire: Patients will receive their card in the mail 3-4 weeks after submitting their application.
  • New Jersey: The state must review applications within 30 days. After that, it can take about 10 days to receive your card in the mail.
  • New Mexico: Applications submitted online are processed within five days, after which time an electronic card is available that can be used at dispensaries.
  • New York: Once your registration is approved, it takes 7-10 days to receive your card. You can also download a temporary ID from the state website to use until the physical one arrives.
  • North Dakota: It takes about 2-4 weeks for North Dakota to process your application and mail your card.
  • Ohio: It takes the state 2-3 weeks to approve your application. After that, you’ll be able to download a virtual card or receive one in the mail.
  • Oklahoma: Applications must be approved within 14 days. It can take another two weeks for your card to arrive.
  • Oregon: It can take up to 30 days for your application to be approved, and you’ll receive your card in another 7-10 business days.
  • Pennsylvania: It can take between five days and two weeks for your card to arrive after submitting your application.
  • Rhode Island: Your card will be mailed within 1-3 weeks of submitting your application.
  • South Dakota: It can take up to 15 days to process applications, and you should receive your card another five business days after that.
  • Texas: Texas does not use MMJ cards. Instead, you’ll be registered with the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) within 24 hours and can begin purchasing cannabis.
  • Utah: Your application will be reviewed within 15 days, at which point your card will be sent in the mail.
  • Vermont: It can take up to 30 days for your application to be approved and your card mailed.
  • Virginia: On average, applications are reviewed and approved within 7-10 days, but the state has up to 30 days to review your application. Your card will be sent after that.
  • Washington: If approved, you’ll get a virtual authorization that can be used at dispensaries on the same day.
  • West Virginia: Your card will be sent in the mail 30-45 days after submitting your application.

Can I Go to a Dispensary Before My Card Arrives?

In certain states, you can visit a dispensary before receiving your physical medical card. States like Texas immediately register patients in a directory, and states including New Mexico, Florida, and Arizona offer digital cards that can be used before physical ones arrive.

On the other hand, in many states, you must wait until your application is approved and you receive your physical card. You’ll be turned away if you attempt to purchase cannabis at a dispensary without your card and ID in a medicinal-only state. Recreational (adult-use) states allow anyone over 21 with a valid ID to purchase marijuana products.

Why You Should Get Your Medical Marijuana Card

Veriheal has satisfied millions of patients nationwide by giving them access to these benefits

  • Larger purchase limits
  • Peace of mind
  • Enhanced legal protection
  • Access to higher potency strains
  • Save up to 25% on cannabis purchases
  • Skip the line at the dispensary

Do You Lose Your Gun Rights if You Have a Medical Card?

Federal laws still see cannabis as an illegal Schedule I substance with no medical benefits. As such, it’s not permitted for cannabis users to own guns. Both recreational and medicinal users fall under this ruling. However, state laws can make these rules and regulations somewhat murky.

Certain states, such as Colorado, Mississippi, and Delaware, are working to grant gun rights to medical cannabis users. Unfortunately, those state legislators are battling against federal regulations, so these laws may still not protect firearm owners from certain legal situations.

In the majority of legal states, having a medical card means that you can’t own or possess a firearm. It also prohibits you from getting a concealed carry license. Rescheduling cannabis could change this, but only time will tell if this will pass.

Frequently Asked Questions

If you have additional questions about getting your medical marijuana card, the following answers may be able to help.

How long does it take to get a medical card after approval?

The exact amount of time it takes to receive your medical card can vary widely between states. It may be as little as a day or as long as two months.

Is the time frame for getting a medical marijuana card the same for all states?

No. Some states have set time limits for how quickly they must approve medical marijuana patients, while others take them in the order they arrive.

Can I track my medical card in the mail?

Most states do not provide tracking information for medical marijuana cards. However, some may let you know via email when they are shipped out. You can also call to check on the status of your application.

How long does it take to renew a medical card?

Renewing a medical marijuana card is an easy process. Once you see your physician again to confirm you still need cannabis for your qualifying condition, your application will be sent to the state. It can take a few days to a few weeks to review your application, so plan ahead to ensure there are no gaps in your coverage.

Get Your Medical Marijuana Card Today

If you have more questions about getting your medical cannabis card, we can help. Our quick, easy, and professional service is streamlined so you can start purchasing marijuana products quickly and without stress. To learn more, schedule an appointment with one of our healthcare providers today.

Post Your Comments

Charles Herbst says:

April 11, 2024 at 6:14 pm

The process for Washington is Incorrect. You must wait for a tamper-proof card to be shipped to you before you can enter a dispensary. Please fix this.


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