How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Washington

Washington state legalized medical marijuana in 1998, allowing patients with certain qualifying conditions to access cannabis for medicinal purposes. If you are a resident of Washington and believe that medical marijuana can alleviate your symptoms, obtaining a medical marijuana card is the first step towards legal access. In this article, we will guide you through the process of getting a medical marijuana card in Washington.

1. Determine your eligibility: To qualify for a medical marijuana card in Washington, you must be a resident of the state and have a qualifying medical condition such as cancer, chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, or HIV/AIDS, among others. The complete list of qualifying conditions can be found on the Washington State Department of Health’s website.

2. Consult with a healthcare professional: Schedule an appointment with a healthcare professional who is authorized to recommend medical marijuana. This can be a doctor, nurse practitioner, or physician assistant. They will evaluate your medical history, symptoms, and current treatments to determine if medical marijuana is a suitable option for you.

3. Obtain a written recommendation: If the healthcare professional believes that medical marijuana may benefit you, they will provide you with a written recommendation. This recommendation should include your name, date of birth, the qualifying condition, and their signature. Keep this written recommendation safe as you will need it for the next steps.

4. Register with the Medical Marijuana Authorization Database (MMAD): Visit the MMAD website ( and create an account. Provide the required information and upload a scanned copy or photo of your written recommendation. Pay the registration fee, which is currently $1, and submit your application.

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5. Await approval: Once your application is submitted, the MMAD will review it and verify your eligibility. This process may take a few weeks, so be patient. You can check the status of your application online using your MMAD account.

6. Receive your medical marijuana card: If your application is approved, you will receive your medical marijuana card in the mail. This card is valid for one year from the date of issue. Remember to keep your card with you whenever you possess or purchase medical marijuana.


1. Can I use my medical marijuana card in other states?
No, the medical marijuana card issued in Washington is only valid within the state borders. Each state has its own set of regulations regarding medical marijuana.

2. How much does it cost to get a medical marijuana card in Washington?
The registration fee for a medical marijuana card in Washington is currently $1. However, additional costs may include the healthcare professional’s consultation fee.

3. Can I grow my own marijuana with a medical marijuana card?
Yes, as a medical marijuana cardholder in Washington, you are allowed to cultivate a limited number of marijuana plants for personal use. The maximum number of plants allowed is determined by your healthcare professional’s recommendation.

4. Can I use my medical marijuana card to purchase recreational marijuana?
No, a medical marijuana card is specifically for the purchase of medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries. Recreational marijuana can be purchased by anyone over the age of 21 without a medical card.

5. Can I lose my job for using medical marijuana?
Employers in Washington have the right to enforce drug-free workplace policies. It is essential to understand your employer’s stance on the use of medical marijuana and whether it may affect your employment.

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6. Can minors obtain a medical marijuana card in Washington?
Yes, minors can be eligible for a medical marijuana card in Washington, but they require the consent of their parent or legal guardian to apply.

7. Can I use my medical marijuana card to purchase edibles and concentrates?
Yes, medical marijuana cardholders in Washington can purchase a wide range of cannabis products, including edibles, concentrates, oils, and topicals.

8. Can I use my medical marijuana card for tax exemptions?
No, medical marijuana is subject to the same tax regulations as recreational marijuana in Washington. There are no tax exemptions for medical marijuana cardholders.

9. Can I apply for a medical marijuana card if I am not a Washington resident?
No, to obtain a medical marijuana card in Washington, you must be a resident of the state. Out-of-state residents are not eligible for Washington’s medical marijuana program.

Now that you have a step-by-step guide on how to get a medical marijuana card in Washington, consult with a healthcare professional to determine if medical marijuana is the right option for you. Remember to always abide by the state’s regulations and use medical marijuana responsibly.