Becoming a Patient in Colorado


Any patient with a valid registry card may legally use marijuana for medicinal purposes and their caregiver may assist them in doing so. A patient who is charged with a crime for having more medicine than the law allows may argue in court that possessing this extra medicine was medically necessary.

Police are instructed not to harm or neglect any property related to medical marijuana (including plants). Any property seized must be returned as soon as the DA determines possession was for medical use.

What's Allowed

Between you and your caregiver, you can legally possess six marijuana plants, only three of which may be mature enough to bear usable marijuana, plus two ounces of marijuana in usable form. If you violate these limits, they can keep you off the registry for one year.

Don't be dangerous (i.e., don't drive under the influence), and don't be obvious (i.e., don't smoke in public or flash your stash). That is still illegal.

If you violate their rules, they'll revoke your card for a year.


Eligible conditions include: AIDS, HIV, cancer, glaucoma, Plus any of the following symptoms that are caused by a chronic or debilitating disease, or the treatment of such disease: cachexia (severe weight loss caused by a medical condition or its treatment), severe pain, severe nausea, seizures, or persistent muscle spasms. Your doctor must believe marijuana will relieve these symptoms. Colorado may add other conditions to this list.


You can grow medical marijuana or have your caregiver grow it. There are dispensaries in Colorado, but the state medical marijuana laws do not regulate them. Local ordinances may affect how and whether dispensaries can operate in your community. Colorado Medical maintains a list of dispensaries.

NOTE: Colorado pass a law in 2016 (HB 1359) that forbids prohibiting persons serving probation from being denied access to medical marijuana, except in limited circumstances. Generally speaking, the law allows patients serving probation to use medical marijuana under Colorado law as long as the crime they were convicted for is not related medical marijuana.


A "Primary caregiver" must be at least eighteen years old and have significant responsibility for managing the well-being of a patient. The caregiver may legally grow, possess, and distribute marijuana for the patient. There is no restriction to the number of patients which one primary caregiver may serve.

The caregiver's name and address will appear on the patient's registry ID.

Age Limits

Minors may be legal medical marijuana patients as long as they have parental consent.

Application Process

You must complete the following documents and send them to the registry by certified mail or drop box:

Note: Online patient registration will be available beginning in January 2017.


Colorado won't help you find a doctor. Doctors cannot be punished for discussing or recommending medical marijuana to their patients.The doctor who writes your recommendation must be licensed in Colorado.


The ID card will show your name, address, date of birth, social security number, and the Name and address of your caregiver. It should not list your medical condition. The registry is confidential. Police or government officials can only access the registry to check if you are a lawful patient. The Dept. will release your file to you with your written consent.


The law does not specifically address whether or not you can be evicted due to your status as a medical marijuana patient, even if you have only the amount of medical marijuana allowed by law. Also, it doesn't address whether you can live in subsidized housing, or whether you can grow, possess, and use marijuana in your house if it's within 1000 feet of a school.


The Colorado medical marijuana laws do not require an employer to accommodate medical use of marijuana in the workplace. It is not specified whether or not this regulation concerning accommodation pertains only to on-the-job medical marijuana use, or more generally,to the employment of medical marijuana patients. The law does not discuss the issue of employment-related drug testing.


Your insurance will not cover medical marijuana expenses.


Colorado only recognizes it's own state-issued medical marijuana ID cards. However, Montana, Rhode Island, and Michigan should recognize your Colorado card. If you do not have a Colorado medical marijuana ID, then you are not protected in Colorado.

For more info

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment's Medical Marijuana Registry:
Phone: (303) 692-2184




Law enforcement

Laws and policies

Statistics and data
Medical Marijuana Registry aggregate statistics and data.

Medical marijuana centers
Verify a purchaser's application isn't denied

Phone, email and drop box information