Becoming a Patient in Washington

In order to become a medical cannabis patient in Washington, a person must suffer from a terminal or debilitating condition and reside in state at the time of diagnosis. Qualifying patients may legally possess marijuana for their own medical use (up to the amounts detailed below) with no requirement for registration. The law also allows individuals to cultivate their own medicine, designate a provider to do so or participate in cooperatives.

Qualifying Conditions

  • Cancer
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV)
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorder
  • Spasticity disorders
  • Intractable pain, unrelieved by standard treatments and medications
  • Glaucoma (acute or chronic), unrelieved by standard treatments and medications
  • Crohn’s disease with debilitating symptoms, unrelieved by standard treatments and medications
  • Hepatitis C with debilitating nausea or intractable pain, unrelieved by standard treatments and medications
  • Diseases, including anorexia, which cause nausea, vomiting, wasting, appetite loss, cramping, seizures, muscle spasms or spasticity, unrelieved by standard treatments or medications
  • Posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD)
  • Traumatic brain injury

Patient Requirements

  • Must be in the care of a licensed health care professional, defined as a physician, physician’s assistant, naturopath or advanced registered nurse practitioner
  • Must be diagnosed with a terminal or debilitating medical condition
    • The condition must be:
      • Severe enough to significantly interfere with activities of daily living and ability to function; and
      • Objectively assessed and evaluated by the licensed health care professional
  • Must be a resident of the state of Washington at the time of diagnosis
  • Must be advised by health care professional of potential benefits of medical marijuana
  • Must be advised by health care professional about the risks and benefits of medical marijuana
  • Must have either:
    • Authorization form from patient’s health care professional; or
    • A recognition card after patient has been registered into the medical marijuana authorization database
  • Authorizations expire in one year for adult patients and six months for minor patients (under 18 years of age).
  • Additional requirements for minor patients:
    • Must ensure the minor patient’s parent or legal guardian participates in the treatment and consents to medical use of marijuana
    • Must have the minor patient’s parent or legal guardian act as the designated provider for the minor patient with sole control over the minor patient’s marijuana
    • Must have both the minor patient and the minor patient’s parent or legal guardian acting as designated provider entered into the database and hold a recognition card
    • Must not have the minor patient grow plants or purchase marijuana/marijuana products from a marijuana retailer
  • Possession Amounts:
    • Qualified Patients with a Recognition Card:
      • May purchase sales-tax free any combination of the following from a licensed marijuana store with a medical endorsement:
        • 3 oz. usable marijuana;
        • 48 oz. marijuana-infused product in solid form;
        • 216 oz. marijuana-infused product in liquid form; or
        • 21 grams marijuana concentrate
      • May grow in their home or as a member of a cooperative:
        • 6 plants for personal medical use; and
        • 8 oz. usable marijuana produced from their plants
        • Note: If the patient’s healthcare practitioner determines the patient requires more than the above amount, they may authorize:
          • Up to 15 plants for personal medical use; and
          • Up to 16 oz. usable marijuana produced from their plants.
      • Note: No more than 15 plants may be grown or located in any one housing unit, even if multiple qualifying patients or designated providers reside in the housing unit. The only exception is for cooperative gardens.
    • Qualified Patients with Authorization Form only (no Recognition Card):
      • May purchase only the amounts allowed for non-patients from a licensed retail marijuana store:
        • 1 oz. usable marijuana;
        • 16 oz. marijuana-infused product in solid form;
        • 72 oz. marijuana-infused product in liquid form; or
        • 7 grams of marijuana concentrate
      • May grow in their home:
        • 4 plants for personal medical use; and
        • 6 oz. usable marijuana produced from their plants.
      • Note: Patients who aren’t entered into the database are limited to 4 plants and 6 oz. of usable marijuana even if a higher number of plants is indicated on their authorization form.

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