QUALIFYING PATIENTS IN WASHINGTON
Eligible Medical Conditions:
If you are diagnosed with one of the following conditions, you may be eligible for physician certification as a patient in Washington:
- 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
- Chronic renal failure requiring hemodialysis
Benefits of Being a Patient:
As a registered patient in Washington you will have an affirmative defense in court if you are arrested for the possession of cannabis. You will also be legally protected from discrimination based on your cannabis use in a child custody hearing. An employer will not be allowed to fire you on the basis of your enrollment in the program. You will not be denied an organ transplant based on your cannabis use. Landlords cannot evict you on the basis of your medical cannabis use. You are also exempt from paying sales tax when buying products from a medically-endorsed retail store.
Becoming a Designated Provider:
If you wish to become a provider in Wasington, you must be 21 years of age or older. You must be either: The parent or legal guardian of a qualifying patient that is a minor and must hold a recognition card; or designated in writing by the qualifying patient (if over 18 years of age) to serve as a designated provider. To get started you'll need to obtain either: An individual authorization from the patient's authorizing health care professional separate from the patient; or a recognition card, after being entered into the medical marijuana authorization database as a designated provider. You may only be a designated provider for a single patient at any one time.
Patients may be responsible for the cost of Recognition Card Fees. Adult patients who choose to enroll in the state registry are required to pay a $1 fee for the medical cannabis card. The average cost for each card may be between $1 and $10 (or more) depending on which store you go to. (https://app.leg.wa.gov/RCW/default.aspx?cite=69.51A.230)
State law does not recognize medical cannabis cards from other states, but individuals at least 21 years of age or older with a current and valid state-issued identification from their home state may purchase cannabis in the state’s licensed retail dispensaries. While there is no state reciprocity program, patients should still travel with their medical cannabis ID cards (or their equivalents) in case of any potential interaction with law enforcement. Washington prohibits consumption of cannabis in any public place. For more information about traveling as a medical cannabis patient, check out our Travel Guide.
In 2012, in the state of Washington “clemency relief” was provided to certain individuals who have prior convictions for cannabis possession. Adults 21 and over who have been convicted between January 1, 1998 and December 5, 2012 may be granted pardons through the Marijuana Justice Initiative’s expedited process. In 2019, Senate Bill 5605 was signed by Governor Jay Inslee, facilitating the expungement of past low-level marijuana convictions.
Medical cannabis patients can find additional resources here
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