Medical professionals recommending medical cannabis must be an M.D. or D.O. in good standing with an active Colorado medical license. Physicians with conditions or restrictions on their licenses, or out-of-state licenses, are not accepted. Physicians must have an active DEA certification. For purposes of recommending medical marijuana, in good standing means:

  1. The physician holds a doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from an accredited medical school;
  2. The physician holds a valid license to practice medicine in Colorado that does not contain a restriction or condition that prohibits the recommendation of medical marijuana or for a license issued prior to July 1, 2011, a valid, unrestricted and unconditioned; and
  3. The physician has a valid and unrestricted United States Department of Justice federal drug enforcement administration-controlled substances registration

Based on Board of Health regulations, only physicians who have a bona fide physician-patient relationship with a particular patient may "certify to the state health department that the patient has a debilitating medical condition and that the patient may benefit from the use of medical marijuana." A bona fide relationship means:

  1. A physician and a patient have a treatment or counseling relationship, in the course of which the physician has completed a full assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition, including an appropriate personal physical examination;
  2. The physician has consulted with the patient with respect to the patient's debilitating medical condition before the patient applies for a registry identification card; and
  3. The physician is available to or offers to provide follow-up care and treatment to the patient, including but not limited to patient examinations, to determine the efficacy of the use of medical marijuana as a treatment of the patient's debilitating medical condition.

Qualifying Debilitating Medical Conditions include:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Cachexia
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe pain

To recommend medical cannabis for only disabling medical conditions in Colorado you must be one of the following types of advanced practice practitioners with prescriptive authority:

  • Dentist
  • Physician’s assistant
  • Advanced nurse practitioner
  • Podiatrist
  • Optometrist

This requires advanced practice practitioners with prescriptive authority to be in good standing, licensed to practice in Colorado, and have a valid and unrestricted DEA certification.

Qualifying Disabling Medical Conditions include:

  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • An Autism Spectrum Disorder
  • Any condition for which a physician could prescribe an opioid

Medical professionals have a legal right to recommend cannabis as a treatment in any state, as protected by the First Amendment. Established by a 2004 United States Supreme Court decision to uphold earlier federal court rulings that found doctors and their patients have a fundamental Constitutional right to freely discuss treatment options.

More resources for medical professionals can be found here.