How To Join The Colorado Medical Marijuana Program

Colorado has a long history in cannabis, launching its first medical marijuana program in 2000. The Centennial State continues to provide qualifying patients with access to legal cannabis through the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment. Learn more about how to apply for a medical card in Colorado, as well as the requirements, and benefits with our guide.

Qualifications for Medical Cannabis in Colorado

Before you begin your medical marijuana card journey, make sure you meet the following requirements, outlined by the Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry:

Colorado places qualifying medical conditions within two categories: debilitating medical conditions and disabling medical conditions. Patients can also seek certification for a Colorado medical card if they suffer from a condition in which a physician could prescribe an opioid.

How to Apply for a Colorado Medical Marijuana Card [3 Steps]

If you meet the above requirements for a Colorado medical cannabis card, you’re ready to begin the application process! Follow these steps to become part of the state’s Medical Marijuana Registry.

Step 1: Get Certified by Your Healthcare Practitioner

First, meet with your healthcare provider to discuss your qualifications for a medical marijuana card. If you suffer from one of the debilitating or disabling medical conditions outlined by the state, your practitioner can provide certification for medical cannabis and submit it electronically to the registry.

Step 2: Create an Online Account

Before you begin your application, make sure you have the following items:

  • Valid Colorado ID or driver’s license; and
  • Social security number; and
  • Credit card or bank account (to pay the application fee).

Once you have these items, visit the state’s website, create your account, and upload the required documentation. You’ll also need to pay the application processing fee of $29.50.

Step 3: Submit Your Application

Once you submit your application, you’ll likely receive approval via email within three business days. You are then able to download and print your medical marijuana card from your online account page.

Renewing Your Medical Card in Colorado

If your medical marijuana card was issued for a debilitating medical condition, it is valid for one year based on application approval date. Cards issued for disabling medical conditions may be valid anywhere from 60 days to one year, depending on the provider’s recommendation. 

In both scenarios you will need to obtain another provider certification, as well as apply online, and pay the $29.50 processing fee.

Colorado Medical Marijuana Laws & Information

Every state that offers a medical marijuana program has its own unique set of rules and regulations. If you are a medical patient in Colorado, it’s important to understand the local laws and how they may apply to you.

Purchase Requirements

Medical marijuana patients in Colorado are able to purchase up to two ounces of medical marijuana; up to eight grams of concentrates; or up to 20,000 milligrams of THC in one day.

Medical Marijuana Sales Tax

Medical marijuana purchases in Colorado are subject to a 2.9% sales tax, as well as any local sales taxes.

Medical Cannabis Caregivers

Medical marijuana patients in Colorado can designate a caregiver to assist with medical marijuana consumption and purchasing. Caregivers can be one of four types: cultivating, transporting, parents of a minor patient, or advising. Visit the state’s website for more information about becoming or designating a caregiver.

Medical Cannabis for Minors

Colorado allows medical cannabis for minors who qualify, although guidelines are more strict for these patients. In addition to two physician certifications, minors must have a certified caregiver who is also registered with the state.

Colorado Medical Marijuana Card FAQs

The medical cannabis card application process can be a bit confusing. Here are the most common questions we hear at our locations.

Yes, you will need to provide proof of Colorado residency to be approved for a medical marijuana card.

Yes, the Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry allows for both online and mail-in applications.

No, dispensaries in Colorado do not honor medical cannabis cards issued by other states. However, visitors who are 21 or older can shop at a recreational dispensary.

The state of Colorado requires the applicant to pay a non-refundable processing fee of $29.50 for each application.

If you apply for your medical marijuana card through the state’s online system, it will take up to three days to receive your printable card. If you mail your application to the state, it will take up to eight weeks to receive your card.

Your medical practitioner certification is only good for one year, which means your card will expire within one year of your application approval. The expiration date will appear on your medical marijuana card.