If you are a resident of Colorado and are curious about the steps and requirements needed to obtain your Medical Marijuana Card, this article is for you.  Maybe you are interested to see if medical cannabis can replace current, even harmful, prescription drugs you are currently taking. Or, maybe your prescription drugs are not covered by your current insurance.  These are both very common reasons citizens seek out a med card.

The State of Colorado legalized adult-use cannabis in 2000 and many residents still want to know what it means to be a medical cannabis patient.  How does someone become a medical marijuana patient? What are the risks? How does it all work? Recently, Colorado made the process much easier than in previous years.  It is now easier than ever for potential patients to apply for their med card through an online application process. Registering online only takes a few minutes and is the fastest way to get your medical marijuana card.


To be approved for a medical marijuana card, patients must be at least 18 years of age or older, Colorado residents, and have a qualifying medical condition.  Applicants that are under the age of 18 may also be approved for a medical marijuana card so long as they are Colorado residents, have parental/guardian consent, and have had two separate physicians determine that the minor has a debilitating condition.  The physicians must also explain the possible risks and benefits of medical cannabis to their parents/guardians. You can see all the Restrictions here.

Patients Under the age of 18

You must be 18 years of age to apply for a medical marijuana card.  However, patients under the age of 18 who have serious illnesses, could benefit from medicinal cannabis.  This idea remains controversial, and vigorous research is ongoing throughout the scientific and medical community.  So far, trials have shown that cannabis can help reduce nausea and vomiting due to chronic illness. But right now, allowing persons under 18 access to medical marijuana is on a case by case basis through an experienced medical doctor with expert knowledge of the laws and regulations.  

Medical Marijuana Doctors

The benefits of cannabis to human health is a relatively new concept in the medical world.  And even though acceptance is growing among the general population, there is still skepticism on the legal side of things.  Marijuana doctors, though, see numerous potential benefits for their patients, and are continually facing uncharted legal terrain in order to provide the absolute best treatments available to their patients.  

Medical Marijuana doctors have researched and learned about the medical impact of medical marijuana treatment, as well as the legal aspects of pursuing such treatment.  They are up to date on the everchanging laws and requirements of medical cannabis and will follow state regulations. By remaining compliant to all laws, these experts make it possible for patients to find the relief they deserve.

An MMJ doctor is skilled and experienced in a medical practice.  They are no different than other doctors, except they are willing and qualified to recommend medical marijuana.  They are legally certified with all the rights and privileges to practice in their state. Sometimes these doctors are general practitioners and many times you will find they have a specialty, like oncology.  Remember, not all doctors are comfortable recommending cannabis. This is what they believe is right for their patients and doesn’t mean they are not a good doctor. You can always consult your regular doctor while consulting a cannabis doctor for an alternative method of treatment.

When looking for a medical marijuana doctor, a good place to start your search is with reviews and referrals.  Word of mouth from your friends and family is a great way to get legitimate recommendations for a quality cannabis doctor.  The next place to search is online via reviews. You can also check the status of a physician’s license on the State of Colorado’s DORA website.

Medical Card Benefits

There are many benefits that medical cannabis patients enjoy.  From dosage to accessibility and affordability, patients have a network of support for their ongoing care from the medical side of cannabis legality.  Lower costs and lower taxes are another benefit. State taxes are typically lower for medical dispensaries than recreational ones. This is especially important for those who have come to rely on cannabis for important ongoing medical treatment; lower taxes means higher quality cannabis is available for a more reasonable price.

Since medical marijuana is not covered by insurance, having a medical marijuana card allows patients to obtain their medicine at prices that are much lower than recreational dispensary pricing.  In short, having a medical marijuana card can give you increased access to your medicine at a lower cost, saving big money over even pharmaceuticals that are covered by insurance.

When it comes to consumption of medical cannabis, dosage is very important.  Many patients utilize cannabis for pain or nausea relief, where a high-strength strain of cannabis is usually needed to alleviate the symptoms effectively.  Did you know recreational cannabis dispensaries do not always have to follow the same potency rules and regulations as medical dispensaries? This means that if you purchase your medical cannabis at a dispensary like Hightops Cannabis Dispensary, the quality of your cannabis is always guaranteed and protected by strict potency laws.  

What Are The Steps to Get My Med Card?

You must be a resident of Colorado with a valid Social Security number to be able to obtain medical cannabis.  If that requirement is established, the first step to getting your Med Card in Colorado is registering online with the state.  It is quick and easy if you have this information updated and on hand.  This step will help to make obtaining your first appointment easier and your information is not made public in any way.  HIPAA protection will prevent any of your sensitive information from being sold, duplicated, or otherwise misused.

The next step is making an appointment with your local Med Card physician.  It is important to select a doctor who is on good terms with the state to ensure your application for medical marijuana is accepted.  When you visit a medical marijuana doctor, it will be just like any other doctor’s office visit.  Your doctor will discuss with you your current ailments and how medical cannabis could potentially help your situation.  You will discuss the recommended dosage and consumption methods while answering any of your questions and concerns. It’s important to understand that you are always protected in these appointments by privacy laws in the same way you are protected when you visit any other healthcare professional.  What you discuss with your marijuana doctor is completely private. Your written permission is required for them to share any notes from your visit with any of your other medical providers.

Once you receive your medical card in Colorado, you may only use it in the state of Colorado.  Other states also have limitations which may not protect you outside of Colorado, even if you have a med card.  Colorado will not accept out of state-issued med cards either. If you are going to be out of state, educate yourselves on the laws in the areas you intend to visit or relocate to.  You may have the option to visit another state’s recreational dispensary if you visit or relocate, until you get an updated med card in that state.

Another important fact to note if you are considering a Med Card in Colorado is that employers here are also protected by laws.  They do not have to accommodate your medical marijuana use in the workplace and insurance/workman’s comp is not expected to cover medical marijuana expenses or injuries caused while under the influence, even if you’re using medical marijuana while under a doctor’s care.  

Policies are ongoing and constantly changing.  Hightops Cannabis Dispensary is always on top of all the changing policies and legislation, so keep up with our blog for important information related to the cannabis world.