How to Get a Washington DC Medical Marijuana Card in 2021

Ruth Lemon
Ruth Lemon - VP of Operations

Mar 10 2021 - 8 min read

Are you interested in getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Washington DC? You’re in luck! You’ve come to the right place. We hope this article acts as a valuable guide to help you understand the process of applying for your MMJ Card online with Leafwell. We keep this information up to date to make sure it is accurate and makes your journey as simple as possible. Keep reading to find out more.

Washington, D.C.’s laws can be quite confusing, so here’s the essentials you need to keep in mind:

  • Non-medical adult users cannot purchase or sell cannabis – only possess and grow. “Gifting” cannabis is also illegal.
  • Only those with a valid medical marijuana card may legally purchase cannabis from a medical marijuana dispensary in Washington, D.C.
  • There are no specific medical conditions that qualify for medical cannabis in Washington, D.C. – this is up to your certifying physician.
  • Once certified for medical marijuana in Washington, D.C., you will need to apply online to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration for your digital medical cannabis card. Without this, you cannot purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary in Washington, D.C.
  • Initiative 71, which legalized the possession, cultivation and consumption of personal, non-medical cannabis for those aged 21 or over, was not accepted, and much of the legislation overturned. There is no way to legally purchase non-medical, adult use cannabis in Washington, D.C., and consumption in public spaces is still prohibited.

Table of Contents

  1. Getting a Washington DC Medical Marijuana Card Online
  2. Who Can Apply?
  3. What Does an MMJ Card Permit in Washington DC?
  4. How do I Apply?
  5. What Does my Online Medical Marijuana Evaluation with Leafwell Include?
  6. How Much Does a Medical Marijuana Card Cost in Washington DC?
  7. What Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Cards in Washington DC?
  8. What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card?
  9. Do I Need to Present my Medical Records to Leafwell?
  10. How Does a Caregiver Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card?
  11. Can a Qualifying Patient Grow Cannabis in Washington DC?
  12. Are my Details Kept Confidential When I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card?
  13. Does Washington DC Have Medical Marijuana Reciprocity?
  14. Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Washington DC
  15. History of Medical Marijuana Laws in Washington DC
  16. Current Washington DC Medical Marijuana Laws
  17. Useful Links

Getting a Washington DC Medical Marijuana Card Online

In light of the Covid-19 pandemic, patients in Washington DC can now see a medical marijuana doctor online and get certified as a patient in the comfort of their own homes. This was enacted by Mayor Bowser following his Declaration of a Public Health Emergency in March 2020. The application to the state is also all online so it couldn’t be easier and safer to get certified.

As a telehealth platform helping people easily obtain their medical marijuana cards, Leafwell has helped our clients quickly and securely get a Washington DC Medical Marijuana Card online. We’ve put together this valuable guide which will answer all your questions and help individuals living in Washington DC understand the importance of applying for their Washington DC MMJ Card via the easy, HIPAA-compliant process offered by Leafwell’s telemedicine platform.

Who Can Apply?

To apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Washington DC, you must be a legal resident of Washington DC.

Patients must be aged 18 or over in order to apply for a medical marijuana card for themselves. Minors can have caregivers apply on their behalf.

Caregivers must be 18 years or older and you can only be a caregiver for one patient at a time. The application for the caregiver is uploaded as part of the patient’s main application – there is no additional charge.

What Does an MMJ Card Permit in Washington DC?

As an MMJ Card holder in Washington DC, you are permitted to possess:

  • 2 ounces at any one time
  • Allowed product types include flower, concentrates, edibles, transdermal products, seeds and seedlings

However, patients can purchase up to 4 ounces in a 30 day period.

Cannabis is legalized for adult use in Washington DC. Persons over the age of 21 can possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana and grow up to 3 mature plants and 3 immature plants at home. Adult use cannabis is, however, only legal to possess and grow. Non-medical users cannot purchase or sell cannabis.

How do I Apply?

With Leafwell, you can get your Washington DC Medical Marijuana Card in 4 simple steps:

1. Register online with Leafwell and speak with our physician

You can speak to a doctor and qualify for a Washington DC medical marijuana card online. The cost of the online consultation is $99. You are only billed if approved.

2. Receive your certificate from Leafwell

This is a certificate which says that your doctor recommends you become a cannabis patient under the state’s current laws and this certificate is required to apply for your MMJ Card. It includes your recommendation number. You can purchase immediately with this certificate but will need to complete step 3 within 30 days.

3. Complete the Application on the government website

Complete this form including adding in the recommendation number on your certificate and the name of your physician. At this point, you will pay the state fee of $100 (or $25 if you can prove low income). You will need to register to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.

4. Receive your medical marijuana card

Your card will be mailed to you once your application is complete. Your card will be valid for one year from the date of issue.

What Does my Online Medical Marijuana Evaluation with Leafwell Include?

Your online medical marijuana evaluation with Leafwell is quick and easy. In order to get started, we’ll need you to provide us with some preliminary details as well as the option to upload some medical records. These are all passed securely to one of our registered practitioners who can familiarize themselves with your application before your consultation.

The consultation itself is simple and secure, taking place on our bespoke telemedicine platform. You will meet with a Washington DC registered practitioner who has experience issuing certificates for medical marijuana to patients for a range of medical issues. The registered practitioner will speak with you about why you are applying and ask some questions with regards to your medical conditions and history.

At the end of the consultation, the registered practitioner will be able to make an informed decision about whether they recommend the use of medical cannabis based on the medical information they have obtained. If an application is successful, the registered practitioner will complete the certification, including your recommendation number which is part of an application to the Washington DC government. You will then need to apply to the state’s Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.

If an application is unsuccessful, you will not be charged for the consultation.

Once obtained, the certification will last for one year.

How Much Does a Medical Marijuana Card Cost in Washington DC?

The initial consultation with one of the Washington DC registered practitioners via Leafwell’s HIPAA compliant online consultation service is a flat fee of $99. However, if you do not qualify for an MMJ Card and our practitioner elects not to sign your certificate, you will not be charged.

It costs $100 for the MMJ Card and application form, payable to the state. You can apply for a reduced fee of $25 if you are on low income. This is a non-refundable fee which must be paid every time you apply. Each card is valid for one year. Every time you renew, you will be required to meet with a state-licensed healthcare provider via a telemedicine platform like Leafwell and then renew your card via the state website.

The fees for caregivers are the same as patients.

Insurance does not currently cover the cost of applying for an MMJ Card in Washington DC because cannabis is illegal at the federal level.

What Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Cards in Washington DC?

There are no specific qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in Washington, D.C. You’ll need to speak with your healthcare provider during your consultation to decide if you are eligible for a card.

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card?

In order to apply for your MMJ Card in Washington DC, you will need to show your recommendation number which provides proof you have been certified as well as your identification documents. You should gather together the following:

  • Social Security Number
  • 2 recent passport photos
  • Photocopy of U.S., State, or District government-issued photo ID
  • Application fee (paid by certified check, money order or cashier’s check payable to DC Treasurer)
  • $100.00 or $25 if patient can submit proof of low income
  • Two (2) forms of proof of DC residency
  • Electronic Healthcare Practitioner Recommendation – provided by Leafwell after the appointment – must be submitted within 90 days of approval by a Leafwell physician

senate decriminalize cannabis

Do I Need to Present my Medical Records to Leafwell?

No, our physicians don’t need to see your medical records but it is preferable to include them if possible.

This allows them to provide an accurate assessment to ensure that medical cannabis is a good option for each patient on a case-by-case basis.

However, an honest conversation with one of our physicians may be enough for you to be approved – this is at the discretion of our medical professionals.

How Does a Caregiver Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card?

Some patients may be eligible for an MMJ Card but unable to apply for one themselves. For example, should the patient be a minor under the age of 18, or if the patient needs assistance accessing medical cannabis, a caregiver can be assigned to complete the process on their behalf.

It is easy to apply to be a caregiver in Washington DC. Simply complete this application and attach it to the patient application. The fee is the same as the patient. You will also need to provide proof of a criminal background check.

Can a Qualifying Patient Grow Cannabis in Washington DC?

Through the program, medical patients aren’t permitted to grow cannabis.

However, cultivation is legal because adult cannabis use is legal. Individuals can grow up to 3 mature and 3 immature plants in their house.

Are my Details Kept Confidential When I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card?

Yes. Leafwell is committed to protecting the privacy of our patients. Our online service is HIPAA compliant and our systems are designed to keep all of your confidential details safe.

Does Washington DC Have Medical Marijuana Reciprocity?

Washington DC dispensaries may recognize cards from the following states:

  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Hawaii
  • Illinois
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Maryland
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Oregon
  • Pennsylvania
  • Puerto Rico
  • Rhode Island
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington

Medical marijuana cards from other states must be state-issued cards, not cards issued by a private practice. Additionally, caregivers must visit the dispensary with the patient if they are using an out of state card.

Getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Washington DC

Regardless of where you are in Washington DC, you don’t have to visit a clinic in-person in order to qualify for a certificate and MMJ card – you can do it all online, with Leafwell!

History of Medical Marijuana Laws in Washington DC

Here is a brief overview of the history of medical marijuana laws and legislation in Washington DC:

  • 2010 – Council of the District of Columbia legalized medical cannabis
  • January 1, 2011 – the medical cannabis program became legal
  • March 4, 2014 – the Council of the District of Columbia decriminalized possession of cannabis
  • February 26, 2015 – Initiative 71 legalized the non-medical use of cannabis to some extent. The full Initiative was not fully implemented however because it was overturned by Congress, so retail sales of cannabis in Washington DC aren’t legally allowed, and neither is “gifting”.

Current Washington DC Medical Marijuana Laws

While cannabis is legal in Washington DC, there remained a large number of arrests after Initiative 71 had been passed. Many of these arrests are due to public consumption charges – we remind patients that it is not recommended to consume cannabis in public spaces. Initiative 71 was then overturned by Congress.

Although you can legally possess and grow cannabis in Washington, D.C., you cannot legally purchase, sell or gift it without a medical marijuana card. You can find out more about DC cannabis laws here.

To find out more about getting a Medical Marijuana Card in Washington DC, get in touch with the expert team at Leafwell today or use any of these verified resources below:

Written by
Ruth Lemon
Ruth Lemon

Ruth Lemon has worked in Cambodia and Australia, gaining experience in the non-profit sector, education and international development, and digital marketing. Ruth is helping Leafwell to scale without compromising the customer experience and seeks to create a frictionless customer journey. She now lives in the UK with her rescued Cambodian cat and believes Leafwell is improving access to and understanding of a valuable medical alternative.

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