How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Rhode Island in 2023
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To get a medical marijuana card in Rhode Island, the first step is getting evaluated by a licensed physician in person, who will determine if you’re eligible for certification.
After that, you’ll need to apply through the Rhode Island Department of Health’s medical marijuana program. You’ll need to provide your medical records and physician certification and pay the application fee.
If approved, you’ll receive a new medical cannabis card, which allows you to legally purchase medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries.
State law prohibits Rhode Islanders from using telehealth to get a doctor’s recommendation for medical marijuana, so Leafwell doesn’t operate in the state. Join our waitlist and be the first to know when the law changes.
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Benefits of Getting a Medical Card in Rhode Island
Rhode Island legalized recreational marijuana use in 2022. However, there are still many benefits of getting a medical card if you have a qualifying health condition.
Medical Marijuana May Be Cheaper
Patients with a Rhode Island medical marijuana card are likely to spend less than recreational users. Why? Recreational cannabis purchases charge a 13% sales tax compared to 7% for medical marijuana.
As a result, adult-use purchases tend to be more expensive. If you buy cannabis regularly, you’re likely to spend thousands more than if you were certified for the state’s medical marijuana program.
You Get Access to Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
When you have a medical marijuana card in Rhode Island, you buy products from a licensed dispensary. These dispensaries have various products with standardized prices and quality, plus trained personnel who can help you find the perfect strain for your needs.
Less Stringent Growing and Possession Limits
With a medical marijuana card, you can carry 2.5 ounces of cannabis flower (up to 10 ounces on your property) and up to one ounce of cannabis concentrate. People with medical marijuana cards can also cultivate and grow their own plants.
You must be at least 18 and a legal Rhode Island resident to get an MMJ card. Before your application is accepted, you’ll need to consult a physician for a health evaluation.
You are not required to have a prior relationship with a cannabis doctor for them to evaluate you. Once approved, they’ll refer you to the state’s health department to review the application.
Can Minors Get a Medical Card in Rhode Island?
Minors under age 18 can get a medical marijuana card through a registered caregiver (guardian or parent). Registered caregivers can also apply on behalf of people who cannot complete the application themselves.
You may be able to qualify for a Rhode Island medical card if you have any of the following health conditions:
- Alzheimer’s disease
- Autism/Asperger syndrome
- Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
- Chronic pain
- Crohn’s disease
- Epilepsy and seizure disorders
- Multiple sclerosis
- Nausea and vomiting
- Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) (patients must be at least 18 to get a medical card for PTSD)
How to Apply
We recommend applying for a medical marijuana card if you have any health issues above and seek cannabis to manage symptoms. Here’s what you need to know about the application process.
Documents You’ll Need
Adults 18 and older applying for a medical card must provide:
- A dated and signed certificate from a registered health practitioner.
- Proof of citizenship and Rhode Island residency, including a driver’s license, vehicle or voter registration, car insurance bill, or other documents that show your name and address.
- Medical records. This may include progress notes, diagnoses, and a list of any medications you take.
Steps to Apply
Once you have all the relevant documentation prepared, you can begin the application process. Here’s what to do next.
- Meet with a licensed healthcare provider – in person.
When you connect with a physician, they will ask questions about your health to determine if medical cannabis is an option for you. After the evaluation, your doctor will complete a Practitioner Written Certification Form, which you’ll need for the state application.
- Complete and submit the state application.
Fill in all the relevant details on the official state application form and submit it along with your physician’s certification and any required documents.
- Get approved and receive your card.
The state agency will contact you if your application is approved to take your photograph. However, this may be done online. You’ll be required to present a driver’s license, state ID, or voter registration if it’s a physical appointment.
You’ll receive your Rhode Island medical marijuana card in the mail within two to four weeks. You can then legally purchase medical cannabis from a registered dispensary in the state.
Fees for your initial doctor’s appointment fee vary. Marijuana is still considered a Schedule 1 drug on the federal level, so insurance doesn’t cover the cost of seeing a prescribing physician, applying for a medical card, or purchasing medical cannabis.
As of December 2022, there is no longer a fee to apply with the state for a medical card. However, you will be charged $10 to get a replacement if you lose your card.
Medical Marijuana Reciprocity
Rhode Island currently has full medical marijuana reciprocity with every state. This means patients can use medical cards from other states to buy medical marijuana in Rhode Island. All you need to do is show your medical card and a valid ID. Rules change from state to state, so it’s a good idea to read up on the specific laws of the state you’re visiting.
Applying as a Caregiver
If a patient is a minor or unable to apply for a card independently, a parent or caregiver can complete the application process on their behalf. To apply as a caregiver, you must be at least 21, live in the state, and be listed on the patient’s application form.
Though there isn’t a fee to become a caregiver, you must submit a background check through the National Criminal Information Center (NCIC). Contact your local police department, the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office, or the Rhode Island state police to make an appointment for the check.
A background check is valid for two years and can be reused if you apply as a caregiver for another patient.
Where to Buy Medical Marijuana
Once you’ve received your Rhode Island medical marijuana card, you can easily purchase cannabis products. Greenleaf is one of the pioneer dispensaries in Rhode Island and is adequately equipped to handle all patients’ medical marijuana needs.
Qualifying patients in Rhode Island can cultivate and possess up to 12 plants and 12 seedlings. Plants must be stored in an indoor facility (in one location) and have Plant Tag certificates obtained from the state’s Department of Business Regulation.
Two or more cardholders can cooperate and cultivate marijuana in one location. Still, the following rules apply:
- No more than 10 ounces of usable marijuana (48 mature plants and 48 seedlings) are allowed on non-residential premises.
- No more than 10 ounces of usable marijuana (24 mature plants and 48 seedlings) are allowed on residential premises.
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