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Apply for Your Washington, D.C., Medical Marijuana Card Online

  • A medical card can save you money on every marijuana purchase.
  • See a healthcare provider on your schedule.
  • Pay only $99 for your appointment — and get your money back if not approved!

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How to Get a Washington, D.C., Medical Marijuana Card Online

  1. 1

    Register Online with Leafwell

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

  2. 2

    Receive Your Recommendation From Leafwell

    This certificate 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 if you are under 21 years of age. It includes your recommendation number. People at least 21 years of age can ‘Self-Certify’ and do not need to see a physician.

  3. 3

    Complete the Application on the D.C. Website

    Complete the form emailed to you in your approval email from Leafwell, including adding the recommendation number on your certificate and the name of your physician. You will need to register with the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration.

  4. 4

    Receive your Card

    You’ll receive both a digital and physical card once your application is complete. Your card will be valid for two years from the date of issue.

Benefits of Having a Medical Card in Washington, D.C.

In 2014, D.C. voters approved an initiative that legalized cannabis cultivation and recreational use but not recreational sales. That means the only way to purchase cannabis products in the district legally is with a medical card.

Despite the legal allowances for adults 21 and up to cultivate and transfer marijuana, there are distinct advantages for patients with a Washington, D.C., medical marijuana card.

Broader Accessibility

Medical marijuana cardholders may purchase cannabis from the district’s medical dispensaries. There is currently no way to buy cannabis for recreational use in the district legally.

Higher Possession Limit

Medical patients may purchase and possess up to eight ounces of usable marijuana every 30 days. Recreational users may only possess up to two ounces of usable marijuana at a given time.

Eligibility Requirements

Adults aged 18 and up suffering from a chronic condition that may be treatable with medical marijuana are eligible to apply for a Washington, D.C., medical marijuana card.

New patients aged 18-20 must register for a consultation with a district-licensed healthcare provider and receive a written recommendation to qualify. That consultation can take place online via telemedicine. Patients at least 21 years of age may self-certify their application. This means they do not need to meet with a doctor; they just need to complete the paperwork and submit it to the state.

Can Minors Get a Medical Card in Washington, D.C.?

Yes. But for an individual under 18 to participate in the District of Columbia’s medical marijuana program, a custodial parent or legal guardian must submit a Minor Medical Cannabis Patient Application on the minor patient’s behalf.

Minor patients need a healthcare recommendation number and an identified registered caregiver included as part of their application. Caregivers must be 18 or older and may only serve one patient at a time. They may possess, administer, or dispense medical marijuana for their qualifying patient.

See “Applying as a Caregiver” below for more information about the caregiver application process in Washington, D.C.


Washington, D.C., defines a caregiver as a person designated by a qualifying medical cannabis patient as someone authorized to possess, obtain from a dispensary, dispense, and assist in administering medical cannabis.

Caregivers must be 18 years or older, registered as the qualifying patient’s caregiver, and may only serve one patient at a time. Dispensary or cultivation center workers who administer medical cannabis are not eligible to serve as caregivers.

Caregivers may purchase up to eight ounces of usable marijuana in a 30-day period.

To apply as a caregiver, you must submit a Medical Cannabis Caregiver Application, undergo a criminal background check, and pay a $100 nonrefundable application fee to the District. Caregiver cards are valid for up to two years.

What You’ll Need to Apply

To apply for your Washington, D.C., medical cannabis card, you will need to provide identification information, documentation, and payment for district fees. You should gather the following:

  • A healthcare practitioner recommendation with a date of issuance within two years of the application date OR self-certification for adults 21 and older
  • One current face photo sized 2″x 2″
  • One copy of a Washington, D.C., DMV REAL ID, or
    • One proof of D.C. residency and
    • One copy of a government-issued photo ID
  • A caregiver application, if applicable
  • A reduced fee proof of income documentation, if applicable
  • $100 for the district’s nonrefundable application fee or $25 if the patient qualifies for a reduced fee


An online consultation with one of Leafwell’s healthcare providers is $99. You will receive a full refund if you are not approved.

Washington, D.C., also charges a nonrefundable $100 fee for patient and caregiver applications and renewals. Medical cards are valid for two years from the date of issuance and cost $90 to replace.

Patients who can provide proof of being a current Medicaid or D.C. Alliance recipient (or documentation verifying their total gross income with their completed application) may be eligible for a reduced $25 fee for medical card applications and renewals.

Medical Marijuana Reciprocity

Washington, D.C., allows patients with medical marijuana cards issued by any state to purchase medical cannabis from district-licensed dispensaries legally. Virginia patients may even present an expired state registration so long as it is dated within one calendar year of its purchase.

Non-D.C. residents, including international visitors, may register for a 30-day temporary patient registration to purchase medical cannabis, according to the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration. The fee for a temporary registration is $30.

The following is a list of additional states that accept or recognize out-of-state medical marijuana cards:

*Visitors must complete a visiting patient application with the state program.

States that have recreational cannabis for adults 21 and older but do not accept out-of-state cards include:

Where to Buy Medical Marijuana in D.C.

To find the closest medical marijuana dispensary to you, check out the Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration’s database of licensed dispensaries here.


Adults 21 or older may lawfully cultivate up to six marijuana plants — no more than three of which are mature — in their primary Washington, D.C., residence.

Washington, D.C., Medical Marijuana Laws to Know

Below, you’ll find a few need-to-know medical marijuana laws enforced in Washington, D.C. Check out our Washington, D.C., law page for more in-depth coverage of the district’s rules.

  • Patients cannot consume cannabis in public places.
  • Patients cannot drive or operate other motor vehicles under the influence of cannabis.
  • Recreational cannabis sales are currently illegal.
  • Cannabis cultivation is legal for anyone 21 or older, but individuals may not have more than three mature plants at a given time.


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Frequently Asked Questions

How much cannabis can I possess in Washington DC with an MMJ Card?

In Washington, D.C., registered cardholders can possess up to 8 ounces of medical cannabis within a 30-day rolling period.

Adults 21 and older cultivate up to 6 plants (no more than 3 being mature) in a residence, with or without a valid medical marijuana card.

Anyone who is at least 21 can possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana.

What medical conditions qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card in Washington DC?

There are no qualifying conditions in Washington D.C. Instead, it is up to the certifying healthcare provider to have a conversation with their patient and decide if medical cannabis is the right option for the individual person.

People over 21 can ‘self-certify’ and do not need to see a physician.

How does the online evaluation process work for getting a Medical Marijuana certificate Letter/Medical Certificate in Washington DC?

Washington, D.C. residents who are 21 and older may self-certify instead of being certified by a healthcare provider. If you prefer speaking with a licensed healthcare provider for a Washington, D.C. medical marijuana card, here’s how the process works:

  1. Register with Leafwell and speak to a licensed healthcare provider via our HIPAA-compliant telehealth platform, which involves creating a Leafwell account using a valid email address. You’ll be asked to complete a brief questionnaire of personal and health information and to either take or upload a photograph of identification (we’re required by law to verify your identity). You will need a smartphone, computer, or tablet with a reliable internet connection and a working camera to be seen by a Leafwell provider.
  2. Schedule an appointment for a day and time that works best for you. You will receive a text message on your cell phone when the provider is ready to see you, and then you’ll be connected to a Leafwell healthcare provider for a video chat (i.e., a virtual doctor’s visit). During the visit, your provider will assess your medical condition(s) to determine if you qualify for a Washington, D.C. medical marijuana certification.
  3. Once approved, you’ll receive a copy of your recommendation form to apply to the Alcoholic Beverage and Cannabis Administration (ABCA) Medical Cannabis Program. Your physical medical card will arrive in the mail 10-14 business days after your ABCA application is approved.
How old do I have to be to apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Washington DC?

You must be at least 18 years old to apply for a medical marijuana card in Washington, D.C. However, adults 21 and older can self-certify and do not need to see a healthcare provider.

Minor patients may apply with consent from a custodial parent or legal guardian.

Caregivers must be 18 years old or older.

Can I be/have a caregiver for a medical marijuana patient in Washington DC?

Yes, medical marijuana patients in Washington DC can have a caregiver. Caregivers will complete their own application.

Caregiver Requirements:

  • Must be 18 years of age or older.
  • Registered as the qualifying patient’s caregiver.
  • Caregivers can serve only one qualifying patient at a time.
  • DC residents and non-residents are both eligible to register in the District’s medical cannabis program as a caregiver. Caregiver applicants must be affiliated with a current patient to be approved.
    • Only DC residents may register in the program as a patient.
  • A criminal background check report must be submitted with the caregiver application (background check information can be found on the application).
  • Individuals who administer medical cannabis at a retailer or cultivation center are not eligible.

Here’s how to apply as a caregiver:

  1. Individuals must submit a Medical Cannabis Caregiver Application with all required documentation and payment. Currently, an online application is not available for this application type.
    1. Mail or in-person: ABRA, Medical Cannabis Program, 2000 14th Street, Suite 102A, Washington, DC 20009
    2. Email: medicalcannabis@dc.gov
  2. Caregiver registrations are valid for two years from the date of issuance. An annual fee* applies. See the Fee and Renewal Schedule.

*The fee is waived through December 7, 2023.

State Resources:

How do I apply for the state program in Washington DC?

If you’ve been approved by a Leafwell healthcare provider, the next step is to apply to the Washington DC Program via Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration, or ABRA. You can also self-certify if you are a resident of Washington, D.C. and 21 years of age or older.

DC residents who are at least 21 years of age may self-certify on their patient application that they will use cannabis purchased from a licensed dispensary for medical purposes in lieu of securing a recommendation from their healthcare provider.

-SSN is now required for patients registering for the state:

DC residents must submit an Adult or Minor Patient Application. Required items for the Adult Application include:

  1. Social Security Number or a copy of a sworn affidavit stating lack of one.
  2. One (1) current face photo, 2″x2″.
  3. One (1) copy of their DC DMV REAL ID* OR
    – One (1) proof of DC residency and
    – One (1) copy of government-issued photo ID
  4. A healthcare practitioner recommendation dated within two (2) years of the application submission date if not self-certifying. Applicants 21 years of age may self-certify in lieu of providing a recommendation.

Reciprocity for VA residents: * Virginia patients may present a valid Virginia-issued registration or an expired Virginia-issued registration with a Virginia healthcare provider-issued recommendation dated within one calendar year of the purchase date effective July 1, 2022.

Verified Source: https://abra.dc.gov/node/1531271

You may still choose to get a physician’s recommendation if you so wish, e.g. for a minor, those who are aged 18 to 20 or those seeking advice from a healthcare worker.

Note – these instructions are for both new patients and renewals.

  • If you are a new patient, select ‘Initial’ under ‘Application Type’
  • If you are renewing your card, select ‘Renewal’ under ‘Application Type’.

Before you start your application, gather the following information and documents: 

  • Recommendation (expires 90 days after issuance)
  • Social Security Number
  • 2x Photos (a selfie works – head and shoulders, taken against a plain, light color wall)
  • One (1) copy of government-issued photo identification (driver’s license, passport or state ID)
  • One (1) proof of DC residency (driver’s license, utility bill, voter’s registration card, lease/deed/tax bill)
    • Note that your REAL ID can serve as your government ID and proof of residency
  • Reduced fee applicants only: If you are low income, you are eligible for a lower fee ($25), and you can prove this using one of the following documentation: medicaid card, food stamp card, tax return, SNAP, unemployment status

Here’s what to do once you’ve been approved by a Leafwell healthcare professional.

  1. Obtain your recommendation from your Leafwell.co account. We will email it to you. You will use the recommendation number on your certificate from your Leafwell healthcare provider to apply. Keep it as a reference until you receive your “card”. It is worth noting that those aged 21 or over who are residents of Washington, D.C. can now self-certify for medicinal cannabis and do not need a physician’s approval. The instructions still stay the same, however, whether or not you choose to get medical cannabis approval from a physician.
  2. Use the link in your approval email to begin the application
    Using the correct link is important. Failure to use the correct portal will cause your application to be rejected without further notice.https://abra.dc.gov/page/medical-cannabis-patients provides all five (5) portals. Use the portal based on your healthcare professional’s specialization.Alternatively, here are all the healthcare providers currently certifying with Leafwell. Match the name on your recommendation and click below to reach the correct portal:
    1. Lisa M. Boynes-Sindass
    2. Maria Mainolfi 
    3. Karina Dahlerus
    4. Lewis Jassey
  1. Complete the application on ABRA – All individuals must submit a Medical Cannabis Patient Application (adult or minor version) with all required documentation.
    1. Fill out all required information and upload relevant documents.
    2. Optional – if you are registering a caregiver, upload this form to the application.
    3. Select intended fee payment option << please note currently there is no patient fee but this is subject to change
    4. Click submit
    5. Upon submission, you will be sent a confirmation of receipt email.
    6. If your application is given initial approval, you will be sent a second email detailing payment options within three (3) business days. (If you don’t receive an email, check your spam/junk folder)
      1. To ensure prompt receipt, please add the state’s email address (medicalcannabis@dc.gov) to your safe senders list, address book, or contact list*Please note incomplete applications cannot be saved and returned to later.
        ** If you did not receive your link, you can click here and select the correct form
  2. Receive both a digital approval letter and physical card via mail within 10-14 business days.
    1. Your certificate will be valid for one year from the date of issue.

Other FAQS

Can I use an expired driver’s license?

Yes, if the driver’s license expired after February 28, 2020 until September 9, 2021.

What form of payment can I use?

  1. Credit and Debit cards (recommended)
  2. Check or money order (must select this option on the application and your application will require more  time to process)

Can I submit a paper application?

Yes, but this process can take 4-6 weeks.

Why is it important to use the URL provided on the recommendation?

Your application is submitted under a specific portals based on the healthcare professional’s specialization (Physician, Advanced Practice Registered Nurse/Nurse Practitioner, Dentist, Physician  Assistant, Naturopathic Physician). The correct URL will be a clickable button in your approval email from Leafwell.

What will happen if I use/submit my application to the incorrect application portal?

Your application will be rejected and without further notice to the patient.

Why do I need to apply each year?

Patient circumstances may have changed, such as proof of income or address.

When do I pay?

ABRA will email you a payment link in three (3) business days. Note that currently these fees are waived.

What government agency handles the medical cannabis program?

ABRA.gov – Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration

How much is the card?

Note that currently these fees are waived but usually the costs are as below:

$100 – regular payment

$25 – low-income patients (if approved by ABRA) Upload proof on the application; failure to do so will  result in a $100 card fee.

$100 – replacement fee

$100 – caregiver’s card

I can’t find my payment link.

Look in your spam or junk folders. If you can’t find the email, you must make a request to ABRA to resend.