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How to get a medical card in Washington, D.C..

  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.

Trusted by 200k patients

Aaron Belcher

Reno, NV

Talk about EASY!! The whole process took 15 minutes, including the call with the Doctor!!! Amazing!

Aubrey Rhodes

New Haven, CT

Shocked how easy! Kind and understanding, definitely the best way to get your med card.

Danielle Rossi

Cambridge, MA

Incredibly calm and easy experience, will only use Leafwell moving forward and would recommend to anyone!

Benefits of Getting a Washington, D.C. Medical Card

  • Accessibility to medical marijuana dispensaries – no adult use sales are legally allowed as of yet.
  • Washington, D.C. has medical marijuana reciprocity with other states but only if that state’s program is fully functional (i.e. with their own medical marijuana program up and running).

About Medical Marijuana in Washington, D.C.

Washington, D.C.’s laws can be confusing, so here are 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 buy 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.
  • People over 65 can ‘Self-Certify’ and do not need to see a 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. You cannot purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary in Washington, D.C, without this.

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 was overturned. There is no way to purchase non-medical, adult-use cannabis in Washington, D.C. legally, and consumption in public spaces is still prohibited.


How to qualify

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 to apply for a medical marijuana card for themselves, and minors can have caregivers apply on their behalf.

  1. Caregiver information:

    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.

Medical Conditions

There are no specific qualifying conditions for medical cannabis in Washington, D.C.

  1. To qualify:

    You’ll need to speak with your healthcare provider during your consultation to decide if you are eligible for a card.


Possession and Growing

As an MMJ cardholder in Washington DC, you are permitted to possess 2 ounces at any one time. However, patients can purchase up to 4 ounces in 30 days.

Allowed product types include flower, concentrates, edibles, transdermal products, seeds, and seedlings.

Cannabis is legalized for adult use in Washington DC. Persons over 21 can possess up to 2 ounces of marijuana and grow up to three mature plants and three immature plants at home.

However, adult use of cannabis is only legal to possess and grow, and non-medical users cannot purchase cannabis from a dispensary.

Through the program specifically, 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 three immature plants in their own home.


Caregivers

Medical Marijuana patients in Washington D.C. can have a caregiver.

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 18, or if the patient needs assistance accessing medical cannabis, a caregiver can be assigned to complete the process on their behalf.

  1. 01

    It is easy to apply to be a caregiver in Washington DC. The fee is the same as the patient, and you will also need to provide proof of a criminal background check.

  2. 02

    Simply complete this application and attach it to the patient application.

  3. 03

    The fee is the same as the patient, and you will also need to provide proof of a criminal background check.

Reciprocity

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.

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
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Frequently asked questions in Washington, D.C.

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

    Medical cannabis patients, including non-residents extended reciprocity, may purchase up to eight (8) ounces of cannabis within a rolling 30-day period and possess up to two (2) ounces at any time. Allowed formats include flowers, concentrates, edibles, transdermal products, seeds, and seedlings.

    Cultivation is not explicitly permitted through the program, and therefore as part of the program, medical patients aren’t permitted to grow cannabis.

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

    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 65 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?

    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. People over 65 can ‘Self-Certify’ and do not need to see a physician.

    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

    3. Complete the Application on the government website
    Follow instructions in your email from Leafwell to apply to ABRA 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)

    4. Receive your medical marijuana card
    If approved, you should receive your medical marijuana card in the mail within 3-4 weeks. Please note that it is the state that sends you the card, not Leafwell. Your certificate will be valid for one year from the date of issue. Please note that you must have a card issued by the Washington, D.C. Alcoholic Beverage Regulation Administration to legally purchase medical marijuana from a D.C. medicinal cannabis dispensary. You cannot purchase without this.

    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 medical cannabis card. Without this, you cannot purchase medical marijuana from a dispensary in Washington, D.C.
    How old do I have to be to apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Washington DC?

    You must be aged 18 years old or over in order to qualify for a medical marijuana card for yourself in Washington DC. Caregivers must be 18 years old or over. People over 65 can ‘Self-Certify’ and do not need to see a physician.

    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. To apply as a caregiver, follow this process:

    1. Complete the PDF application to become a caregiver
    2. Submit this at the same time as you submit the patient application to the state
    3. You may be required to provide proof of a criminal background check to the state

    Note that caregivers of a patient with an out of state medical card cannot purchase product without the patient being present under the reciprocity program.

    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.