Getting Your Card: How Medical Marijuana Evaluations Work


Do you have a condition that could benefit from the use of cannabis? You may be surprised at which conditions may qualify, and getting your medical marijuana card is easier than you think. 

The step-by-step process is quite simple and takes no longer than a few weeks, and THC Physicians are here to help guide you through it. 

Conditions that Qualify for a Medical Marijuana Card 

Medical marijuana is a safe and effective way of treating symptoms associated with chronic illnesses. You can only apply for a marijuana card if you have an approved diagnosis. 

Depending on your state of residence, the conditions that can qualify you for medical marijuana will vary. 

For example, Florida accepts the following conditions: 

  • Alzheimer’s disease 
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) 
  • Multiple sclerosis 
  • Chronic pain and nausea 
  • Asthma 
  • Lupus 
  • Various types of cancer 
  • Glaucoma 
  • Alcoholism 
  • Fibromyalgia 
  • Epilepsy 
  • HIV/AIDS 
  • Substance abuse 
  • Anxiety disorders 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder 
  • Osteoporosis 
  • Parkinson’s disease 
  • Sleep disorders 
  • Neuropathic pain 
  • Stroke 
  • Traumatic brain injuries 

In the state of New York, the list is a bit shorter. You are eligible for medical marijuana if you have: 

  • Cancer 
  • Chronic pain 
  • HIV/AIDS 
  • Huntington disease 
  • Inflammatory bowel disease 
  • Epilepsy 
  • Huntington disease 
  • Multiple sclerosis 
  • Neuropathic pain 
  • Parkinson’s disease 
  • Post-traumatic stress disorder 
  • Spinal cord injury 
  • Substance abuse 

It is worth noting that medical marijuana has not been proven to cure these illnesses; instead, it can help treat them and reduce the symptoms caused by them. 

Scheduling Your Marijuana Evaluation 

Doctors are not legally permitted to prescribe cannabis, but they can provide the evaluation that you will need to get your medical marijuana card. In states where it is legal, medical doctors (MD) or doctors of osteopathy (DO) who are state certified to recommend medical marijauana are qualified to recommend medical marijuana. 

If you are interested in getting a medical cannabis card, you will need to schedule an appointment with a state-registered physician who is licensed to recommend medical marijuana. Schedule an appointment where you will discuss your chronic illnesses and your interest in seeking medical marijuana.

Some people might prefer to opt for an online medical marijuana evaluation, especially during the ongoing pandemic. Fortunately, some states, like New York, allow you to use a unique HIPAA-compliant telehealth tool that will connect you with a doctor who can provide your evaluation. This way, you can complete the whole process from start to finish without even leaving your home. 

How to Prepare for your Evaluation 

Because medical marijuana is such a heavily monitored medicine, you will want to be completely prepared when you go to your evaluation. Here are a few things to keep in mind before your appointment. 

Photo Identification 

All medical marijuana evaluations will require photo identification. They must be valid and up to date. Valid identification includes: 

  • State ID 
  • Driver’s license 
  • Military ID card 
  • An out-of-state photo ID AND proof of in-state residency (such as a utility bill or a bank statement) 

Medical Documentation 

You will want to bring documentation of the chronic illness that medical marijuana will treat. This information can include: 

  • Recent and official medical records 
  • List of prescriptions 
  • If applicable, X-rays or MRI results 
  • A letter from the physician who diagnosed you 
  • Other documents confirming your condition 

If applicable, it is a good idea to bring more than one of these forms of documentation. 

Other Important Notes 

If you have not already paid for your medical marijuana evaluation, you will want to bring your preferred form of payment. Even if you did pay in advance, it would be wise to bring along your receipt or other proof of purchase – some states will require you to do this. 

If you are under 18, you must go with a legal guardian during this evaluation. 

What to Expect in the Evaluation 

The evaluation itself should not be very long; you can expect it to finish in roughly 30 minutes. 

Your doctor will ask you a few questions about your condition and help determine whether medical marijuana could be helpful for you. They may have to perform a few exams to determine the state of your condition and whether or not marijuana will be a safe treatment. 

You are also free to ask your doctor any questions you may have about medical marijuana. Be sure to mention any medications you are currently taking. 

Once the evaluation is over, they will provide a signed document of their approval. This document may also include the recommended doses, consumption methods, and how long they believe you will qualify for this treatment. 

However, keep in mind that your doctor is only able to provide a medical marijuana recommendation, which will then lead to your medical marijuana card. You will not have access to medical marijuana just yet. 

After the Evaluation 

Once your doctor has evaluated your condition and determined that you are eligible for medical marijuana, you will need to fill out an application. You can do this entirely online. 

The exact requirements for this process can vary depending on your state, but all of them should require a copy of your doctor’s recommendation. They may also require proof of residency and a caregiver’s form if applicable. Keep in mind that this application will also have a fee. 

After you submit your application, and if you are approved, you should receive your medical cannabis card in the mail within a few weeks. 

Using Your Medical Marijuana Card 

Once you have received your medical marijuana card, you are ready to use it! Are you having trouble finding a marijuana dispensary? Here is a handy map of locations in Florida. You can also search for dispensaries using sites like this one.

Medical marijuana cards will last up to one year; after that, you will have to go through another evaluation if you still need treatment. 

THC Physicians 

THC Physicians are dedicated to helping people in New York and Florida receive the treatment they need. If you have any more questions about seeking a medical marijuana card, browse the how-to page for more information. 

Howard Seth Meiselman, DO

Medically reviewed by Howard Seth Meiselman, DO — Written by Mark Conklin 

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Author

Mark Conklin, RN, MHA

Mark Conklin is the founder and CEO of Tierra Healthcare Concepts and is also part of the medical team. He has over 25 years of experience in the healthcare field working at the executive management level and as a medical professional. Education RN, BS Biology, and Master of Health Administration course curriculum.

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