If you have a condition that you want to treat with medical cannabis, it is not as easy as getting a prescription from your doctor. Although it is called medical cannabis, you have to go through an entire application and approval process before you can gain access to medical cannabis to treat your condition. The steps vary from one state to the next, but follow the general procedure.
#1 Get A Diagnosis
The first thing you need to do is get a diagnosis that you have a condition that can be treated with medical cannabis. This is not as straight forward as it sounds. Many primary care doctors do not want to associate with recommending patients for medical cannabis for a variety of different reasons, ranging from insurance to beliefs to perception.
Since many primary care doctors are not willing to fill out the recommendation paperwork, that means you need to find a medical cannabis friendly doctor. Chances are, this is not your regular doctor, which means you are going to need to gather copies of all your medical files in order to show the medical cannabis friendly doctor that you have a condition that could be treated with medical cannabis. You may need to make more than one appointment with this doctor before they are willing to fill out the recommendation paperwork.
#2 Submitted The Application
Once you find a doctor who will fill out the formal medical paperwork, you need to fill out the application for the state to register as a medical cannabis user. This paperwork is generally pretty straightforward. You will need to provide your contact information, medical diagnosis, and doctor's recommendation. You may be ask to provide additional medical proof as well depending on the state you reside in.
You will then need to send in the application along with a check or money order for the fee. You have to pay a special fee in order to get a medical cannabis card.
#3 Getting Treatment
It may take a few weeks to a few months to learn if your medical cannabis application was approved, depending on how long the processing process is in your state. Once your application is processed, you now need to procure your medical cannabis. If medical cannabis dispensaries are legal in your area, you can purchase your medication there. You can join a collective, where all the cannabis that is grown is shared among the members of the collective. With collectives, "donations" are generally encourages as they can't charge for their product. Or, you can grow your own medical cannabis.
Keep in mind that the process to obtain medical cannabis varies from state to state, but most states follow a procedure similar to what is detailed above.