- The Weed Blog https://www.theweedblog.com

How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card In Washington State


Washington State MarijuanaYou do not need to carry a medical marijuana card to legally use medical marijuana in the state of Washington. If you are a qualifying patient, all you need is a written recommendation from your health provider. If you have been told by a clinic that you must purchase a card or permit from them — this is not true. There are groups or clinics in Washington that may charge a fee for you to see a doctor, but you are not required to visit a certain clinic or join an organization to get a medical marijuana recommendation from a health care provider.

Medical Marijuana Use in Washington State: Qualifying medical conditions

  • Cancer
  • Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorder
  • Spasticity disorders
  • Intractable pain, (that is pain unrelieved by standard medical treatments and medications)
  • Glaucoma, either acute or chronic (increased intraocular pressure unrelieved by standard treatments and medications)
  • Crohn’s disease with debilitating symptoms unrelieved by standard treatments or medications
  • Hepatitis C with debilitating nausea or intractable pain unrelieved by standard treatments or medications
  • Diseases, including anorexia, resulting in the following symptoms which are unrelieved by standard treatments or medications:
    • Nausea
    • Vomiting
    • Wasting
    • Appetite loss
    • Cramping
    • Seizures
    • Muscle spasms
    • Spasticity
    • Any other medical condition duly approved by the Washington state medical quality assurance commission in consultation with the board of osteopathic medicine and surgery.

Anyone may petition the commission to add a condition to the list. By law, the commission will consult with the Board of Osteopathic Medicine and Surgery. For more information about this process, you may contact the commission at: Medical Quality Assurance Commission, PO Box 47866, Olympia WA 98504-7866

Medical Marijuana Use in Washington State: Authorized Health Care Providers

The following providers may recommend marijuana:

  • Medical Doctors (MDs)
  • Physician Assistants (PAs)
  • Osteopathic Physicians (DOs)
  • Osteopathic Physician Assistants (OA)
  • Naturopathic Physicians (ND)
  • Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs)

Health care providers licensed in another state may not recommend marijuana; the law says the health care provider must be licensed in Washington. The Department of Health does not keep information on health providers who are known to recommend marijuana as a medication.

Medical Marijuana Use in Washington State: Valid Written Recommendation

Beginning June 10, 2010, a recommendation must be written on tamper-resistant paper. It must also include an original signature by the health care provider, a date, and a statement that says in the health care provider’s professional opinion the patient may benefit from the medical use of marijuana. The 2010 law change also prohibits the use of a copy of the patient’s medical records in lieu of a recommendation.

Medical Marijuana Use in Washington State: Obtaining Marijuana

The law does not allow dispensaries, neither does it allow for the buying or selling of cannabis. Washington State law does allow a qualifying patient or designated provider to grow medical marijuana.

  • A qualifying patient and a designated provider may possess a total of no more than twenty-four ounces of useable marijuana, and no more than fifteen plants.
  • Useable marijuana” means the dried leaves and flowers of the Cannabis plant family Moraceae. Useable marijuana excludes stems, stalks, seeds and roots.
  • Plant” means any marijuana plant in any stage of growth
  • The given amounts represent the total amount of marijuana that may be held between both patient and designated provider
  • A designated provider must be at least 18 years old and must be designated in writing by the qualifying patient
  • A designated provider can only be a provider for one patient at any one time
  • The law does not say that a patient may or may not also be a designated provider
  • It does say that a designated provider may not consume a qualifying patient’s medical marijuana

Medical Marijuana Use in Washington State: Designated Provider

  • A designated provider must be at least 18 years old and must be designated in writing by the qualifying patient
  • A designated provider can only be a provider for one patient at any one time
  • The law does not say that a patient may or may not also be a designated provider
  • It does say that a designated provider may not consume a qualifying patient’s medical marijuana

Medical Marijuana Use Outside of Washington State

Some states may allow you to use your recommendation from Washington when traveling. You must comply with the laws in the other state. Doctor recommendations, ID cards, and other documentation from other states are not legal in Washington.

Medical Marijuana Use in Washington State: Useful Contacts

From medicalmarijuanablog.com


About Author


  1. I have my doctors letter off recamendation to use mmj an I don’t know were to get my card in wa,

  2. I’m 21 yrs old. have been smoking since I was 16. and meet about 3 “disorders” in getting a medical card. I don’t have a legit adult doctor right now. I’m curious to what it is I would need to do to get one. I hear there is a fee that needs to be paid in the process of getting one that is about $100 to $250. Is that the amount that needs to be paid here in WA??

  3. Your doctor cannot forbid you from obtaining a copy of your records. Go to the record keeping office and pay the fee to have them printed. Or, a lot of the clinics that issue green cards can also, for an additional fee, send the signed release over to the doctors office requesting the records. They are your personal records…and they have to provide you a copy of them if you request or authorize it.

  4. I recently visited Green Wellness (greenwellness.org) and received my authorization.. it was very simple. Their administrators made it easy for me to order my records. The doctor was just great.. he provided me with all kinds of insight on my condition that my primary doctor seems to be blissfully unaware of (read: natural cures that don’t benefit big pharma). The Dr at Green Wellness briefed me on diet and other small changes I could make that would benefit my health situation and raise my standard of living significantly. He suggested I use topical cannabis creme to treat my arthritis joint pain. It has been working wonderfully! I’m amazed that I can even type this painlessly! I am very glad that I chose this clinic because they really go above and beyond in providing care, rather than just doing the bare minimum and signing the authorization.

  5. Will they give you a card if you have extreme anxiety? I need it due to the fact that I cannot focus and get very stressed in high pressure situations.

  6. Where do I find a 4evergreen clinic? Just look under that name i assumeI I do have to be over that way next week for 2 Appointments.

  7. Hey lora, It’s alright! I have no problem with people being a skeptical :) I’m sorry you’re unable to make it to a 4evergreen group clinic, I hope that you find a way to obtain your medical cannabis before too long :(

  8. Perhaps you’re not understanding what type of clinic I’m talking about. The clinic has a state certified doctor on staff that is qualified to give out official recommendations for legal cannabis use. The recommendation is what you’re there for and what they charge you for. Honestly I’m not sure why they charge extra for patients with no medical history (although it is not much larger of a cost, and I’m not sure what kind of extra work it creates for them to not have your documents), I also wonder why I get charged a documentation fee after buying a brand new vehicle :D If you want to go through your normal doctor and get a recommendation that way, by all means do! However the doctor at the clinic is just as capable of giving you access to legal cannabis as any other.

    If you have specific questions about the process of obtaining my recommendation I would be glad to answer them!

  9. And how does a patient get certified to have a qualifying illness? They have to go to a doctor. Recently. But they don’t have to pay a service to find doctors for them. That was my point, not that you or 4e are frauds. Some of these services operate by not informing their customers (patients) they are actually paying for a service that is “extra.” And MMJ patients cannot afford to pay extra for anything. Anyway, sorry for the misunderstanding.

  10. I do not think you are a fraud! If someone else does I am so sorry! I have heard good things about the 4evergreen group, my biggest problem is getting there. I appreciate the advice and help!

  11. Yes we are practically talking about legalization. It has been a widely known thing here in the Seattle area that all you need to do to get a medical card is have a WA state ID and have a qualifying illness.

    One of the qualifying illnesses is Intractable, or chronic, pain. All anybody needs to do is say they have some sort of pain and then the licensed doctor at the clinic fills out your official recommendation for legal cannabis.

    I’m sorry you think I’m a fraud and I’m trying to lure Lora in to some scam clinic, but my experience with 4evergreengroup was nothing but pleasant and simple. Also, check out this article for a look at how lax medical cannabis is here in Washington! :D


  12. The thing about alternative methods, like meditation and yoga, is that it takes months to see any improvement. Heck, I don’t think I’ll ever have the ability to meditate with all my brain power. The first time I tried cannabis (when I was a teenager), I had a negative reaction too. Thankfully, a decade later, a very nice person re-introduced me to it. But that was all a long time ago, and cannabis has changed so much (in a great way). I think you will be more than pleasantly surprised if you go this route. Good luck amiga!

  13. i know what your saying is true. pain, too me, ismthe enemy but one i have come to learn to live with for the most part. i realized years ago that i could roll over, give up, and die, or i could learn to compartmentalize and live as well as i can. i have tried other alternative methods, but none worked as a rule, or my insurance would not cover. i am going to be firm with my Doc and just tell her i want to explore this option to see if it helps. when i was younger i smoked weed but all it ever did was make me go to sleep. no high, no munchies, just sleep.granted were talking 30 years ago! also i am really good at selfishness! but sometime i just need to say screw the pain, i am going to do whatever and just accept the consequences that i will hurt like hell for a few days.rarely do i get depressed about it but it does happen of course. i just want the option to try and see if weed helps me and all my pains. you would think now that it is legal in Washington state it would not be such a bloody hassle! but i’ll just keep trucking along and do what i can. thank you for all your help and advice. have a good day

  14. There’s a point in which pain can no longer be treated conventionally. A line, if you will, but no one knows where that line is unfortunately. And I guess it’s up to the individual to choose when the usual treatments don’t work. I was on medication stronger than morphine, so I know where you’re coming from. I had to quit all the other drugs before I was able to switch to cannabis, but the healthier way is to slowly transition one for the other (or a combination of both if you need it).

    Pain is a natural occurrence, so don’t treat it as your enemy, more like a guest that never leaves. You have to make accommodations in your life style, etc. Because constant pain requires you to exert more effort, both mentally and physically, you need to practice a little selfishness. Even though I am not a doctor, I play one on the internet, and that is my prescription for you: Practice selfishness. (Not all the time, mind you.) :)

  15. thank you so much. i have tried so many pain patches fro over the counter to Volteren, to major Rx patches and they are all the same, worthless. i live on Morphine now the pain is that severe. i just want to take less pain pills. so im hoping a green cad could help with ALL my problems, pain, nausea, lack of appitite, chronic headaches/mirgaines, nerve damage, you name it. i am just so tired of living in pain.

  16. It was awhile ago, but I tried a topical cream made with a prescription muscle relaxer. Had to go to one of those specialty mixing pharmacies. Man, I tried and I tried to obtain at least a placebo effect, but no such luck. Also, I used those lidocaine patches for awhile and I thought (hoped) they helped, but in the end they were just too dang expensive. If you have a sore muscle or joint, I think the only thing you can do is… stretch and move. (After you have medicated, of course.)

  17. I am starting to think that the cannabis balm which is mixed with arnica is more a novelty thing if that’s the right word. Arnica is a known pain reliever gel and since I have used this balm it works no better than the arnica alone. Like you,I have high pain tolerance and it takes a lot to help with the pain. I’ll keep trying a couple more times and see how/if it works.

  18. Well, as I am not in Washington state, I cannot verify your story. However, if anyone without a medical condition could obtain an MMJ card, then we’re talking about legalization, aren’t we? And I connected to a link in one of your posts, did some reading on that website, and then decided to warn lora about people who charge new patients extra money to get their cards.

  19. Hey Painkills2,
    I’m not sure if this post is meant to imply that I am trying to scam Lora. I personally went in to a clinic on Friday that is the most popular in Washington state. They processed me from start to finish, and the only thing I needed with me was the money for the card and my WA drivers license.

    Perhaps I’m just not seeing something that you to are, but I did not require any sort of medical history when I applied for my recommendation.

  20. Gosh, good question. You’re talking about some sort of rebound effect, right? Bummer. Although I’ve tried other medicinal topicals, I have not tried cannabis balm. I found that the topicals just don’t penetrate to where the pain is, but then I have high pain levels. I can tell you that I don’t recall a rebound effect with my previous long-term use of BenGay, if that helps. :-)

  21. Gosh, good question. You’re talking about some sort of rebound effect, right? Bummer. Although I’ve tried other medicinal topicals, I have not tried cannabis balm. I found that the topicals just don’t penetrate to where the pain is, but then I have high pain levels. I can tell you that I don’t recall a rebound effect with my previous long-term use of Ben Gay, if that helps. :-)

  22. So new question; has anyone tried the cannabis balm? If so have you noticed any increase in pain after the balm wears off? I noticed the last couple days, I use the balm, it works great, when I wake up the next day the pain is worse than is was in the 1st place. It may be coincidence, the weather has gone through major changes, so maybethat’s all it is?

  23. If you can, print out some medical research that will back up your position. And maybe some articles from institutions your doctor will recognize (AMA, NIH, etc.). (As a pain doc, she should already know this stuff, but maybe she’s too busy to keep on top of new research.) Your doctor may want to take some time to review this stuff, so don’t be disappointed if she doesn’t agree right away.

    You might also want to review your pain contract to see if there is any language that could offer you a way in through that avenue. You know, loopholes. :)

  24. Oh I know! I think I will just talk to the Pain Doc, then just take it from there. Since I have been using the balm ( I did call repeatedly, she did not/would not call me back) she just may discharge me anyway. Hopefully my regular doc will prescribe the meds since he knows what I take from her reports. So, I guess we’ll just wait and see.

  25. If you are disabled and receiving SS benefits, then all of your medical records should be with the Social Security office. And SS usually updates its patient records every couple of years, with document requests to your doctors. You can request a copy of your entire SS file, or specific records, through SS. That’s the good news.

    The bad news is that this is a rather lengthy process, especially considering your time line. You can also get a copy of these documents from the attorney who represented you (which would probably include paying a fee for the copies).

    The other bad news is that the records might not include the documentation you need. You never know what’s in your SS file until you request a copy. It would provide interesting reading, to say the least.

    The bottom line is that you will have to look up what your state requires for documentation. Each state has its own unique MMJ laws.

  26. Watch out for scams, lora. I am not aware of anywhere in the country where you can obtain an MMJ card without medical records. You know that doesn’t make sense. Some people on the internet will try to lure you into doing something illegal. Don’t fall for it.

  27. Watch out for scams, lora. I am not aware of anywhere in the country where you can obtain an MMJ card without medical records. You know that doesn’t make sense. Some people on the internet will try to lure you into doing something illegal. Don’t fall for it.

  28. I have multiple copies of my prescriptions, plus I think I have copies of some tests as well as my original Social Security Disability letter. I live in Port Angeles so I have to go to Seattle/Edmonds to see my pain doc. The only one in town is not worth a thing! I was in a car wreck 11 years ago the left me disabled I can walk, etc, but I am in constant pain. Plus I have some kind of intestinal problem that is causing me to lose weight, nausea, the works. Add to that chronic headaches/migraines. SO the card would give me so many options besides Morphine to help. I hate Docs that are closed minded! I know I’m preaching to the choir here on that subject!!! Thank you again so much for helping me, it gives me hope!

  29. No not at all. The places I checked just said I needed a copy of my medical record to prove I have a real need for the card. I live in Port Angeles so iI have to drive 1-3 hours to find somewhere that does green cards.

  30. Hey Lora, do you know why they need your medical records? Are you aware that some clinics offer options to people without requiring a medical history? The clinic I visited today processed my application for medical cannabis on the spot without requiring any documents other than my WA state ID.

    Do you have a specific circumstance that would prevent you from obtaining a recommendation document-free?

  31. Hell, I didn’t even know there were still “pain doctors” out there LOL. Just don’t let her bully you. I hate that. Luck and peace to you, lora.

  32. OH Hell No!!! lol! she is the Best Pain Management Dr i have found though. thats why i dont want to lose her as my PM. i dont see her till Nov 7. and she will not discuss it over the phone. so i guess i just hurry up and wait, keep using what i have, and hope for the best.

  33. Actually, she might be able to tell (sort of) by doing a blood test for THC levels. Depending on the way a person medicates with cannabis, I would think their THC levels would show up differently. If you use a topical, especially a high CBD strain, your THC levels would be low (if they show up at all). I don’t know what the difference would be in THC levels between smoking and eating. But you shouldn’t have to take an extra blood test to prove to your doctor that you are being honest about your cannabis use. Is this doctor your, I dunno, Mother? :)

  34. Thank you so much! I will be seeing her soon so I will talk to her ( again). I think part of her problem is even though I really do only want the balm, she has no way to tell if I am smoking/eating/ using it in another way that could react with the pain meds. But again, thank you so much for your help!!

  35. I’m going to guess that your pain doctor is either anti-cannabis or that she feels the cannabis in the balm will show up on a urine or blood test (that is, if you are regularly tested). Perhaps if you ask her directly about her fears, she will respond in kind. I understand how difficult and disrupting changing to a new pain doctor is, but you need someone who will allow you a cannabis option if that is your (healthy) choice.

    As for your records, I have also had this problem. I have been unable to get records from a pain doctor I saw for a very long time. However, there may be other avenues you can pursue to get a copy of your records. Has your pain doctor sent back-up medical documentation to your insurance company or perhaps Social Security? Perhaps a record of your prescription medication from your pharmacy? Do you communicate with your pain doctor by email and perhaps could print out emails of correspondence? It is important to retain originals, if possible, but to always have a copy of every test result, including MRIs, etc.

    I have found that It is always a fight with all these different providers to get your records, but what you need to tell them is that the reason you need a complete set of your own records is for continuity of care. Your doctor should not be the only one who has a complete set of your medical records. That’s just not safe.

    Sorry I wrote a book here. Hope this helps.

  36. they all need a copy of my medical records though. and even though i know its my right to ask for a copy, my PM will discharge me from the program. i dont understand why she will not allow the Balm, it does not make you high, it just helps me along with my pain meds.

  37. Hey lora,
    You can obtain a recommendation from any approved doctor in the state. Visist 4e.com to learn about where in Washington you can go to get a simple and easy recommendation. After you visit one of their clinics, you will be eligible to go in any dispensary to purchase marijuana products.

    Hope this helped, and good luck!

  38. Hi, my question is this; i work with a Pain Managment ( PM) Dr who is against my using Cannabis Balm and therefor will not let me have a green card. without her OK, i cannot get my records, and go to a Marijuana Doc. she has told me of i use the Balm she will cut off my Pain Meds which i cannot do without.( chronic pain, migraines, 2 Surgeries). My daughter brought me some of the balm and it works amazing! so the question; how do i get a Green card without her signing off on it? without my records can i still get a card? any suggestions on getting her to change her mind and not give me the Ultimatum of either pain meds or green card? any help would be greatly appreciated!! thank you! Loralp

  39. In 2011, I had a horrible table saw accident and had to have a partial amputation of my left thumb. I was dosed heavily with large doses of Percocet for months. about every two to three months the remaining thumb digit would get infected, seriously painful with reoccuring nail matrix growth (new thumb nail trying to sprout). Really bad infections, more anibiotics, more narcotics, more and more of the same. I hated being on this drug, thought it did combat the horrendous pain, but trust me, the withdrawal symptoms from coming off it were no picnic. I have not smoked pot in more than a decade and have been out of any social circles that afford me access to any, let alone knowledge about oils or balms. I’m hoping to find some kind of topical pain/spasm relief. I’ve heard that there are oil(s) I could rub on my severely traumatized digit that might benefit from. Does anyone here know anything about oils (concentrations).

    Next, if there is some legitimate medical research in this area, form any country, I’d really appreciate some help finding the links on-line to it.

    Lastly, my medical insurance is through Group Health in Washington State. The grunts ( MD’s receptionists mostly) really give off condesending attitudes when they look over old past forms about me having used pot in the past… the past being at least 15 years ago. People will be people and attitudes are… attitudes. Anyway, i’m thinking I need to look outside the box as it were. My pain issues are not as extreme as they were in the beginning of this journy, but they continue all the same. I’m extremely alternittive minded when it comes to dealing with medical/healing issues with my body (Acupuncture, chiropractic, Touch for Health (Applied Kinesiology), Body Balance, Food as Medicine, Homeopathic, Feldenkrais, and others. The long and short of all this is that I want to find an MD or other ‘certified’ practitioner in the Everett, WA or Seattle area to help me deal with the continuing problems I’m vexed with this damn thumb accident. The standard medical options I’m being confronted with only go so far… and I’m exhausted from ‘that’ process. I don’t need a bong to solve my dexterious issues I’m faced with, just some clear, honest, help.

  40. Has it improved yet? I assume everyone is between legal medical marijuana and legal marijuana. How does that work?

  41. live in oregon visit washington alot for family how do i get my washington mmp card?

  42. Whom works for Whom here ?Buy Legal bud, legal herb, herbal vaporizers,legal buds,

    herbalvaporizers, Orange Krush,buds legal

  43. I went to my doctor of 12 years for a routine exam. I asked him about getting a medical marijuana card. He said that he does them and he it would only cost me $20. My doctor is now saying that because I’ve never had a card before it requires more work and his staff isn’t trained to fill out the card. I’m a 67 year old man with arthritis and other minor problems. Is my doctor feeding me BS?

  44. Bruce Carter on

    How can I get a list of the qualified providers below in the state of Washington

    Medical Marijuana Use in Washington State: Authorized Health Care Providers

    The following providers may recommend marijuana:

    Medical Doctors (MDs)

    Physician Assistants (PAs)

    Osteopathic Physicians (DOs)

    Osteopathic Physician Assistants (OA)

    Naturopathic Physicians (ND)

    Advanced Registered Nurse Practitioners (ARNPs)

  45. I had two hernia surgerys and still have pain well it be good to get a card for that

  46. Medical Marijuana Use in Washington State: Designated Provider

    The law does not say that a patient may or may not also be a designated provider
    It does say that a designated provider may not consume a qualifying patient’s medical marijuana




    A designated provider may only have one patient at a time and is
    prohibited from using the patient’s medicine,

    ”””unless the provider is also a qualified patient.”””’

  47. Oh, and your Doctor never needs to know where or when or even if your records have been sent on to a thc clinic. Mine sure didn’t. I went into the information booth at my Dr.s office and gave them the form I downloaded from the THC site and asked them to send off two years of records to the address on the form. No problem.

  48. despart for legal relief on

    It gets confusing on what doctors you can trust! my doctor now believes in medical marajuana but the clinic doesn’t so not sure what to do. It is the ONLY THING THAT HELPS RLS……. What to do?

  49. Just don’t get why it is such a big deal. The “facts” the gov’t puts out there are not THE facts it is only theirs. lets do chemical meds and destroy all our insides, does that make sense? I know it helps calm the nerves in my legs and back, this also helps me NOT over use the opiates which I would really love to get off of.. Medically taken we don’t hurt anyone of anything. I hope and pray it all passes.

  50. what if your doc isnt for medical marajuan? then how do you get a card? Im new to this so im just wondering. are there places that give the cards too?

  51. Can any one tell me how or is it possible to become a Cannabis Grower for outlets stores for medical users? 

  52. thats sorda a double standard, you can be your own designated provider, but the law says that the designated provider cannot consume the patients marijuana, seems like a trap to bust people

Leave A Reply