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  • Medical Marijuana in Washington D.C.

    Medical cannabis is legal in Washington D.C. This happened after the ratification of the Legalization of Marijuana for Medical Treatment Amendment Act of 2010. This means qualified patients in D.C. can buy, possess, and use cannabis for treatment of eligible medical conditions. To do so, they need to have a medical marijuana card with which they can shop for medical cannabis from the available medical dispensaries in the state. This is where medical marijuana doctors come in.

    A Medical Cannabis Card

    To become certified for a medical cannabis card, you will need to register with the D.C. Department of Health with the following details:

    •     A written medical authorization from your medical marijuana doctor
    •     A completed application form
    •     Proof of Washington D.C. residency
    •     Registration fee
    •     A passport photo

    It may take a few weeks before your physical card arrives from the state health department. Meanwhile, you will get a temporary medical marijuana card. This allows you to buy up to two ounces of medical marijuana from a licensed dispensary.

    Medical Authorization

    The endocannabinoid system, the network of receptors and signals that cannabis can influence in the human body, is not taught in med school. This means the majority of general practitioners are not experts in marijuana medicine. Thus, they’re not able to certify you for a medical card. So, you have to find a medical practitioner who specializes in marijuana or has some training in marijuana to be able to give their medical cannabis authorization. This expert is known as a medical marijuana doctor.

    A medical marijuana doctor certifies you to use marijuana for your qualifying condition. With their medical authorization, you can get a medical marijuana card, which you can use to buy cannabis from medical dispensaries. The Washington, D.C., health department has a list of registered cannabis doctors that qualified patients can contact for certifications.

    Remember, the objective of your appointment with a cannabis doctor is to confirm that you have a medical condition that makes you eligible for a medical cannabis card. Subsequently, you and the specialist will work out the best way to begin using marijuana to help manage your medical condition.

    Do You Qualify?

    Different states have their respective lists of qualifying medical conditions that allow a medical marijuana doctor to certify you for a medical marijuana card. Here are some of the qualifying conditions for patients in Washington, D.C.:

    •     Cancer
    •     Epilepsy
    •     Traumatic brain injury
    •     Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV)
    •     Pain unrelieved by regular medical treatments
    •     Glaucoma, Hepatitis C, and Crohn’s disease unrelieved by regular medical treatments
    •     Multiple sclerosis
    •     Posttraumatic stress disorder
    •     Chronic renal failure necessitating hemodialysis

    Mental Health Conditions Aren’t Eligible

    There’s currently a lack of scientific proof supporting health improvement from the use of medicinal marijuana in treating mental health conditions like depression and bipolar disorder. As such, the Medical Quality Assurance Commission has rejected requests to include mental health conditions in the list of eligible conditions.

    Consult a Reputable Medical Cannabis Doctor

    Medical cannabis doctors are your gateway to using medical marijuana. You should walk away from an appointment knowing exactly what to buy at a dispensary. While your cannabis doctor cannot write you a specific prescription, they should steer you in the right direction to get what you need.