Once you’ve gone through all the trouble to get a medical cannabis card, the question arises: How long is it good for?
Every state is different. In some states, the cards are good for many years. In others, patients must renew their medical recommendations every few months.
A growing number of states are now considering reciprocity; that is, accepting medical marijuana cards from other states with medical cannabis programs. Hawaii in the latest state to adopt a reciprocity measure, which you can read about here.
Here’s a very brief rundown of expiration dates for medical marijuana cards in the 34 legal states, as well as Washington, D.C.
The state’s Medical Marijuana Registry office tells Leafly that medical marijuana cards in Alaska expire one year after their start date.
From the state’s Department of Health Services website:
“The registry identification card will expire one year after the date it was issued. The qualifying patient must apply for renewal at least 30 days before the expiration date. If a patient’s card must be replaced, the replacement card will have the same expiration date as the card it is replacing.”
“Your registry identification card from the Arkansas Department of Health will be valid for one year from the date it is issued,” says the Arkansas Department of Health website, “or the amount of time designated by the physician.”
California’s Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC), according to the program’s website, “may be valid up to one year. A primary caregiver card will expire when the patient’s card expires even if it is less than 12 months.”
A patient registry ID card is valid for one year and the expiration date is based on the day the application is approved, a communications official at Colorado’s Department of Public Health and Environment told Leafly.
“Medical marijuana registrations in the State of Connecticut expire annually,” a communications official at the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection said in an email to Leafly. ”There is no one date that everyone renews on; it’s simply a year from your first registration.”
Delaware’s Health and Social Services website says a “registry ID card from the Medical Marijuana Program will be valid for one year from the date of issue.”
District of Columbia
“All of our registrations are good for one year,” a communications official at the D.C. Department of Health told Leafly by email.
“To maintain an active Medical Marijuana Use Registry identification card, a patient and/or caregiver must annually submit a renewal application,” says the state’s Department of Health website, “along with the application fee and any required accompanying documents to the department forty-five (45) days prior to the card expiration date. Identification cards expire one year after the date of approval.”
Registration cards are valid for one year, according to the Health Department’s website. “The registration card will state the expiration date on it. Patients must renew (reapply) annually and are responsible for submitting a renewal application in a timely manner to ensure there is no gap in their registration.”
Currently, medical cannabis registry cards in Illinois are valid for one year. But the state’s Department of Public Health website also notes that registered qualifying patients” have the option to extend their registry card for one year or two years.”
The state’s Department of Health website says medical marijuana is scheduled to become available in Louisiana starting in May of this year. Under a law passed in 2015 some physicians in the state will be allowed to prescribe or recommend medical marijuana.
But according to an email from the state’s Board of Pharmacy, which runs Louisiana’s medical marijuana program, state law “does not provide” for medical cannabis ID cards. Yes, it’s a mess.
“The physician-issued written certification form for the medical use of marijuana expires one year after issuance by the qualifying patient’s physician,” according to Maine’s Medical Marijuana Program.
The Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission (MMCC) has extended the expiration date to three years on all MMCC ID cards issued as of this year.
“Registration renewal is required every year,” according to the state’s medical marijuana program website. “Expiration date on Program ID card is separate from registration expiration.”
In Michigan, “A registry identification card shall be renewed on a biennial basis to maintain active status as a registered qualifying patient or a registered primary caregiver.” And medical marijuana identification cards, according to state law, “shall be valid for a period of 2 years.”
An official at Minnesota’s Department of Health told Leafly that the state does not have medical marijuana ID cards. “Instead,” he emailed, “patients are certified and then patient cannabis centers look them up on an electronic registry. Patients have to recertify every 12 months.”
“In Missouri, we are still in the preliminary stages of rule development,” a spokesperson at the state’s Department of Health and Senior Services said in an email to Leafly.
That being said, a first draft of those rules states that patient ID cards will be valid for 12 months from their date of issuance.
“Expiration dates will be up to 1 year (depending on the physician recommendation) from the date the application is approved,” according to Montana’s Department of Public Health and Human Services.
According to a state spokesperson, Nevada’s medical marijuana cards expire one year after issue.
“You must annually renew your Registry Identification Card by submitting an application to the Program, including the submission of a new Written Certification and the required $50 fee,” says a state information sheet.
ID cards in the state’s medical marijuana program are valid for two years, according to the New Jersey Department of Health website. Here’s the catch: Patients are required to “recertify” their condition every 30, 60, or 90 days, depending on the discretion of the doctor. The card lets a police officer, for instance, know that you’re a valid MMJ patient and are allowed to possess medical cannabis. But the recertification information goes into an online database that the dispensary checks with every visit.
“In New Mexico, registry identification cards for qualified patients are valid for one year from date of issue,” a Department of Health official told Leafly.
“Registrations expire when the certification that was issued by the practitioner expires,” a New York State Department of Health official told Leafly via email. “Patient and caregivers must re-register each time a new certification is issued.”
The state’s website says a registry identification card, issued by North Dakota’s Division of Medical Marijuana, is valid one year from the date it was issued, “unless specified otherwise by the health care provider on the written certification form.”
According to Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Control Program, “a patient or caregiver registration will be valid from the date of first issuance and expire one year later, on the last day of the month it was issued. If the patient is diagnosed as terminally ill, the patient’s registration will expire after six months.”
“A patient license is valid for two years from the date it is issued, unless the license is revoked by OMMA (Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority),” says the OMMA website.
According to the Oregon Health Authority, cardholders must renew their registration every year.
“A patient’s medical marijuana card is valid for the length of time the certifying physician specified when certifying the patient,” a communications official at Pennsylvania’s Health Department told Leafly in an email.
“For many patients, this is one year, which is the maximum length of ID card and certification, but the time period could be shorter.”
According to the Rhode Island Secretary of State’s website, The Department of Health “shall issue registry identification cards within five (5) days of approving an application or renewal that shall expire one (1) year after the date of issuance.”
Once a state medical cannabis card is initially issued in Utah “it is valid for 30 days, (and) after the initial 30 days cards can be renewed for six months at a time,” a Utah Department of Health official told Leafly via email. But state law doesn’t require the first cards to be issued until March 1, 2020. So expiration date is kind of the least of everyone’s worries in Utah.
“It is your responsibility to renew annually with the VMR (Vermont Marijuana Registry) by submitting the required completed applications/forms with a non-refundable $50 fee,” says the state’s website on the subject.
“For a qualifying patient eighteen years of age or older, an authorization expires one year after its issuance,” according to the state’s health department website.
The state’s Medical Cannabis Act was signed into law in April of 2017. But according to West Virginia’s Bureau for Public Health, the Bureau “may not issue the patient and caregiver identification cards necessary to obtain medical cannabis until July 1, 2019.” So we’re not yet sure how long those cards will be good for, once they’re issued.