Medical marijuana patients in Michigan could have better access than ever before thanks to a new change to the state’s medical marijuana program.
Beginning today, patients can apply for a medical marijuana registry card online and then immediately begin buying medicine. In the past, the process typically took several weeks to complete.
New Process to Sign Up for Medical Marijuana in Michigan
The new change is being hailed as a way to allow medical marijuana patients to access their medication “as quickly as possible.” And the policy goes into effect today.
Under the new rules, a person can go online to sign up for a medical marijuana registry card. Then, as long as all parts of the patient’s application are valid, they typically receive an approval email relatively quickly.
And this is where the new change really makes a difference. Instead of waiting for the registry card to arrive in the mail, patients can now use the initial approval email as proof that they are registered with the state.
As a result, patients can immediately go to a dispensary and access the medicine they need.
Now, under the new rules, that initial approval email functions as a valid registry card for up to 10 days. And, of course, when the patient gets their actual registry card in the mail, they no longer need to use the approval email.
At the dispensary, patients will need to show the approval email as well as a valid driver’s license or some other government-issued identification card.
Giving Patients Immediate Access to Medical Marijuana
Ultimately, the change is expected to streamline the entire process. Especially for the patient.
In the past, it could take up to five weeks for a patient to receive their registry card in the mail. And while they waited, they were unable to purchase medical marijuana—even though the state had already approved their application.
Now, the entire process will be much faster. From start to finish, a patient needs to:
- Consult with a registered doctor.
- Register for an online account at Michigan’s medical marijuana website.
- Complete the online application.
- Wait for the approval email.
- Use the approval email to get into a dispensary and purchase medical marijuana.
- Begin using the registry card as soon as it arrives in the mail.
“A process that used to take several weeks now can be done in a single day,” Andrew Brisbo, Executive Director of Michigan’s Marijuana Regulatory Agency, told WXYZ Detroit.
He added: “We are excited to offer this new online approval option for the state’s medical marijuana patients.”
Michigan has been making many changes to its medical marijuana program over the past couple of years.
At one point, the state considered closing down all dispensaries while it worked out details for an overhauled program.
Fortunately for patients, that did not happen. Instead, dispensaries were allowed to remain open while legal changes were made.
Today’s new policy is the latest change in this ongoing process. And importantly, it is a change that could ultimately improve access for patients and expand the state’s medical marijuana program.