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Where is Medical Marijuana Legal?

Posted on: August 29th, 2016 by Angela Ardolino No Comments

Medical marijuana laws are typically created in one of two ways: either through a voter backed initiative like in California or through a state’s legislative body as in the case of Pennsylvania. While voter initiatives must be approved to be added to ballots only on election years, state lawmakers can introduce a medical marijuana bill whenever the state legislatures are in session.

So far, 25 states have established medical marijuana programs. These states include: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland,Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. In addition, Washington, DC and Puerto Rico allow medical marijuana for patients.

Additional states, while not offering comprehensive medical marijuana programs, have approved marijuana- based “low THC, high cannabidiol (CBD)” products for limited medical purposes. These states include Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Iowa, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Virginia, Wisconsin, andWyoming.

Alternatively, CBD oil products that are derived from hemp are legal to purchase and use in all 50 states without a visit to a doctor, a medical marijuana card, or paying a state enrollment fee. Made with naturally high-CBD, low-THC hemp, these products contain the same levels of CBD as those sold in medical marijuana dispensaries, but because they are sold as supplements, they are 100% legal in the U.S.

weed medicine

How Do You Get Medical Marijuana?

Medical marijuana is only legally available in the states and territories that have established medical marijuana programs. The conditions and ailments that are approved for medical marijuana treatment vary, so you’ll need to first determine whether your condition is included on your respective state’s list of qualifying conditions. For up to date information on state medical marijuana laws and included conditions, visit this education page.

The rules and requirements for acquiring legal medical marijuana also fluctuate widely between each individual state and territory.

In general, you’ll need to visit your doctor who, if feeling that you and your condition would benefit from medical marijuana, will write you a recommendation. Because the FDA does not consider marijuana an approved medication, your doctor cannot prescribe it and your insurance will not cover it. Your doctor’s recommendation, however, authorizes you to move forward in the approval process.

In some states, like California, a signed doctor’s recommendation (and a state photo ID) is enough to gain access to medical marijuana dispensaries (authorized marijuana distributors) and offers some protections for patients when purchasing and transporting their marijuana.

Other states will require you to obtain a state issued medical marijuana “card”. Often this will include being placed in the state’s respective record system. You will then be allowed to buy marijuana from a state approved dispensary or (in some states) delivery service. Depending on your state of residence, there may be an enrollment fee needed to apply for a medical marijuana card, costing up to $200.

Once you have access to a marijuana distributor, you’ll have the option between a number of different options for using legal medical cannabis. Dried marijuana flower is still the most popular form, but a growing number of states have banned smokeable marijuana in their programs. Other choices include tincture sprays, capsules, vapes, concentrated extracts, and edibles. For those looking for external applications, balms, salves, and lotions can be rubbed directly into the muscles, joints, and skin for focused relief. There are even dermal patches that can be placed on the skin for delayed release through the day.

To read more about medical marijuana, click here.

To get CBD oil, email angela@alchemistbox.com.

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