Since Colorado was one of the first states to go weed-friendly, it has gotten a reputation of being the “stoner state.” But if you head to Colorful Colorado planning on lighting up everywhere, you might be in trouble.

Yes, the state is much more lenient in its legal status of cannabis. There are still restrictions that users have to follow, though, even if you’re planning on sticking to medical marijuana.

Whether you’re already a resident or planning on making the move to Colorado, here are the steps you have to take to use medical marijuana there.

1. Visit Your Primary Doctor

To qualify for an MMJ card, you must have a valid diagnosis that falls under the list of accepted conditions

Before you schedule an appointment for a medical marijuana card consultation, you’ll need to get proof of this diagnosis. Otherwise, the MMJ physician could ask you to reschedule your appointment after you have documentation. 

2. Find an MMJ Provider

Don’t be surprised if your primary physician can’t give you an MMJ card. Not every doctor supports medical cannabis, and those that do, don’t always want to deal with the legalities.  

When you find a provider, make an appointment and submit your documentation. He or she will fill out the proper certifications to begin your electronic application.

You have six months to complete the application and pay any applicable fees. 

3. Complete the Paperwork

We all know how annoying the red tape of paperwork can be, and with medical marijuana, it can be even worse than usual. Don’t start filling out any forms until you make sure you have all the required documentation on this list. It will save you a lot of time and stress.

Then, create or log into your account, enter the certification number the doctor gave you, and choose your cultivation preferences. Most people opt to get their cannabis from a licensed dispensary. If you choose to grow your own, there are other steps you’ll have to take to get approved for that option.

Once you pay your fees, you’ve done all you can do on your end. Now, relax and sit back while you wait for the State’s response.

4. Wait for Approval

It’s a game of “hurry up and wait” sometimes as you’re trying to find a way to use marijuana legally. The faster you get your paperwork submitted, the quicker you can start using weed. But the State can take weeks or months to approve your application if you’re missing information or have expired papers.

As long as you submit everything correctly, you can have your approval or denial within 1-3 business days. You’ll get an email with the final status and instructions for your next steps.

5. Print and Keep Your Card

Success! You’ve been approved for the coveted medical marijuana card, and you’re ready to start using your cannabis now

The good news is that you don’t have to wait. You can log into your account and print your card as soon as you get the email approval. 

If you don’t have access to a printer, open the account on your smartphone and take a screenshot of the card. As long as you have your phone on you, you’ll always have proof of your right to use medical marijuana.

6. Know the Laws

So now that it’s legal for you to use MMJ, it’s up to you to do so responsibly. The next step is to learn the laws that govern medicinal weed in Colorado. Just like smoking cigarettes, it may be legal, but that doesn’t mean you can do it everywhere.

Marijuana smoke follows the Colorado Clean Indoor Air Act. Smoking (tobacco or cannabis) is prohibited in the majority of indoor places that are publicly accessible. That means you can’t light up, either with smoking or vaping, in hotel rooms, stores, and food establishments.

However, if you find a licensed marijuana hospitality or sales business, and you have your MMJ license on your person, you can feel safe enjoying your cannabis.

You can also smoke in private lodgings, as long as you have the owner’s permission. Keep in mind that products with cannabis in them cannot legally cross state borders.


When you’re ready to start the process of using medical marijuana in Colorado, don’t be intimidated! It’s a simple, six-step journey that’s worth it for the peace of mind you’ll get knowing you are legally lighting up your next joint.


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