The Process of Obtaining your Medical Marijuana Card in the US
How Do You Get a Medical Marijuana Card?
The legal stance on medical marijuana is changing all the time, as regulators and campaigners nationwide tussle over what the ideal set of laws might be. As each state makes decisions separately and on its own timescale, concerned citizens can be left confused about both the legal status of those seeking medical marijuana, and which routes are currently available to them. Here we address this confusion, detailing how people can get medical marijuana cards in the United States today as well as in the future.
US Laws and Regulations on Cannabis Vary
Some states are far stricter about marijuana consumption than others, and where a person resides will play a huge role in whether or not they can get a medical marijuana card.
Not All States are Open to Legalization of Marijuana
Keep in mind that there are still very harsh regulations on cannabis in some parts of the US. Marijuana remains a prohibited substance for private citizens without exception, and no medical condition is considered legal grounds for possession. These states offer no legal protections of any kind for medical marijuana users, and certainly no medical marijuana card scheme. In Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska, South Dakota, and West Virginia, any form of possession of marijuana products (outside of a few highly restricted research trials) is punishable by law; South Dakota even considers previous marijuana use outside its state borders as “internal possession”, and individuals who test positive for past use, may, in theory, be sentenced to up to a year jail time and/or a $2000 fine, regardless of whether the marijuana consumption in question was done in a legal state. Clearly, individuals in these states face an extremely difficult time attempting to access medical marijuana legally.
Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card might not be so Difficult
At the opposite end of the spectrum, marijuana laws have at times been so inclusive that residents of any US state could have applied for and received a medical marijuana card. While this has been repealed in the states where it was possible (Montana and Oregon), the contrast in legal attitudes to medical marijuana remains clear.
For most US states, however, the situation is somewhere in between. Many states have active legislation that makes medical marijuana use permissible for a small subset of patients; these patients (and/or their caregivers) may or may not be able to acquire documentation protecting them from arrest, but their situation is recognised as an “affirmative defense” in courts and protects them from conviction over marijuana product possession (within certain limits). In Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Mississippi, North Carolina, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Wisconsin, patients with specified severe disorders (often only the rare condition of “intractable epilepsy”) can use their condition as an affirmative defense for some possession-related charges. This is possible only provided that the total amount of marijuana in possession does not exceed the permitted amount allowed by their state of residency, and is classified as a low-THC cannabinoid oil within the state’s quality parameters (generally containing a maximum of 0.3% to 3% THC and a minimum of 10% to 15% CBD). Children are among the primary beneficiaries of these schemes, although many remain excluded or in “tricky” legal positions due to their broader situation.
Other states have a registry and/or card scheme for qualified low-THC cannabinoid oil patients, providing them with extra protection in their dealings with law enforcement. In these states, joining the appropriate registry or obtaining the correct card is essential. Residents of Georgia, Iowa, Missouri, Utah, and Wyoming whose medical conditions fit the limited criteria and who want to access medicinal cannabinoid oils are qualified to register for a prescription.
Which States should you go to Seek a Medical Marijuana Card?
States who are more open to the medicinal value of marijuana are more likely to have a Medical Marijuana card program more relevant to their citizens, and in Arizona, California, Connecticut, Delaware, District of Columbia, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont, more people are eligible to apply for a medical marijuana card, and/or have access to a greater range of medical marijuana products when they have done so.
Delaware and New York more Relaxed on Weed?
For example, in Delaware, registered patients over the age of 18 can legally possess up to six ounces of marijuana, and buy up to three ounces per fortnight from their selected “compassion center” (dispensary).
Legal Marijuana in the State of New York
In New York, patients with a wide range of serious illnesses, including HIV/AIDS, cancer, ALS, Huntingdon’s disease, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, inflammatory bowel disease, and certain types of nerve damage can all legally access marijuana products when they are “diagnosed” with a “qualifying” condition (ie: cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or persistent muscle spasms, severe nausea, and/or severe or chronic pain). While not all these states have identical systems – qualifying medical conditions can vary, as do dispensary systems and stances on at-home cultivation – their medical marijuana programs are on the whole more accessible and more comprehensive than CBD oil only/non-card states. Of these states, California, Maine, Massachusetts, and Nevada are also in the process of making recreational marijuana use functionally legal.
Maryland’s Stance on Pot
In addition to the above, Maryland’s medical marijuana card system is almost ready; according to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, it is still on track to go live for patient registration in the first quarter of 2017. And, as of November 2016, five more states are set to join these medical-marijuana-accepting ranks: Arkansas, Florida, North Dakota, Ohio, and Pennsylvania all passed bills in the pre-Christmas legislative period that will bring medical marijuana cards to their states. In these cases, most residents will simply have to wait as card application processes are finalized, but we have a good idea of what is to come;
North Dakota on the Fence for Marijuana
North Dakota’s ‘Measure 5’ law, for example, will bring a card scheme, licensed dispensaries, and a wide range of marijuana products to patients with “debilitating medical conditions”, available upon recommendation from a doctor and application to the state’s Department of Health. Dispensaries will not open until July 2017 at the earliest, and a fully functioning system may take even longer, but it’s only a matter of time before medical marijuana cards are possible to obtain in the five ‘November’ states.
Other States on Marijuana
Lastly, some US states are much more open to the use of marijuana, permitting the whole plant to be used in all its forms, even by those who have no clear medical need of it. Recreational use of marijuana is functionally legal (you can legally acquire as well as possess it) in Alaska, Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, while California, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, and the District of Columbia have voted to legalize recreational marijuana use, even if the law is not yet fully operational. Residents of these states have (or will soon have) no obligation to register for a Medical Marijuana card in order to possess and consume certain amounts of the plant and its products. Children, teenagers, and those who wish to buy marijuana “by the book” in recently-legalised states, and/or those for whom the higher tax levied on recreational marijuana in states like Washington will still need to get a medical marijuana card. 
The First Step in Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card
In most cases, obtaining a medical marijuana card starts with the consideration of your medical history, some research into appropriate doctors, and a consultation with a practitioner who can sign off on your medical state and support your application for a card. You may or may not need to manage your own application beyond this.
Difficulties in Getting your Medical Marijuana Card
In the strictest states, where cards are available only under strict circumstances and via a tightly controlled registration process, the most reliable information you will be able to find to help you will come from those who have either been through the process or have been involved in campaigning to make it possible.
How do I Get a Medical Marijuana Prescription and Card
Networking via support groups, charities, and lobbying organizations for those with your medical condition is a sensible first step, giving you access to their experience in interpreting state guidelines, in finding the most knowledgeable and sympathetic practitioners and protecting yourself in an unforgiving legal environment.
Organizations That Help Get Legal Marijuana
Contacting organisations such as Georgia Cannabis (https://www.georgiacannabis.org/), Iowans 4 Medical Cannabis (http://www.iowans4medicalcannabis.org/), Utah Medical Marijuana (http://utahmedicalmarijuana.com/), or the Missouri or Wyoming chapters of NORML (the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws) might well turn up useful contacts, and help you find out who best to visit to start getting your medical marijuana card. After that meeting, onward steps vary; in Georgia, for example, your medical practitioner will complete your registration for you, whereas in Utah you will need to put together and submit your application yourself, using your practitioner’s input and forms found online (http://health.utah.gov/hempregistry/index.html). Stepping through the right hoops will be easiest with help from those who are well-versed in your state’s laws and requirements.
In more permissive states, the range of practitioners who are able or willing to recommend treatment using medical marijuana is greater; the requirement to see a neurologist often doesn’t apply, and doctors may be more knowledgeable or confident about supporting a patient’s application to get a medical marijuana card. Support groups may still be helpful in determining whether your medical situation qualifies – and in finding an alternative physician if yours is not supportive of you accessing medical marijuana treatments – but requesting your medical records from and broaching the topic with your current physician is a good first step. Visiting the website of your state’s Department of Health, or contacting them directly to procure an application pack would be another useful move; looking through their documentation will give you a good idea of the road ahead should you decide to proceed. In most cases, the combination of this with the knowledge and support of your physician will be all that you need to get started.
An example of the process from the New York Department of Health’s website. Source: https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/patients/
Should you want or need a new doctor to help you acquire a medical marijuana card, there are other options beyond word of mouth for finding one. Searching online for medical marijuana doctors in your state may show up under many listings, in Medical Marijuana-friendly locations at the least; visiting MarijuanaDoctors.com (https://www.marijuanadoctors.com/doctor/search), for instance, will allow you to search or browse by state and find marijuana-friendly practices in less than two minutes. Some doctors will even review your medical records and perform an initial consultation online or over the phone, although the law in most states requires that your recommending doctor should either be your primary physician, or one with whom you have an established working relationship, so meeting face-to-face in order to fulfill this requirement is often inevitable.
Californians may be the only ones for whom no face-to-face meeting is required. In this particularly permissive state, contacting online practitioners such as those represented by MMJRecs.com (https://mmjrecs.com/), MMJDoctorOnline.com (https://mmjdoctoronline.com/), or NuggMD.com (http://www.nuggmd.com/) may be a viable starting point for getting your medical marijuana card. Armed with your doctor’s recommendation, you can then go to the state Department of Health to submit your doctor-approved application.
How to Make Sure Your Medical Marijuana Card Application is Accepted
Whether your state has restrictions on repeat applications, a non-refundable application fee that is unaffordable twice, or you simply want access to medical marijuana as fast as possible, a watertight MMJ card application makes for a happy patient. How do you build on the steps outlined above to make sure everything gets done right?
STEP ONE: How Legal is Marijuana in my State?
Firstly, you should check the local laws carefully using up to date sources. Does your state require that you have tried two other types of medication for your condition without success? Do you need to present with both an underlying and an accessory condition to be eligible, as in New York? Double-check that all these stipulations have been considered before finally sealing up your application or allowing it to be submitted on your behalf.
Work closely with your recommending practitioner to help you understand the process; learn from their experience and medical/legal knowledge to help your chances. If you or they have any doubts, contact local advocacy groups or your state’s Department of Health to clarify any points of concern, and hold the line until you are certain that you understand their answers.
Getting a friend or support worker to read through the instructions for applying with you and double-check any forms you have filled in could also prove invaluable – they might spot something you have not! Create a checklist together of all that needs to be included in your application pack – especially if you are submitting it yourself by post – and make sure that you are prepared and/or everything is included in the correct format. Be careful that any envelopes you post are addressed correctly, to the right sub-department, so that they make it quickly to the right person’s in-tray.
Complete application services from online or even face-to-face doctors are rare, so keeping yourself informed and on top of the above is almost certainly your best bet.
How Long Does It Take to Issue a Medical Marijuana Card?
Some states are quicker than others at reviewing, approving/denying, and issuing cards based on the medical marijuana registration applications they receive. The variation is rarely significant, however; for instance, Illinois promises no more than 30 days, and New Hampshire no more than 20 days, while New Mexico averages 24 days for the processing of applications. Incorrectly completed or addressed application forms can hinder processing times significantly, however, so be sure make good use of the suggestions above!
How Much Does a Medical Marijuana Card Cost?
Most states charge something for the privilege of applying for an MMJ card. Some states have settled on $200 as an application/card fee, including Minnesota, New Jersey, and Utah, although discounts can be arranged in all but Utah to take into account financial hardship and/or the receipt of certain state benefits.  A further set of states have set the price at $100-$125, such as Connecticut and Delaware, although a sliding scale of price points based on income is also available in this price band.
In most states, a non-refundable application fee of $50 applies, which may or may not be waived due to extenuating circumstances. This is the case for Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, and Vermont, among others.  It may only be the lucky citizens of Maine for whom no fee applies.
Of course, these prices don’t take into account the cost of seeing the appropriate physician for however long is needed, or any fees levied by online application services. If you’re travelling to and procuring your MMJ products in another state (for example, taking advantage of the recreational marijuana laws in Oregon, Colorado, or Washington to take your medical marijuana there), then you’ll also need to factor in the travel costs before you can see any practical benefit from your MMJ card.
My Medical Marijuana Card Story: Experiences From Those Who Have Been There
At this stage in the game, there are many cases illustrating how the (established) processes of card acquisition work. In states where the legislation has remained stable for several years, there are many people whose journeys can provide examples, and whose experiences remain relevant to those undergoing the process today.
Jessica Gill, of www.marijuanamommy.com, has shared her story of seeking medical marijuana in New Jersey with all who will listen. After trying almost every pharmaceutical or holistic medicine available for her spinal injury (which left her with both severe nerve pain and muscle spasms), and battling her own internalized stigma against marijuana (she didn’t want to become a “pothead”), she finally began to consider the idea. With the help of her friends and parents, she learned that her condition was eligible for treatment with medical marijuana under New Jersey law and that if she applied for and was granted a medical marijuana card, she could try it legally.
She involved a registered MMJ physician (a requirement in her state), who submitted an Attending Physician Statement for her case and provided her with a copy of the statement and her unique Patient Reference Number. Jessica then had to go to http://njmmp.nj.gov to complete and submit her application, including a $200 fee. When her application was approved, her card was posted out to her.
She can now renew her medical marijuana card in two-year cycles, keeping the green stuff coming. She says it has been a revelation: “Each day I’m awestruck by my results. I’ve been using cannabis daily for more than a year now and my quality of life has skyrocketed. My pain and suffering aren’t gone – I’m still disabled and my injury affects me daily – but cannabis eases and soothes like nothing else can.” She no longer uses opiates and says her head is clearer than it ever was on mainstream pharmaceutical medication. “The part that I’m most grateful for? Marijuana helps me be a regular mom again.”
Jessica Gill’s medical marijuana card. Source: http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865672038/Into-the-weed-What-Utah-can-expect-if-medical-marijuana-is-legalized.html
Daniel (surname withheld) has also shared his card application story on www.mymarijuanastory.com, describing his experience of application in Michigan. He spent a long time researching the laws for his state to ensure he had all his bases legally covered, before choosing a doctor with care. “I chose a highly regarded doctor in my region who specializes in medical cannabis,” he says, “I read reviews and studied his website to figure out everything that I needed to have in order to be prepared for my appointment.” He had to bring his medical records to the appointment and underwent a thorough physical examination to satisfy the doctor. “He tested my flexibility, verified my hyper reflexes, and asked me to show him where my cramps and spasms occurred…the doctor agreed that he felt medical marijuana would help my condition,” Daniel tells us.
The appointment cost $100, and Daniel chose to pay an extra $25 for assistance with filing his paperwork. He could also pay the $100 government application fee onsite, and walked out with temporary documentation enabling him to begin caregiver visits for supplies immediately. “I would say that the process was very straightforward, and having all of my bases covered made everything go very easy,” he says, “If considering medical marijuana, I once again will stress that you need to do your homework and follow the laws precisely. Learn these lessons and then go forward. Your body will thank you for it.”
A CASE STUDY: Regulations and Laws Obtaining Medical Marijuana
The story can be quite different elsewhere, however; despite high card fees, New Jersey and Michigan are among the more practical states when it comes to medical marijuana. Erin Miller, an Iowa resident, has not been so lucky. She was first pointed in the direction of medical marijuana by her son’s neurologist but has had to fight tooth and nail since for legal protection for treating her son’s rare seizure disorder with low-THC cannabinoid oils. And she still finds herself in a tricky legal situation; even with an MMJ card, Iowans have no legal sources for acquiring the CBD oil they are permitted to possess. Every time Erin crosses into Colorado to purchase her son’s medicine, she is carrying a Schedule I restricted substance back across state lines, and therefore breaking both local and federal law. She is one of many who considers incredibly limited medical marijuana card systems like Iowa’s to be ‘broken’. She has, however, been able to avoid arrest, and it’s all worth it to see the change in her son: “He was able to make eye contact and smile … His fine motor skills began to catch up. … he went from literally not using his fingers to being able to do puzzles.” She is now campaigning to improve the Iowa legislation for medical marijuana patients.
It is where legislation and precedents have most recently changed, however, that examples are the most useful. And yet it is in these cases, where many people are still processing their first card applications, that finding interviews or stories available to the public is least likely. This is where networking with your local medical marijuana community can prove invaluable.
Other Things to Consider Before Getting a Card
As Daniel indicated above, it is not simply enough to know how to get your medical marijuana card– even if you meet all the criteria, your intended use of marijuana needs to be within your state’s laws or at least protected by precedent. This is no time to make guesses. As Daniel puts it, “Make sure you know what you are getting yourself into; it is not just fun and games. … Try to think of it in these terms: Your foolishness could end up causing those of us who need this medicine to lose that right. Do you really want that?”
The first major consideration is this: how will you be able to legally acquire the marijuana products that your card allows you to possess? In some areas, the answer is easy, as dispensaries and/or shops are widespread – Los Angeles, for example, has one “pot shop” for roughly every 8,000 people, and this in a city of millions. In states like Iowa, on the other hand, somebody like Erin needs to break the law to save you from doing so, even to give away products that card holders are entitled to possess. A similar problem blights those Montanans who are permitted to cultivate marijuana at home and therefore supply themselves; there is at present no legal means of acquiring the seeds, as anyone selling or donating them to you is breaking the law. As one resident put it, “How’s that supposed to work? A magic seed fairy is going to deliver seeds in your mailbox? To grow, the first thing you have to do is break the law.”  Georgia Cannabis (www.georgiacannabis.org) claims that Georgians can order CBD oil from out-of-state, but this may contravene federal law. So, while you might be protected from possession charges, acquisition can remain a very gray area. This is one major reason why so many states’ medical marijuana systems are not counted as operational by NORML (www.norml.org) or the Marijuana Policy Project (www.mmp.org). Where legal acquisition is possible, you must only buy marijuana products from those dispensaries or caregivers with appropriate licenses – in some states, these numbers may be very small. And where growing your own plants is a viable, legal option, you may still need to live a minimum distance from the closest dispensary before you are permitted to cultivate at home (this will apply under North Dakota’s ‘Measure 5’).
You are also highly unlikely to be able to offer anyone else the medical marijuana you have been licensed to use. In any state where marijuana is not legal as a recreational drug, passing any amount of it on to anyone – even other medical marijuana card users – can constitute private distribution and may be a felony (unless you are a licensed caregiver in addition to being a cardholder – but even then, strict rules apply). In New Hampshire, for example, any “diversion of cannabis” to a non-card-holder “is punishable as a class B felony” and will get your MMJ card revoked, possibly in addition to criminal penalties.
Additionally, any medical marijuana card you hold will only reliably protect you or allow you to acquire marijuana within its state of issue. This applies even if your situation would qualify for legal protection were you a resident of the state you are visiting; if you are not registered with them, as you cannot be without at least a residential address in that state, then you do not have a valid MMJ card while there. An exception to this is visitors to Nevada. (While Montana’s laws used to protect out-of-state patients, they no longer do so.) This means leaving the marijuana at home (transportation across state lines is inadvisable anyhow), and not buying more unless you can legally do so as a recreational user.
In short, know well what your card will not let you do; make sure this is acceptable to you before applying for a medical marijuana card.
Another factor to consider before getting a medical marijuana card is the following: does possession and consumption of marijuana products, even legally, cause problems for you in other areas of your life? Even in states considered to be ‘functional medical marijuana states’ by the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP), the law may not be complete enough to protect you from discrimination regarding housing or employment. In Montana and Missouri, for example, the law does not bar landlords from evicting tenants over their medical marijuana use, even when that use is legal. Nor does it safeguard your residence in subsidized housing (federally-subsided housing is even more risky, due to marijuana’s illegality at the federal level). Employers also retain the right to forbid marijuana use of any kind in the workplace, to issue drug tests to employees that may detect medical marijuana use, and to fire or decline to hire employees based on their consumption of marijuana. Safe Access Now, the campaign group, has suggested that legal challenges to any of the above might succeed in court, but it would be up to you whether or not you wanted to pursue a case, possibly at your own expense. This situation is a further example of why many states’ regulations are considered incomplete, dysfunctional, or “largely symbolic” by medical marijuana campaigners.
Clearly, even after approval for an MMJ card, the process is often far from perfect. These are points that you should bear in mind when seeking a card for yourself or for someone under your care.
The Future for Cannabis and Medical Marijuana Prescriptions
So, you now know whether and how to go about getting your MMJ card. But what else does the future hold?
According to campaigners in dozens of states, the problems of partial or “symbolic” medical marijuana legislation will soon become a thing of the past. Momentum has been gathering for medical marijuana in the United States for years, as evidenced by the mounting levels of legalization even in some of the most conservative states. Indeed, there are bills being proposed in almost every highly restrictive state that would partially or dramatically change their legal attitude towards marijuana and could bring MMJ cards to millions more Americans. How likely these bills are to pass varies, but the question is being asked with increasing regularity, and in many cases getting further along the road to becoming law with each passing year. The Utah legislature has announced that it will pass bills to help prepare the ground for any future legalization measures, for instance, while in Kentucky a bill has been proposed by Sen. Perry Clark that would nullify the federal marijuana prohibition and create a taxed system. Even the Indiana Legislature has allowed a Senate committee to hear testimony relating to a medical marijuana bill, which campaigners say is a ground-breaking event after years of lobbying failing to produce even one hearing.
A shadow hangs over all this, however: the election of President Trump. We must remember that the validity of any of the laws above permitting the use, possession, recommendation, and distribution of marijuana ultimately rests on the goodwill of the federal administration. With marijuana still a Schedule I controlled substance at the federal level, it has been its low prioritization by the previous administration that has prevented federal bodies from challenging state laws on the matter – not any strong legal protection. A change in this attitude could lead to major upsets for marijuana-permissive states, all of which are technically violating federal law.
Trump has so far not made clear what his final approach to marijuana will be, and predictions as to what his administration will do are varied. Although he has expressed support for medical marijuana on the campaign trail,  and has indicated that states should mostly be able to make their own decisions, he has gathered a number of people to him who have vocally opposed marijuana in the U.S.  His choice of Sen. Jeff Sessions for Attorney General has caused some particularly ruffled feathers, and Sessions has suggested that action will be taken one way or another regarding the federal marijuana prohibition. His exact words, “I know it won’t be an easy decision, but I will try to do my duty in a fair and just way,” are a softening of his previous rhetoric, but hardly a reassurance of the status quo either.  Dr. Kevin Sabet, co-founder of Smart Approaches to Marijuana, has said what many are thinking: “When we see Guiliani and Christie and Sessions around him, I think things could change pretty quickly…Everything is up in the air right now.”
The uncertainty over the White House’s position has certainly gotten to lawmakers in Utah, who have indicated that they are hesitant to pass any game-changing marijuana laws without clarification on what is to come. But many others remain more confident, especially when it comes to medical marijuana. “I’d be really surprised if the new administration attempted to restrict access to medical marijuana,” says Beau Kilmer, co-director of the RAND Drug Policy Research Center. Tom Angell, of Marijuana Majority, agrees: “Picking a fight with the growing number of states that are enacting popularly supported marijuana laws would be a huge distraction that the White House just does not need right now,” he says, expressing a similar sentiment to Robert Capecchi of the Marijuana Policy Project, who is “cautiously optimistic.”
This is also the feeling of marijuana business owners, who are continuing as usual – and gobbling up market share while ‘big business’ ventures hang back. In the opinion of Aaron Herzberg, an attorney and business partner in Californian MMJ holding company CalCann, the marijuana industry in America is simply too large for the federal government to “put the cat back in the bag.”  Combined with the lobbying momentum that pro-marijuana campaigns have seen in recent years, steadily changing the minds and laws of Americans, Herzberg may well be right.
Access to medical marijuana cards will certainly be an issue to keep a close eye on going forward – these are interesting times indeed.
** Disclaimer: This medical disclaimer may be appropriate for use in relation to a website providing free medical information. It specifies that the information does not constitute advice, and makes it clear that the accuracy of the information is not guaranteed. Further, users are advised to seek professional medical assistance in the event that they are suffering from any medical problem.
References & Sources
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-  http://www.dph.illinois.gov/topics-services/prevention-wellness/medical-cannabis/medical-cannabis-registry-application; http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/oos/tcp/applications-forms.htm; https://nmhealth.org/about/mcp/svcs/
-  http://www.ct.gov/dcp/cwp/view.asp?a=4287&q=510664&dcpNav=|55376| ; https://www.marijuanadoctors.com/medical-marijuana/DE/delaware
-  http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/docs/dph/quality/medical-marijuana/patient-guidance-for-registration.pdf ; http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/oos/tcp/documents/applicationpatient.pdf ; https://www.health.ny.gov/regulations/medical_marijuana/patients/ ; http://vcic.vermont.gov/marijuana-registry/faq
-  http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/2017/01/04/erin-miller-medical-marijuana-cannabis-people-to-watch/94338862/
-  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Los_Angeles#Demographics ; http://www.latimes.com/local/lanow/la-me-ln-pot-shops-tax-renewal-20140401-story.html
-  http://www.safeaccessnow.org/becoming_a_patient_in_montana, http://www.safeaccessnow.org/becoming_a_patient_in_missouri
-  http://www.thedailychronic.net/2014/34184/limited-medical-marijuana-law-takes-effect-in-mississippi
-  http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865672038/Into-the-weed-What-Utah-can-expect-if-medical-marijuana-is-legalized.html
-  http://www.courierpress.com/story/news/2017/01/29/indiana-medical-marijuana-backers-take-hope-bill-hearing/97216822/
-  http://hightimes.com/news/politics/pot-matters-trump-on-marijuana/ ; https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/10/29/trump-wants-marijuana-legalization-decided-at-the-state-level/
-  http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/what-will-trump-administration-do-about-marijuana-legalization-n682261
-  http://www.desmoinesregister.com/story/news/politics/2016/11/27/medical-cannabis-could-see-movement-iowa/94345340/. ; http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/Trump-may-allow-states-some-leeway-with-marijuana-10941928.php?ipid=articlerecirc
-  http://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/what-will-trump-administration-do-about-marijuana-legalization-n682261
-  http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865672038/Into-the-weed-What-Utah-can-expect-if-medical-marijuana-is-legalized.html
-  http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865672038/Into-the-weed-What-Utah-can-expect-if-medical-marijuana-is-legalized.html
-  http://www.msn.com/en-us/money/markets/the-trump-administration-doesnt-appear-to-be-slowing-investment-in-the-marijuana-industry/ar-AAmMWfu?li=BBnbfcL