Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana Card in Colorado

  1. Colorado Cannabis
  2. Colorado Medical Marijuana Card
  3. Qualifying Conditions for Medical Marijuana Card in Colorado

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How Many Medical Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Treatment in Colorado?

As of 2023, there are 10 named conditions on the list of qualifying medical conditions approved for medical marijuana treatment in Colorado. Furthermore, the state’s cannabis law also recognizes medical cannabis as an opioid alternative in pain management.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Card in Colorado 2023

The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) issues medical marijuana cards to patients diagnosed with the following qualifying conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV or AIDS
  • Cachexia
  • Persistent muscle spasms including those caused by multiple sclerosis
  • Seizures including those presenting with epilepsy
  • Severe nausea
  • Severe pain
  • Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders

In addition to these, Colorado cannabis law also approves medical marijuana use for any condition for which a physician would prescribe an opioid.

Does Colorado Add New Qualifying Conditions to its Medical Marijuana Program?

Yes. The original text of Colorado’s medical cannabis law only names eight qualifying medical conditions. PTSD and Autism Spectrum Disorders are later additions. Colorado Senate Bill 17 introduced PTSD to the list of qualifying conditions in 2017 after the state’s Board of Health initially rejected a petition to do so in 2015. In 2019, House Bill 19 added autism spectrum disorders to Colorado’s list of disabling medical conditions. This addition mostly unlocked medical cannabis access for minors in the state.

Colorado regularly accepts petitions to add new debilitating conditions to its list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis use from patients and physicians. The CDPHE’s Board of Health rules on these petitions to determine which debilitating conditions to add.

Does Colorado Allow Physicians to Recommend Medical Cannabis for Non-Qualifying Conditions?

No. Medical providers can only recommend medical cannabis for conditions included in the list of qualifying conditions in Colorado.

Do You Need a Doctor’s Recommendation for Medical Marijuana in Colorado?

Yes. Colorado requires each eligible patient applying for its medical marijuana card to submit a medical provider certification. Applicants under the age of 18 must submit two certifications from two providers. The certifying provider must:

  • Be in good standing and licensed to practice in Colorado
  • Hold a valid, unrestricted DEA certification

Only Doctors of Medicine and Osteopathy (MDs and DOs) can recommend medical marijuana for any qualifying medical condition in the state. For disabling medical conditions (PTSD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and conditions requiring opioid prescriptions), Colorado accepts provider certifications from dentists, physician assistants, podiatrists, optometrists, and advanced nurse practitioners. For a minor, Colorado requires one of the two certifying providers to be a board-certified pediatrician, a board-certified family physician, or a board-certified child and adolescent psychiatrist.

Who Qualifies for a Medical Marijuana Card in Colorado?

In addition to having a qualifying medical condition, Colorado requires those applying for its medical marijuana card to be residents of the state. They must also be 18 years or older. However, a minor may qualify for a Colorado medical card if they have the consent of their parent and if their primary parent is a resident of the state.

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