How To Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Iowa

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Apply For Iowa Medical Marijuana Card Online

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What is an MMJ Card in Iowa?

An Iowa medical cannabis card is an identification card issued by the state’s Department of Public Health to a registered patient under the Iowa medical cannabidiol program. It authorizes the cardholder to legally possess and use medical cannabis products within the stipulated limits under the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Act.

Under the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Act, an Iowa medical cannabis cardholder can purchase and possess up to 4.5 grams of THC every 90 days, except in an instance where a waiver to possess higher limits has been obtained. An Iowa medical cannabis card protects the cardholder from arrest for marijuana possession or use, provided the conditions of the state's medical cannabidiol laws are not contravened.

Who Can Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card in Iowa?

Pursuant to Section 124E.4 of the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Act, an Iowa medical cannabis card is available to a patient who:

  • Is at least 18 years of age
  • Is a permanent resident of Iowa
  • Has been certified by a qualified healthcare practitioner to have one or more qualifying conditions

Can a Minor Obtain a Medical Cannabis Card in Iowa?

Iowa medical marijuana cards are issued to patients who are at least 18 years old. However, the state’s medical cannabidiol program still allows individuals younger than 18 to access marijuana through a caregiver. A caregiver must be at least 18 years old; a resident of Iowa or a bordering state; and the parent, legal guardian, or other individual designated by the patient's healthcare practitioner as a caretaker for managing the well-being of a patient. A caregiver can purchase and administer medical cannabidiol on behalf of a minor patient.

What Conditions Qualify for Medical Cannabis Cards in Iowa?

The following illnesses are approved to be treated with medical cannabidiol in Iowa:

  • AIDS or HIV as defined under Section 141A.1 of the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Act
  • Crohn's disease
  • Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
  • Multiple sclerosis associated with severe and persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures, including those characteristic of epilepsy
  • Parkinson's disease
  • Chronic pain
  • Severe, intractable pediatric autism associated with self-injurious or aggressive behaviors
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder
  • Ulcerative colitis
  • Corticobasal degeneration
  • A terminal condition, with a probable life expectancy of under 1 year, if the condition or its treatment produces:
    • Severe or chronic pain
    • Nausea or severe vomiting
    • Cachexia
  • Cancer, if the underlying condition or its treatment results in:
    • Chronic or severe pain
    • Nausea or severe vomiting
    • Cachexia

How Do I Apply for an MMJ Card in Iowa in 2023?

The first step in obtaining an Iowa medical cannabidiol card is to schedule an appointment with a healthcare provider in order to obtain a certification to use medical cannabidiol. You may schedule this visit as an in-person or telehealth appointment. If the healthcare practitioner verifies that you are eligible to use medical cannabidiol to treat a qualifying condition, the physician will attest and sign the healthcare practitioner certification form. Note that eligible healthcare practitioners must be doctors of medicine, doctors of osteopathy, advanced registered nurse practitioners, physician assistants, or podiatrists. Prior to your visit to the healthcare practitioner, you should take the following documents along:

After obtaining the healthcare certification form, you may visit the Iowa medical cannabidiol registration portal to commence your application. On the portal, you will be required to upload the required application documents and items and pay the registration fee.

How To Apply For A Medical Cannabis Card In Person In Iowa

The Iowa medical cannabidiol program does not allow patients seeking to enroll in the program to submit their applications in person.

How To Apply For An MMJ Card By Mail In Iowa

Medical cannabis card application submissions cannot be made by mail in Iowa. Submissions are accepted online.

How Does a Primary Caregiver Get an Iowa Medical Cannabis Card?

To apply for a caregiver card, follow these steps:

  • Ensure you are listed on your patient's healthcare practitioner form as the designated primary caregiver, and the form has been completed and signed by the healthcare practitioner
  • Visit the Iowa medical cannabidiol caregiver application portal
    • Select "No, I am a new caregiver"
    • Choose whether you are applying as a caregiver for a minor or adult patient. If for an adult patient, your associated patient must have a currently issued card for you to be approved. You will be asked to provide the patient's registration number on the application. If for a minor patient, they do not need to apply as a patient. You will be issued a card on their behalf when approved
    • Fill out the online application. If you are applying as the caregiver for an adult patient, you will enter their registration number on the application in this step. If applying to be a caregiver for a minor patient, you will required to complete the patient's demographic information
    • Upload the required documentation. These include:
      • Completed Primary Caregiver Application
      • Healthcare Practitioner Certification Form
      • A copy of your photo identification, which can be either:
      • A valid driver's license from Iowa or a state bordering Iowa (Nebraska, Missouri, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, or South Dakota)
      • A valid non-operator identification card
    • Electronically sign the attestation and submit it. Once you click on submit, an attestation statement will appear on the screen, requiring you to fill in your email address and check an agreement box to complete the electronic signature
    • Complete your payment. After signing and submitting the attestation, you will be directed to this payment screen to pay the caregiver registration fee. This fee can be paid using a money order or check written out to the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services

After submitting your application, it will be reviewed by the Iowa DHHS. Subsequently, you will receive an email indicating that you are either approved or have pending information. If your medical cannabidiol card application is approved, you will receive an approval email with your valid digital card attached as a PDF. If pending information, you will receive an email stating which items are missing, and you can upload the missing items or make a payment using a link in that email

For more information on a caregiver application, see the caregiver application guide on the Iowa Department of Health and Human Services website.

How Long Does it Take to Get an Iowa Medical Cannabis Card?

After submitting an MMJ application, the Iowa medical cannabidiol program will review it for completeness. If the applicant provides an email address on their application, the program will send a temporary card via email, and their permanent card will be mailed to the physical address submitted in the application. If no email was provided with the application, an application will receive their permanent card at the address provided with their application. The process from review to receiving the permanent MMJ card in the mail may take up to 5 weeks.

Getting an Iowa Medical Cannabis Card Online

To obtain an Iowa medical marijuana card, follow these steps:

  • Print the required forms: The first step to renewing your medical cannabis card is to download and print the healthcare practitioner certification form. Take the form along to your appointment with your certifying provider
  • Prepare the necessary forms: Prepare the following items for your renewal application:
  • Visit the Iowa medical cannabis patient registration portal: Visit the online patient registration and select "No, I am a new patient." You will be required to fill in your email address and registration number
  • Complete the online application and upload the required documents: You must provide personal information such as your name, sex, race, date of birth, ethnicity, and driver's license number or state ID number. After completing the required fields, upload the required documentation
  • Sign the attestation document: After selecting “submit," an attestation statement will pop up, prompting you to complete an electronic signature
  • Pay the application fee: After signing the attestation form, you will be directed to the payment section to pay the application fee

You can also apply for a medical cannabis card using your mobile device or smartphone. The registration portal is optimized for mobile devices and allows patients to apply online using any mobile device. To apply online using a mobile device, follow these steps:

  • Visit your healthcare provider to have your condition certified
  • Apply for your card via the online application site
  • Take photographs of your Healthcare Practitioner Certification Form and driver's license
  • From your camera roll, select the photos you want to send with your applications and select submit

After submission, your application will be reviewed. Following that, you will receive an email either stating the application has been approved or is pending information. If the notification indicates that the application has been approved, you will get an approval email with your digital card attached as a PDF. If you have pending information, you will get an email notifying you of the missing items. The link provided in the email may be used to upload the missing items or complete the required payment.

For more information on renewing Iowa medical cannabidiol registry ID cards, see the online patient application and renewal guide or contact the medical cannabidiol program by email at medical.cannabidiol@idph.iowa.gov or phone at (515) 725-2076.

How Much Does a Medical Cannabis Card Cost in Iowa?

It costs $100 to obtain an Iowa medical cannabis card. However, the medical cannabidiol program offers a discount to applicants who can provide a scanned copy of their Hawk-I member card, Iowa Medicaid member card, Supplemental Security Income Payment receipt, or Social Security Disability Benefit notice. The discounted application fee is $25. The caregiver application fee is $25.

Note that the healthcare practitioner will charge a consultation fee during the certification appointment. This fee varies but may be as high as $200.

How Do I Renew My Medical Cannabis Card In Iowa?

The Iowa medical cannabis card is valid for 1 year. Its renewal process is similar to the initial application process. You must obtain a new certification from your certifying healthcare provider to commence the process. After, visit the Iowa medical cannabidiol program and upload the required documentation. After, pay the renewal application fee and wait for your new card to arrive in the mail in a few weeks.

What Documents Do I Need to Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card in Iowa?

The following items are required to apply for a medical cannabis card in Iowa:

  • Healthcare Practitioner Certification Form, signed by your healthcare practitioner
  • Completed Adult Patient Application (paper or online)
  • A copy of your photo ID, which can be either:
  • A valid Iowa driver's license
  • A valid Iowa non-operator identification card
  • Payment for the applicable application fee. Applicants paying the discounted application fee must submit one of the following:
    • Copy of proof of receipt of SSI (Supplemental Security Income) payment
    • Copy of SSDI (Social Security Disability Benefit) notice
    • Copy of Hawk-I member card
    • Copy of Iowa Medicaid member card
  • 4.5g THC Waiver Form: This form is optional. It is only applicable if you are certified for a terminal illness or if your certifying physician recommends the use of additional THC beyond the 4.5 grams per 90-day limit

Are My Details Kept Confidential When I Apply for a Medical Cannabis Card in Iowa?

According to Section 124E.11 of the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Act, patient information under the state's medical cannabidiol program is confidential and not subject to disclosure, except in limited circumstances.

What Information Appears On An Iowa Medical Cannabis Card?

In Iowa, the information contained in a medical marijuana card includes:

  • Patient's last name and first name
  • Patient's home address
  • Patient's registration number
  • Patient's date of birth
  • Patient’s sex
  • Patient's passport-style photograph
  • The medical cannabis card's date of issuance
  • The medical cannabis card's expiration date

Can Someone Track Me Down Through the Iowa Registry?

Patient information maintained in the Iowa medical cannabidiol registry is not accessible to the public, making it difficult to track down individuals included in the registry. The release of information in the registry is consistent with the federal Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act. According to the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Act, patient information in the registry is not subject to disclosure except in the following circumstances:

  • To authorized agents or employees of the department as necessary to perform the duties of the Department of Public Health (DPH) pursuant to the Iowa medical cannabis program
  • To authorized employees of law enforcement agencies of a state or political subdivision thereof, but only for the purpose of verifying that an individual is legally in possession of a medical cannabidiol registration card issued pursuant to the Iowa Medical Cannabidiol Act
  • To authorized employees of a medical cannabidiol dispensary, but only for the purposes of verifying that a person is lawfully in possession of a medical cannabidiol registration card and that a person has not purchased total tetrahydrocannabinol in excess of the permitted amounts
  • To any other authorized persons recognized by the DPH by rule, but only for the purpose of verifying that an individual is lawfully in possession of a medical cannabidiol registration card issued
  • To a healthcare practitioner for the purpose of determining whether a patient seeking a written medical cannabidiol certification has already received a written certification from another healthcare practitioner
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