How to get a medical marijuana card in Texas

What is an MMJ Card in Texas?

In Texas, a medical marijuana card (MMJ) is a state-issued card that identifies a qualified patient or a designated caregiver. This card allows patients suffering from any of the serious conditions listed under Section 4 of the newly amended Texas Compassionate Use Act. House Bill 1535 allows only restricted access to cannabis and any of its derivatives with a THC content of no more than 1%. Texas is one of the 14 states in the US that are yet to pass a comprehensive law that allows a program that permits the use of Marijuana for Medical use. However, the state operates a medical marijuana program that is expanding to accommodate more medical conditions. An amendment to the compassionate Act has been passed and it would come into effect in September 2021. Under the new law, qualified patients in Texas can have access to raw cannabis or other products other than CBD oil. Only patients who reside within the state and have a state-licensed doctor's written certification qualifying for an MMJ card will be eligible for cannabis for medical purposes only Under the Act the recreational use of cannabis and all its other derivatives remain prohibited.

Under the Texas Compassionate Use Act, the Texas Department of Public Safety is charged with the responsibility of administering the compassionate use program. The department is responsible for the issuance and renewal of medical cannabis cards. Under the Act, the department is required to create and maintain a secure registry detailing the identity of cardholders to be verified. The department would also be required to publish statistics of issuance of Medical marijuana cards issued in all the counties within the state.

Who Can Apply for an MMJ Card in Texas?

Under the Texas compassionate care program, a medical marijuana card may be obtained by a qualifying patient or a designated caregiver. To be eligible to apply for a medical marijuana card in Texas, the applicant must be 18 years, must reside in Texas and must be diagnosed with any of the listed health conditions.

Those that meet these criteria may still be denied an MMJ card for certain reasons such as:

  • Improperly completed applications
  • Errors in providing information
  • Prior felony charge

Can a Minor Obtain a Medical Marijuana Card in Texas?

Yes, a minor below the age of 18 who has one of the qualifying medical conditions can obtain a medical marijuana card in Texas. Under the compassionate use program, a minor can only obtain a medical marijuana card through a parent or legal guardian. For a minor to qualify for an MMJ card under Texas law, a parent or legal guardian must:

  • Get a diagnosis from a physician that is licensed to practice in Texas and has been certified by the Compassionate Use Institutional Review Board.
  • The diagnosis must show that the minor suffers from any of the qualifying medical conditions.
  • A written application for minors.
  • Copies of the physician recommendation and proof of diagnosis of a qualifying condition should also be attached
  • Show proof of a relationship as a parent or legal guardian.

Qualified patients can visit the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT) to find licensed and certified physicians.

What Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Cards in Texas?

Cannabis use in Texas is illegal and only allowed under strict medical use. In Texas, not all medical conditions qualify for medical marijuana cards. Your application may be denied if you have a medical condition or ailment that qualifies in other states but not acceptable for treatment with medical marijuana in Texas. As expressly listed under Texas Compassionate Act, House Bill 1535, you qualify for an MMJ card if you are diagnosed with one or more of the following debilitating or life-threatening medical conditions.

  • A seizure disorder
  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS)
  • An incurable neurodegenerative disease
  • Autism
  • Epilepsy
  • Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
  • Spasticity
  • Terminal cancer

How do I apply for an MMJ Card in Texas?

Under the compassionate use program, anyone who qualifies as a patient may make an application on the Department of Public Safety's CURT system. The process requires that qualified patients use the system to access licensed physicians. Due to the very restrictive nature of the Texas medical marijuana program, licensed physicians are also required to issue out diagnoses on the platform. Issued diagnosis would also be accompanied by a prescription from the physician. To purchase marijuana, qualified patients can provide their details at any of the 3 licensed dispensaries in the State of Texas. Licensed dispensaries in Texas can use the patient's details to access the registry for information about the patient's diagnosis and prescription.

How does a Primary Caregiver get a Texas MMIC?

Under the Texas compassionate care act, there is no provision for primary caregivers. However, minors with any of the qualifying medical conditions can register through a parent or a legal guardian. Parents and guardians of patients below 18 years can act as designated caregivers.

A designated caregiver for a minor may also obtain MMJ cards in texas by:

  • Obtaining a diagnosis from a physician that is licensed to practice within the state. The physician must also be certified by the Compassionate Use Institutional Review Board.
  • Diagnosis must clearly show that the minor suffers from any of the qualifying medical conditions under the Compassionate Care Act.
  • A written application for the minors should be submitted alongside the physician's diagnosis.
  • Copies of the physician recommendation and proof of diagnosis of a qualifying condition should also be attached
  • Show proof of a relationship as a parent or legal guardian.

For minors who are qualified patients in Texas, only a caregiver would be able to buy and administer cannabis to the qualified patients.

How long does it take to get a Texas MMIC?

Currently, there is no clear number of days for processing a medical marijuana card in Texas. All applications for a medical marijuana card in Texas have to go via the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (CURT). CURT is the online platform of the Texas Department of Public Safety that pairs qualified patients and licensed physicians

Once a licensed physician is found, a diagnosis is issued on the platform by the physician. The physician's diagnosis is usually accompanied by a prescription. Uploaded prescriptions can be accessed by any of the three dispensaries licensed to operate in Texas. To purchase medical cannabis, qualified patients can visit any of the dispensaries and provide their details. With the patient's information, dispensaries can access the patient's prescription on CURT and sell the appropriate dosage.

Applications might be denied in the cases of patients with medical conditions that are not listed under the compassionate use program. Patients that provide incorrect personal details would be denied. Applications can be redone once correct details are provided. However, should you experience any challenges with your application, you can pay a visit to the Texas Department of Public Safety at:

Texas Department of Public Safety

5805 North Lamar Blvd

Austin, TX 78752-4431

P.O. Box 4087

Austin, TX 78773-0001

(800) 868- 6274

Qualified patients can also visit any of the dispensaries below to get information on how their medical cannabis can be purchased

Consortium Texas

700 Lavaca St Ste 1401

Austin, TX 78701-3101

(888) 441-5669

Compassionate Cultivation

12701 Lowden Lane Building

501, Manchaca, TX 78652

(512) 614-0343

Surterra Texas

600 Congress Avenue

Austin, TX 78701

(512) 351-4600

Getting a Texas Medical Marijuana Card Online

Obtaining a Medical Marijuana Card in Texas can be done electronically. Qualified patients can begin the registration process on the Texas Compassionate Use Registry. With the registry, qualified patients can have access to licensed physicians who can issue diagnoses alongside prescriptions through the platform.

How Much Does a Medical Marijuana Card Cost in Texas?

Under the Texas compassionate use program, the cost of obtaining a medical marijuana card is $199. This cost for obtaining an MMJ card also covers the cost of acquiring a diagnosis from a physician licensed to practice within the state.

How Do I Renew My Medical Marijuana Card?

Renewal of the Medical Marijuana Card in the state of Texas can be done through the same process as the original application through the Compassionate User Registry.

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

The documents needed to apply for a medical cannabis card in the state of Texas includes:

  1. A valid government or state-issued. Preferably an ID issued in the state like a Motor Vehicles driver's license issued in Texas.
  2. Copy of your valid medical recommendation: This must be completed by a licensed physician, stating that you have been diagnosed with one of the listed health conditions that the use of cannabis is appropriate. This can be done by accessing the registry.
  3. Proof of a patient's medical condition: A copy of the patient's medical record showing the diagnosis of qualifying health would also be uploaded to the CURT platform.
  4. Where the patient is a Minor and lacks adequate proof of identification, certified copies of their birth certificates can serve the same purpose. This is to be submitted along with the applications of their caregivers by parents or a legal guardian.
  5. Proof of residency within the state of Texas.

Are my Details Kept Confidential When I Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Texas?

Yes, the information provided in medical marijuana applications in Texas are strictly confidential. Under the Compassionate Use Act, information relating to medical cannabis use should be kept and maintained by the Texas Department of Public Safety and these are not subject to public disclosure. Section 487 of the act, the department is required to put in place procedures that would ensure the absolute privacy of qualified patients for medical use for cannabis within Texas

What information appears on a Texas Medical Marijuana Card?

In accordance with the Compassionate Use Program, the information contained in a medical marijuana card would usually be lodged into CURT and it includes:

  • The name of the cardholder;
  • The address of the cardholder;
  • cardholder's date of birth;
  • Identifying whether or not the holder is a patient or a designated caregiver;
  • The date of issuance and expiration date of the medical marijuana identification card;
  • Last 5 digits of the patient's social security number;
  • if the cardholder is a designated caregiver, the last 5 digits of the social security number of the qualifying patients that the designated caregiver is authorized to assist; and
  • a photograph of the cardholder, as required by the department.

Can someone Track me Down through the Texas Registry?

No, no one can track you down through the Texas Compassionate use program. This is because the Department of Public Safety is required under the Compassionate Care program to keep confidential medical records for qualified medical marijuana patients. This means that information provided on the registry remains private.

Even at the distribution level, records containing personal information as well as a patient's diagnosis for medical marijuana submitted at any of the three licensed dispensaries in the state are confidential. There are certain state guidelines under the law that require dispensaries to keep a secure database for their patients. These guidelines recommend that dispensaries use basic data protection for customers' details, thereby ensuring the privacy of patient's records and information.

Texas Marijuana MMJ Card