Important News for Cardholders

April 27, 2012

As you may already know, DPHHS is changing its fees for registrations and renewals.  Both new applications and renewals will change to $75 effect on June 1, 2012.  For the nitty-gritty details, the state has posted a .pdf file here.  We thought we would give you some other pointers to make sure things go smoothly with your applications:

  1. If you send in your payment and it is received before May 31, you will get the old rate.  After that, you will have to pay the new rate.  Postdated checks do not change this – it’s about the date received.
  2. It is very important for medical marijuana cardholders to know the expiration date on their cards.  When it expires, you have no protection from arrest or prosecution.  When you expire, you expire.  There is no affirmative defense, and no grace period, period.
  3. DPHHS does not send out reminders before your card expires.  It is your responsibility to know when you expire and take care of it beforehand.
  4. Early renewals received 45 days or less before the expiration date will have the same expiration date, plus one year later.
  5. If a renewal is requested and processed more than 45 days prior to the expiration date, the expiration date will be based on the date the card was activated by the state.  In effect, you would “lose” time if you send in your application for renewal really early.
  6. The best time to send in your application for renewal is 45 days prior to expiration.
  7. When you send in your application, make sure to include a photocopy of your driver’s license or state-issued ID.  It must be legible so that the department can read the numbers on your card.
  8. The department cannot accept military IDs, tribal IDs, passports or expired IDs.
  9. The department will not accept cash.  Check or money orders are the only acceptable forms of payment.
  10. The state requires the original (not photocopied) versions of the physician’s certification.
  11.  Keep copies of your paperwork yourself.  DO NOT rely on a provider or someone else to maintain your paperwork for you.
  12. The application itself contains a checklist of things to be sure are complete before mailing at the top of the first page.  Double-check that list before you send your application materials in.
  13. Keep in mind that DPHHS cannot by law release names of physicians or providers.  It is in fact illegal for them to do so under our current law.
  14. The number for the Medical Marijuana Program is 406-444-0596.  DPHHS is getting better at making sure you can talk to a live person when you call.
  15. If you have an unusual situation, an excellent person to speak with is Rachael Kynett.  She is the Program Manager for the Medical Marijuana Program and she is very helpful.