Medical marijuana card renewal: Eight months starting now?

And the clock starts.

I applied for renewal of my Colorado Medical Marijuana Registry card this week, and judging by what other patients have to say, it'll be another eight months before I have a valid card again.

I figured I'd blog about the wait and any troubles I encounter along the way until my card finally arrives.

I was referred to a small clinic in Cherry Creek, and walking in, I was a bit surprised to see that it was a fully functioning doctors office. A lot has changed in the year since I waited in line behind fifteen other people at the Peace in Medicine Center to visit with a bearded quack of a doc.

The wait time to get approval from the state came up almost immediately. One of the staff members suggested a patient in front of me use a money order to pay the $90 fee to the state. I spoke up and told them the delay is so long that money orders were expiring and suggested the guy get a cashier's check instead.

After that, it somehow turned into a question-and -answer session between two patients, the staff and myself. We went over everything from how many plants a person could grow (six), if they could grow and designate a caregiver (yes) and if our doctor's recommendations would still be valid proof for dispensaries (I don't know).

The girl behind me in the waiting room was getting her card for the first time, and was excited to dump her Percocet prescription once and for all. "I'm just tired of walking around like a zombie," she said. "I smoke some weed, and I'm fine without being in a fog."

The two of us talked for a bit about the differences between caregivers and dispensaries, and which option would be best for her.

The doctor visit went easy enough. For $80, I visited with a doctor and discussed my decade-long stomach problems for about ten minutes before she agreed that I should continue to use cannabis for my condition. I didn't bullshit her, and she took me seriously -- even offering up suggestions on ways I could better take care of myself through my diet.

Afterward, I walked out to the reception desk and double-checked my paperwork before having it notarized -- and I was out the door. All in all, the visit took about an hour.

Now I've got doctors records to prove I'm legal until I get my card issued, and then I have a year from that date until I have to register again.

Of course, with patients seeing more than a six -month wait now, it might be next year when I actually get my red card.