As part of a September feature on the state's growing medical marijuana scene, I went through the process of obtaining a state medical-marijuana ID. On August 26, after scoring the needed doctor's recommendation, I sent my application and a $90 application fee to the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE), which oversees the state's registry of medical-marijuana patients and issues state medical-marijuana cards.
I'd heard the health department was swamped with marijuana applications -- lately, it's upwards of 500 a day -- so I knew it would be a while before I scored my ID. But I didn't realize just how long "a while" would be.
According to a CDPHE notice, medical-marijuana-card applicants should receive their cards within nine to eleven weeks of the department receiving their application. If my spotty math is correct, my eleventh week of waiting came and went right around today (I'm assuming my application took just a day or two to get across town to CDPEH). But still, no ID.
It could be that health officials rejected my application (as I noted in the story, my medical reason for applying for the ID was somewhat of a stretch). Though if that were the case, according to the notice I should have been notified about a month after applying.
To be honest, it doesn't really matter when patients get their card. In part because of lengthy delays in the application process, most dispensaries are accepting a copy of a patients' doctor marijuana recommendation in lieu of an official state ID. Still, I'm anxious to lay my eyes on my medical-marijuana card. I imagine it will resemble the IDs given out to secret agents like James Bond. Though in my case, it'll be a LICENSE TO ILL!
Keep Westword Free... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we would like to keep it that way. Offering our readers free access to incisive coverage of local news, food and culture. Producing stories on everything from political scandals to the hottest new bands, with gutsy reporting, stylish writing, and staffers who've won everything from the Society of Professional Journalists' Sigma Delta Chi feature-writing award to the Casey Medal for Meritorious Journalism. But with local journalism's existence under siege and advertising revenue setbacks having a larger impact, it is important now more than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" membership program, allowing us to keep covering Denver with no paywalls.