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Dude, where's my medical-marijuana ID?

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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!

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