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Paperwork And Letters

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I'm a little confused as to what constitutes, "temporary certifying paperwork".

On the mailing instructions document that I received from my certifying clinic it says to keep a copy of your application, copy of your doctor certification, copy of your caregiver attestation if applicable, your certified mail receipt, and a copy of the cashed check or a copy of the certified return receipt if you sent money order.


I have all these things except for the return receipt, as my paperwork was just sent out on the 23rd. I've been told that LARA has 15 days not including weekends so about 21 days to respond with either a denial letter or if that's not received they will eventually be sending out your hard card.


I'm also reading in places that they now send APPROVAL letters and that these approval letters supersede all other documents serving as temporary license.


So will I get an actual approval letter if I'm not denied and does that letter then serve as my temporary license all on its own...?


How long is LARA taking to send out hard cards these days?


Regardless, as long as I don't get denied I'm going to keep copies of all of my paperwork and originals of receipts plus the acceptance letter, assuming that I get one.

Edited by b_lucky
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These are questions that should be answered by the clinic at the time they certified you.


To summarize, a copy of your paperwork you sent to the state and your cancelled check make you legal 21 business days after the state cashes your check.  You should have your card in 21-28 days (update from recent patients if this has changed please).  If you are rejected you will be notified within 14 days by certified mail.


Dr. Bob

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b lucky


you are "legal" and able to assert a section 8 defense and then use cannabis to treat your symptoms as soon as the doctor signs your certification.


21 (business after 4-1-13) days after LARA receives your paperwork and cashes your check you are protected under section 4 from arrest.


keep a copy of all supporting documents such as your reduced fee paperwork also if applicable.


denials sometimes happen many months after submission... but that is only a denial to section 4 and being registered with LARA thereby protected from arrest...

you are still protected under section 8 and able to assert the medical use of cannabis to any prosecution during the time you are correcting any application deficiencies. 


i felt it should be noted... a patient can use cannabis to relieve their symptoms the minute the doctor signs your paperwork. 

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most folks i have met know who is going to be their caregiver and then fill out the caregiver paperwork at the time they send in their original or renewal application.


some new folks have a more difficult time finding a caregiver right away...


hope you find all the answers and help that you need.


if you are looking for unconnected transfers.. most people will want to see a hard card (such as at a dispensary) (( if you can even find someone willing to do this in the current atmosphere.))


it is immaterial if you have a hard card or not if you follow the letter of the law and they sign you as their caregiver because the minute you fill out the change form it negates your current card and your back to paperwork... the newly executed paperwork will act as your new card until the new updated and corrected hard card arrives.. so you are protected from prosecution (section 8) once you execute the paperwork to sign the caregiver.. but not protected from arrest (section 4) until the appropriate time has passed or you get the hard card... whichever comes first.

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along with all supporting documentation again.


caregiver attestation, change form, proof of receipt, doctors rec, hard card (or all original application documents), proof of cashed check or cert mail, id - yours and a copy of your new caregivers.


if you execute a change form before your hard card arrives, then you will need a copy of all the original paperwork also.

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What constitutes the apprpriate length of time to avoid section 4 arrest after executing the change form? This is all kind of confusing. And it should take about three weeks to get updated hard card?

that's an excellent question.


we still do not have a definitive answer.. however i would side with 21 business days on a change form the same as an application.


and yes.. it should about 3 weeks on a hard card..(both original or change form) however i hear now its been pushed out a bit longer... also if your caregiver is a new caregiver then it takes a bit longer for the current background check...

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you would be able to enter a section 8 defense to any prosecution involving cannabis. 


be sure you understand the three prongs of a section 8 defense. there is another thread detailing it here.. (if you haven't already read it we can find a link to it for you) but more importantly do not engage in any activity that would be questionable during the paperwork processing time... just try to be extra safe and careful while you wait to be verified or you may have to explain what you were doing to a judge instead of being let go by a police officer.

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They sent letters for a very short time a year or more ago, when the legislature was dogging them to get current or they would pass pending legislation taking away the program from LARA and farming it out to a private program.  By last fall the cards were arriving in about a month, give or take a few days, so the legislature stripped that language from the bill.


They have not issued the interim letters since, and I may add, the MSP were not wild about the letters so it is pretty much good they stopped issuing them.  They had the same result as giving a policeman your paperwork.... the police could not tell if they were forged, or had been altered, or had been turned down by LARA, soooo.....


They were not supportive of a letter proving confirmation.


The card is the only sure way to prove you have a card....

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b lucky..... You should  still be protected under section 4 protections. Change of caregiver form is merely a notice to LARA on YOUR part. The caregiver to carry those protections when it involves you may have a wait period. But YOU would still be protected by your old card. keep your paperwork, certified reciept for sending change form and should use a check that can be tracked all just as an added layer of protection. But you should still be protected.

Edited by ozzrokk
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people need not fear the section 8 defense.. but understand once you execute a change form for a "change of caregivers" your current card (that either has a different caregivers name and information or it states no caregiver) is no longer valid.


it is negated the moment you execute the change form by the very action of signing the change form.  you now need all the additional supporting documents..


that's true of an address change as well...


its not difficult.


but it is necessary.


i would probably still carry and present my card with the incorrect information first.. if ever asked for it.. however i would also be sure to have all the supporting documents present for the changes.


i did carry the expired hard card for myself and my patient while i was waiting for the new ones.. even tho i had additional new paperwork... and it was expired.. i still carried it.  and would not hesitate to have presented it..

an officer investigating something would have a very very difficult time knowing you changed anything on the card.. expired shows yes.. but a new caregiver would be difficult for them to know about..

but if your being asked to show it.. most likely you are already in a position where accurate information is going to be relevant... so case by case.. situation by situation..

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just pulled out and read my letter that came with my most recent patient card...

and the one that came recently with a patients card...


The Medical Marihuana Program has APPROVED your request to provide assistance for the medical use of marihuana for XXXXXXX. Your valid registry identification card is enclosed.  any previously issued medical marihuana registry  identification card regarding this patient is now null and void and should be destroyed. Should law enforcement need to validate your status with our department, you must produce the attached card.



underlined and bold in the letter.....and the key word being "now" - so i guess that means that the original card status remains in effect until the new card actually is "approved" by LARA and received by the patient.

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It seems like there are conflicting ideas here. Can we find anything from LARA directly that discusses the nullification of previously issued cards after the execution of a change form? Can we find anything that is official that states that you are not covered under section 4 defense during the interim whilst the change is being executed?


Its a lot easier to understand things when they come directly from the source.

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Question: Do I have to tell the MMMP if I change my mailing address or change my designated primary caregiver?
Answer: The answer to these questions is "yes". You are required to tell the MMMP in writing of any such changes within 14 days of the change. The MMMP does not accept changes of information over the telephone. The MMMP only accepts written changes about the patient's name, the patient's address, the patient's telephone number, the patient's physician, or the patient's primary caregiver. There is a $10.00 fee for issuance of a new registry card. Your new card reflects the changes you have requested. Your changes will be made in our computer database and will be put in your file. You will be protected from civil and criminal penalties for these changes. If you change your caregiver, you will be asked to return your old caregiver card within 14 days.



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it's fairly simple the police use you patient number to verify your card your patient status stays intact under that number, its the care giver that may have issues.  Be nice about this if you are changing care givers tell your old care giver so they don't end up with legal issues.

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