Medical Marijuana Information for Patients & Caregivers

The state's Medical Marijuana Act permits Rhode Island residents with debilitating medical conditions to use marijuana if a physician certifies, in writing, that the marijuana may alleviate their symptoms and that the potential benefits of using medical marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks to the patient. This means that patients, caregivers, and authorized purchasers who are registered with the Department of Health's Medical Marijuana Program or Department of Business Regulation’s (DBR) Office of Cannabis Regulation may possess a limited amount of marijuana without violating State law.

Registered patients may designate one caregiver and one authorized purchaser. Individual caregivers may be responsible for up to five patients. Authorized purchasers can only be associated with one patient. There is no limit to the number of patients a compassion center may serve.

As of March 27, 2023, renewals and applications for patients, caregivers, and authorized purchasers can be done on the RI Cannabis Licensing Portal.

RIDOH approves or denies new patient applications and renewals within 35 days of receiving applications and all required documents.

What Patients Should Do

  • If you already have a valid medical marijuana registration card, create an account in the Licensing Portal so you can get important messages and updates from RIDOH, including an emailed annual renewal reminder.
  • Ask your healthcare provider if your medical condition qualifies for an application and if medical marijuana makes sense for you.
  • If it does, ask your doctor to fill out and sign a Practitioner Written Certification Form and give the original copy back to you. You will then need to scan and upload the Form to the Rhode Island Cannabis Licensing Portal.
  • If you have an Autism Spectrum Disorder diagnosis and plan to state that as your qualifying medical condition, your doctor must also fill out and sign a Practitioner Written Certification Form for Use With Autism Spectrum Disorder Diagnosis and give the original copy back to you. You will then need to scan and upload the Form to the portal.
  • Submit an application or renew your registration card using the RI Cannabis Licensing Portal. Use the RIDOH Cannabis Licensing Portal User Guide to get step-by-step directions on how to use the Portal. If you need help using the Portal or are having problems, email the Help Desk at You will get an answer from the Help Desk in one business day.
    • Upload all required forms and information to the Portal. All new applications must include proof of Rhode Island residency, a government-issued identification card (Rhode Island driver’s license or Rhode Island State ID), and a photograph (not hats or sunglasses). If a photo is not included with the initial application, you will get an email that explains how to upload a photo.
  • Designate a Caregiver. You may designate a caregiver if you want. It is not required. Parents or guardians must be designated as the caregiver if the person applying is younger than 18. The custodial parent or legal guardian must complete, sign, and upload a Minor Form with the Patient Application.
  • Once you have a Medical Marijuana you may visit any of the six Rhode Island Compassion Centers to purchase medical marijuana.
  • Designate an Authorized Purchaser.
  • Keep your information up to date. Use the Portal if you need to update your home address or if you want to change your designated caregiver.
  • Use Medical Marijuana Responsibly. Follow your healthcare provider's instructions on how to use the medication. You cannot share the marijuana with others for any reason.
  • Order a replacement registration card if yours is lost or stolen. You can request a replacement registration card on the Portal, and it costs $10 for a replacement registration card. You must also upload a valid Rhode Island driver’s license or valid Rhode Island State ID when you request a replacement card.
  • Renew your registration card each year. Renewal reminders are emailed 60 days before the card’s expiration date. You can renew your registration card on the Portal. Use the RIDOH Cannabis Licensing Portal User Guide to get step-by-step directions on how to renew a registration card. (See pages 32-37)

What Caregivers Should Do

  • Get Designated. Caregiver information is always provided by the patient first. Once the patient designates a caregiver and shares the caregiver’s email, the caregiver will get an email with directions on how to use the Portal to get approved as a caregiver.
  • Learn about the requirements for Medical Marijuana Caregivers.
  • Be Responsible. Once you are designated, you are responsible to make sure the patient gets the medication the doctor recommends and that no one else uses it.

For more information and questions, contact RIDOH’s Medical Marijuana Program at 401-222-3752 or

What all Applicants Must Do

  • Renew your application. The renewal application for patient, caregiver, and authorized purchaser will be mailed to the patient 60 days prior to the expiration of the registration.