Medical Cannabis Consultant Frequently Asked Questions

Medical Cannabis Consultant Frequently Asked Questions

Below are a list of questions frequently asked by medical cannabis consultants. Due to the ever-changing landscape of cannabis regulations, questions and answers are subject to change. Please visit this section periodically to stay updated on current information.

Don't see your question below? Submit a question to the program for an answer.

I just completed the 20-hour certified consultant training. What do I do next?

Print out, complete, and submit by mail or in-person the Medical Cannabis Consultant Certification application, with all requested documentation – copy of training certificate; copy of identification to prove you are 21 years or older; a copy of the front and back of your CPR card – an original signature, date, and the $95 certification fee.

Once I submit my application, how long does it take to get my certification?

Work starts on all applications – including processing the payment and scanning the submitted documents – within a few days of receipt. The quickest way to check the status of your application at any time is to visit the Provider Credential Search site.

Remember: You may not work until we issue your credential.

I received my certification, how do I access the database?

In order to access the database, you must be employed by a medically endorsed store. Learn more at our Retail Store Setup webpage.

How long is my medical cannabis certification good for?

Your certification expires every year on your birthday. A renewal notice will be sent to the address on file with the Department of Health from your original application, unless you have sent in a change of address notification.

How do I renew my certification?

In most instances, you will be sent a renewal notice with instructions on how to renew. If your current certification has not yet expired, you may renew online. If, however, your certification has expired, you will need to either renew by mail or in-person at the Tumwater office. Note: You will be required to pay an additional $50 late renewal fee if your credential expires prior to renewal.

Is there a medical cannabis authorization database training available?

Yes, there is database training available on the program's Retail Store Setup webpage.

What is my role as a medical cannabis consultant?

The medical cannabis certified consultant is the only one that may assist a patient with registration and create a recognition card. It is important for consultants to understand the practice parameters outlined in WAC 246-72-030.

Where may I complete my 10-hour continuing education credits so I can renew my certification?

Under WAC 246-72-100, 10 hours of continuing education is required every year before certification renewal. The Department of Health sends certificate holders a courtesy renewal notice which includes the date continuing education is required. The intent of the continuing education requirement to provide the opportunity for the certificate holder to remain current with knowledge relating to their specific profession.

Continuing education hours may be earned through in-person or seminars, lectures, workshops, and professional conferences or through distance learning Webinars, audio/video broadcasting, teleconferencing, e-learning, or webcasts. Refer to WAC 246-72-100 for a list of acceptable topics and topics not acceptable before taking any courses.

How do I prove I took the required continuing education?

Up to 25 percent of certificate holders are randomly audited for continuing education compliance after the credential is renewed. It's the certificate holder's responsibility to submit acceptable documentation of completed continuing education activities at the time of the audit – see WAC 246-72-100 for a list of acceptable documentation of completion.

Important: A certificate holder must maintain records of continuing education completion for at least four years.

How do I change my name on my credential?

Please mail, email, or fax a copy of your certified marriage certificate, divorce decree or court order showing your name change to the Customer Service Office. You will not be sent a credential showing your new name until your next renewal has been processed. You may also include this request when submitting your renewal by mail or in person. If you plan on renewing online, we must have your current name in our system prior to renewal. We will print your renewed credential with the name we have on file at the time of renewal.

How do I verify the identity of a patient if the patient is not present?

A patient eligible for a compassionate care renewal, identity verification is accomplished by inspecting the designated provider's valid photographic identification – see WAC 246-71-020.

The designated provider's name on the form doesn't match their state-issued identification.

In the event of an inexact match of names on the identification and the authorization, the consultant shall ensure the patient or designated provider named on the authorization form is the same as the person presenting the authorization for entry into the database – see WAC 246-71-020.

What is a compassionate care renewal?

A compassionate care renewal as defined under WAC 246-71-010(2) does two things:

  • If determined eligible by their health care practitioner, a patient's authorization may be renewed through the use of telemedicine as determined appropriate under RCW 69.51A.030(2)(c)(iii). The health care practitioner will indicate eligibility on the patient's and designated provider's authorization form.
  • A compassionate care renewal of a qualifying patient's registration and recognition card allows the qualifying patient to receive renewals without the need to be physically present at the retailer and without the requirement to have a photograph taken.
How do I register a patient under compassionate care renewal?

The process for registering a compassionate care renewal patient is defined under WAC 246-71-030 and WAC WAC 246-72-040 which requires a certified consultant to verify the designated provider's identity, confirm the validity of the authorization form, and take a photo of the designated provider's face.

How do I know if a patient is a compassionate care renewal patient?

A health care practitioner will indicate eligibility on the authorization form. The practitioner will issue two identical forms; one for the patient and one for the designated provider. A designated provider who brings in the appropriate state-identification and valid authorization form, may renew their registration and the patient's registration in the database and will be issued two recognition cards; one for the patient and one for the designated provider. Return the medical cannabis authorization form to the designated provider and remind them to return the patient's card to the patient they are caring for.

Where can I find a list of health care practitioners who are authorizing cannabis for medical use?

The department does not maintain a list of authorizers. Current law does not require a health care practitioner to report or register with the state before issuing a medical cannabis authorization; therefore, we do not have knowledge of who is or isn't authorizing. It is recommended patients start with their general practitioner or the specialist who is treating their qualifying condition.