Everything You Ever Needed To Learn About California Weed Laws

California was the first state in the United States of America to legalize weed all the way back in 1996 and since then California weed Laws have grown and evolved to become what they are today.

Today you can get both medical as well as recreational weed in the state. It is often difficult to keep up with the changes that are constantly taking place in the world of weed legislation.

We will have a look at every aspect of weed laws in California and everything that you need to know to have the best experience in the Golden state.

Let’s start with the most obvious answers and then move into laws that you may or may not know about.

All You Need to Learn About a Weed Doctor

History of California Weed Laws


Medical weed has been legal in California since 1996, which was when voters approved the Compassionate Use Act also referred to as Proposition 215. This allowed people to use weed legally if it was recommended by a medical doctor. Then in the year 2003, the state decided to expand protections for medical weed users by providing them with a state ID card program in Senate Bill 420. This also allowed non-profit cannabis collectives to form.

There is no possession limit that was put in place for medical cannabis patients in the state of California. The only stipulation put in place was that the amount needs to be consistent with what a patient needs to be able to manage their condition effectively.

Medical, as well as recreational users both, were delighted when finally on November 8, 2016, voters approved Amendment 64, which put an end to weed prohibition in the state. Also referred to as AUMA (the Adult Use of Marijuana Act), the measure requires the state of California to regulate weed in the same manner that alcohol is governed. Amendment 64 was passed by a 56% vote.

California has always been ahead in terms of weed legislation. Even back in 1996, Ballot proposition 215 was approved with 56% of votes. This was when all state-level criminal penalties were removed on the possession, use, and cultivation of weed by medical patients who held a written or oral recommendation from their physician which stated that the use of marijuana was beneficial for their condition.

Then came an amendment to Senate Bill 420 on January 01, 2004, which effectively managed to impose guidelines on how much weed a medical patient could cultivate or possess.

The next piece of legislation came in the form of a nonbinding document that clarified the state’s law called Guidelines for the Security and Non-division of Marijuana Grown for Medicinal Use. This was also when a recommended definition of a physician was

  • ✔ Possesses a license in good standing in the state of Californi
  • ✔ Has taken responsibility for some aspect of the patient’s care, such as medical care, treatment, counseling, diagnosis, or referral
  • ✔ Has complied with all accepted medical standards

This also gives the Medical Board Of California the right to investigate medical practitioners who do not follow the accepted practices of medicine which include: taking a medical history of patients, conducting a thorough exam of the patient, developing a treatment plan with a clear objective, providing informed consent and ensuring that a patient is well aware of the side effects.

Then in 2017, Senate Bill 94 was finally signed into law as the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA). This Law removed the MCRSA and combined California’s medical and adult-use cannabis into one regulatory system.

The highlights of MAUCRSA include:

  • ✔ Reduction and elimination of certain criminal penalties related to cannabis and continued exemption of qualified patients and their primary caregivers from certain criminal penalties
  • ✔ Decreased the penalties associated with unlawful possession of cannabis and unlawful cultivation in excess of six plants.
  • ✔ Most criminal offenses related to cannabis for a person 18 years or older are punishable as an infraction or misdemeanor. Some offenses may still lead to felony enhancement depending on the severity.
  • ✔ Exemption of medicinal patients from some taxes, including “sales and use taxes”.
  • ✔ Medicinal cannabis cooperatives and collectives are required to obtain state licenses to operate as of Jan 10, 2019. exceptions to this requirement include individual patients and caregiver gardens serving no more than five patients.

The most recent SB-1127 gives Californian schools the power to decide whether or not patients can give their children medical marijuana on school properties. Students need a recommendation and no weed can be stored in the school premises.

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What are the Qualifying Conditions For An MMJ Card As Per Weed Laws In California


California has one of the most exhaustive lists of qualifying conditions. California Weed laws are actually pretty accommodating about qualifying conditions for a medical marijuana card. They are extremely diverse making it is pretty easy to qualify for a medical marijuana card.

The most common qualifying conditions include:

  • ✔ HIV/AIDS
  • ✔ Anorexia
  • ✔ Arthritis
  • ✔ Cancer
  • ✔ Side-effects of chemotherapy
  • ✔ Irritable Bowel Syndrome
  • ✔ Radiation Therapy Side effects
  • ✔ Cachexia (Wasting Syndrome)
  • ✔ Chronic Pain
  • ✔ Glaucoma
  • ✔ Migraine
  • ✔ Severe Nausea
  • ✔ Spasticity
  • ✔ Persistent Muscle Spasms including the one’s associated with multiple sclerosis
  • ✔ Seizures including but not limited to the one’s associated with epilepsy

The liberal part of the state’s qualifying conditions is due to the arbitrary nature of this list. These conditions will get you a medical marijuana card but you can also get an MMJ card if

  • ✔ If your condition is not alleviated then you may suffer from severe discomfort and harm the patient’s mental and physical health.
  • ✔ It limits a person’s ability to conduct significant life functions as mentioned in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

If you still have any questions regarding the qualifying conditions of the state of California, you can have a look at California Proposition 215, along with the revised Senate Bill 420. Just go through weed laws in California for a better idea about the qualifying conditions. The medical marijuana card is actually at the discretion of the physician. If they feel weed will help you out, you will qualify for a medical marijuana card.

California Weed Laws


The legislation is pretty clear in California regarding all things weed. Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) have very clearly stated everything that you need to take care of while using weed in the state.

CBD derived from hemp is legal throughout the United States and is available as an over the counter supplement in California as well.

Since recreational cannabis is legal, you can purchase cannabis legally as long as you are over the age of 21.

Other standard rules you need to take care of include:

  • ✔ You should be 21 or older to use or possess recreational cannabis. But, if you are a medical marijuana cardholder then the age limit is 18.
  • ✔ You are permitted to carry around 28.5g of plant material and 8g of concentrated cannabis if you are a recreational user.
  • ✔ You cannot buy from or sell cannabis to minors.
  • ✔ Driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal
  • ✔ Consumption of cannabis in a public place is illegal.
  • ✔ You cannot open a bag containing cannabis in public places.
  • ✔ As cannabis is still banned on a federal level it is illegal to cross state lines with it.
  • ✔ Only state-licensed dispensaries can sell cannabis products
All You Need to Learn About a Weed Doctor

Do California Weed Laws Allow Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity?


Well, the simple answer to that would be yes/no. But California weed laws are not that simple. Arizona, Hawaii, Maine, Nevada, New Hampshire, Michigan, and Rhode Island all recognize a valid, in-date medical marijuana card that has been issued in California.

Entering into another state’s dispensary is completely at the discretion of the dispensary of the state in question.

Now, to the second part of whether or not California recognizes medical marijuana cards from other states as valid, the answer would be a definite no. You cannot get an out of state card and make a medical purchase in California. But since adult-use cannabis legal, if you are over the age of 21, you can easily just walk into a dispensary and buy cannabis

Reciprocity is an important benefit for medical marijuana cardholders if they are making a trip to any of the states listed above. But if you are traveling to California from one of these states you will be buying marijuana on a recreational level.

All You Need to Learn About a Weed Doctor

How To Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in California


As per the California weed laws, there are two ways you can get your MMJ card. We will give you an overview of both so that you can choose between the two depending on your convenience.

The Traditional Way

In California, even your primary physician can get you an MMJ card. But that does not come to fruition in most cases as it is still not something that a large number of family doctors are comfortable recommending to their patients. This is especially prevalent in the more rural areas of the state where marijuana still has negative connotations attached to its usage and distribution. So, medical marijuana often ends up with a reputation of being difficult to access and extremely inconvenient.

Additionally, locating a physical clinic and then making your way to the said clinic can often get very taxing both emotionally and physically. This is why most times it is advised that you get your medical marijuana card through the second method.

The Online Way

California has over time built quite a capable infrastructure that is designed in a way that helps anyone who needs cannabis access it. Telemedicine is prominent across the state and platforms like Online Medical Card are in place to help make the process of getting a medical marijuana card easy. Additionally, weed laws in California are also designed in a manner that helps people. All of this while you comfortably stay at home.

All You Need to Learn About a Weed Doctor

How to Apply For a Medical Marijuana Card According to California Weed Laws


There are various platforms you can make your way to get your medical marijuana card. California weed laws allow you to get your MMJ card and weed both at your doorstep. There are plenty of online services that claim to help you get your MMJ card online but we recommend Online Medical Card if you wish to have an easy, breezy experience.

So, how do you apply online to receive your medical marijuana card?

Register Online

The first step to get a medical marijuana card is to log onto the 100% HIPAA compliant telemedicine platform for Online Medical Card. Here you fill out a basic pre-qualification form that asks you to list out your basic medical history.

Have Your 420 Evaluation

The next step is to have a face to face evaluation with a 420 doctor. You can get all your questions regarding your medical marijuana card answered by our team of qualified medical marijuana doctors.This step takes 10-15 minutes.

Receive Your Recommendation

Once you are through with your 420 evaluation, you will receive your medical marijuana card. You can now make your way to any medical marijuana dispensary in California to receive your required medication.

Apply for a Card (OPTIONAL)

A doctor’s recommendation is enough to act as your id and place you under the protection of the state’s medical-marijuana program. However, if you want to, you can always apply for a county medical marijuana identification.

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Documents Required As per California Weed Laws For An MMJ card


There is no need for you to carry an ID to prove that you are a medical marijuana patient, but if you really want to, you can always apply for one, A doctor’s recommendation is usually more than enough to get you to the benefits associated with a medical marijuana card.

But if you are applying to the county program for a medical marijuana card you need to take care of certain things.

To apply for a medical marijuana card, the first thing you need to show is a signed certificate that acts as proof of the condition you are suffering from. To apply for an MMJ card you will have to make your way to your county’s office in-person and then submit the application.

Other documents that you will require include :

  • ✔ ID
  • ✔ Proof Of Residency in the State of California
  • ✔ A signed doctor’s recommendation ( what you receive from Online Medical Card)

Forms Of ID That Are Accepted

  • ✔ Unexpired, Valid Driver’s License
  • ✔ Any state procured identification card
  • ✔ Passport

Proof Of Residency That Are Accepted

  • ✔ DMV motor vehicle registration from California
  • ✔ Utility bill
  • ✔ Rent or mortgage agreement

A Signed Doctor’s Recommendation

This is the PDF recommendation that you receive on the successful completion of your 420 evaluation. This document is also the only thing that you really require to be able to access all the benefits associated with a medical marijuana card.

The county has around 30 days to verify a patient’s and their caregiver’s application. Once this application is verified, the county staffers take around five days to give you your card. All in all, it can take around 35 days to receive your card from the county once you apply.

Who Can Become a Caregiver As Per California Weed Laws


A caregiver as per the rules of California is a person who is responsible for the housing, health, or safety of a patient who is an MMJ cardholder.

California weed laws state rules for caregivers as well. Caregivers are allowed to possess/or cultivate a certain amount of marijuana depending on the needs of the patient. They can get a Medical Marijuana ID Card but just as patients don’t need to apply for a card, there is no need for a caregiver to do it either.

The eligibility criteria for a caregiver under the California marijuana law is as follows:

  • ✔ You need to be at least 18 or be an emancipated minor or the parent of the minor who is a patient
  • ✔ The person under your care is allowed to use medical marijuana
  • ✔ You have been consistently responsible for their wellbeing.
  • ✔ The care you provide is beyond just administering medical marijuana to the patient
  • ✔ You began taking care of the patient before they were recommended medical cannabis
All You Need to Learn About a Weed Doctor

Acquiring Your Medicine As Per California Weed Laws


California weed laws have a lot of provisions to help people acquire their medication. You can choose to grow your own medicinal herb as that will allow you to have complete control of the process by which your medicine is being produced. You decide the strain you want to grow and how, when, and where.

The other option is to buy cannabis from a licensed dispensary. In California, medical dispensaries are found all across the state. Well, medical cannabis has been legal since 1996 so that is bound to happen. You name the city, chances are there is a dispensary located there.

All You Need to Learn About a Weed Doctor

In light of the COVID pandemic, we advise all our patients to see a doctor online instead of visiting the clinic.