How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in California?

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California was the first state all the way back in 1996 to legalize cannabis with the passing of Proposition 215 ( also famous as the Compassionate Care Act) and then adding onto it was the passing of Senate Bill 420 In 2003. Following this came the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), the framework that further guided the use of cannabis on a recreational as well as medical level. The medical marijuana industry of California is a little over 2 decades old, this means that the infrastructure is in place to ensure smooth functioning. But one question that keeps making rounds is-” How to get a medical marijuana card in California?”.
For people living in California, there is still a leaning towards shopping medicinally over recreationally. This is primarily because of the benefits that you receive with a medical marijuana card in California.

How To Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in California

There are two ways you can go about getting your medical marijuana card in California. We will give you an overview of both and you can choose between the two depending on your convenience.

In California, even your primary physician can get you a medical marijuana card. But that does not come to fruition in most cases as it is still not something that a large number of traditional 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.

When I mentioned that the infrastructure was in place in California to ensure that anybody who needs a medical marijuana card has access to one, I was referring to the prominence of telemedicine in the state of California. With the help of platforms like Online Medical Card, you can get a medical marijuana card in three easy steps. All while you comfortably stay at home.

Who Can Apply For a Medical Marijuana Card in California?

According to Californian legislation, any adult over the age of 18 is allowed to apply for a medical marijuana card. If you are under the age of 18 then a legal guardian or parent can apply on your behalf. Minors themselves can become a qualified patient if they are lawfully emancipated or have declared themselves self-sufficient to the state.

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Who Can Become a Caregiver in California?

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 a medical marijuana cardholder.
There are 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
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Qualifying Conditions For a Medical Marijuana Card In California

California is one of the most exhaustive lists of qualifying conditions. I say exhaustive in the sense that it is very open-ended and that 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
  • ✔ 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. Marijuana has quickly evolved to become a lifeline for a large number of people and there is a lot that we still don’t understand about it. In California, the last call is that of your physician. If they feel that your condition will benefit from the addition of medical marijuana then irrespective of the condition you will receive a medical marijuana card.

How to Apply For a Medical Marijuana Card Online in California

There are various platforms you can make your way to get your medical marijuana card. But we advise you to take a trip to Online Medical Card to get the best service on your way to your medical marijuana card.
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.

What Happens During A 420 Evaluation?

The consultation is a pretty simple meeting that takes place on our telemedicine platform via a video call. You get to interact with a qualified 420 professional who has been helping patients suffering from a variety of ailments to gain access to a medical marijuana card and in turn the benefits that accompany it.
All our practitioners familiarize themselves with your case before the consultation even takes place with the help of the pre-qualification form that you fill out as the first step to getting your medical marijuana card.
Once the consultation is done the medical marijuana doctor is able to make an informed decision regarding your MMJ card. Based on your condition and its symptoms they make the decision of whether or not medical marijuana is a good fit for you. If your application is successful, they complete the certification and you receive an email with your medical marijuana doctor’s recommendation instantly. If you do not qualify you will not be charged and you will receive your money back.
Once you get your medical marijuana recommendation, it will be valid for a year.

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How Much Does A Medical Marijuana Card Cost In California?

A medical marijuana card in California will cost you about $39 on Online Medical Card. This includes a consultation with a licensed health professional and a PDF copy of your doctor’s recommendation.
This recommendation is valid for a year after which you will be required to meet a state-licensed physician to get your recommendation renewed. There are no additional fees associated with the amount and you can also assign a designated caregiver at this time.
No insurance company at this time covers the cost of a medical marijuana card as it is still illegal on a federal level.

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What Documents Required to apply for a Medical Marijuana Card In California?

There is no need for you to carry an ID around with states 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. 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.

Benefits of A Medical Marijuana Card In California

In a state where recreational cannabis is available, one might wonder why people still prefer a medical marijuana card. Well, the biggest reason behind this has to be the fact that there is a horde of benefits associated with owning a medical marijuana card in California.
Now that we have told you how to get a medical marijuana card in California, we will tell you why you need to get one.

There are still some dispensaries that only allow medical marijuana card holders to make a purchase. There is also a stark difference between the products available to medical and recreational users. Medical users are allowed to choose from a variety of higher potency products to help manage their condition
Recreational users can purchase concentrate products with a potency of 1,000mg per gram whereas medical users are allowed to purchase 2,000mg THC. Concentrates is an umbrella term that includes edibles, tinctures, capsules, and topicals.

The legal age to buy cannabis recreationally is 21 years. You can however apply for a medical marijuana card at the age of 18. Legal guardians can apply on behalf of minors who might need medical marijuana to improve their quality of life. Minors too can apply if they have been lawfully emancipated or have declared self-sufficiency to the state.

A medical user in California can grow a significantly higher amount of cannabis in comparison to a recreational user provided you have a medical marijuana card. The recreational growing limit is capped at 3 mature and 6 immature plants. A medical user on the other hand can grow 6 mature and 12 immature plants.
If you still feel that this isn’t enough for you to manage your needs, there is a provision for that as well. You can get a growers license. This will increase your growing limit to 99 plants allowing you to effectively manage your condition with the help of a medical marijuana card.

You save a large chunk of your money when you have a medical marijuana card. Ownership of a medical marijuana card means that you don’t have to pay the taxes levied on marijuana. This tax can range anywhere from 25% to 45% depending on the jurisdiction where you reside.
The breakdown of this tax is as follows- the state tags in about 15% in the form of excise and cultivation tax, you then have sales tax on top, after that depending on the municipality in question there is another 10%-20% added just for good measure. So, with a medical marijuana card, you manage to save quite a big chunk of your spending just on taxes alone every year.

A recreational user is allowed to possess an ounce of plant material and 8g of concentrated cannabis. A medical user is allowed to carry 8 times that amount. But this is also an arbitrary number as you will find that most places allow medical users to have as much marijuana as they feel is enough to help manage their condition.
If you are planning to carry both concentrates and dried flowers then keep the amount to 4g of concentrate and 14.25g of dried cannabis flower which is the upper limit. There might be some leeway attached as a medical user but the best thing you can do is stick to the lower limits. (just to be safe)

A medical marijuana card completely safeguards you against any kind of criminal prosecution in all matters related to cannabis. Especially when you are flying or driving while in possession of cannabis.
As long as you keep a reasonable amount, you should be fine. Also, it is still illegal to cross state lines with marijuana even when the neighboring state has legalized marijuana. So, be careful when you are traveling with cannabis.


Acquiring Your Medicine With a Medical Marijuana Card in California

There are plenty of ways you can acquire your medication in the state of California. Some people choose to grow their own as it helps them have complete control of their medicine in all aspects, they can decide the strain they want to grow and how they want to grow as well.
The other option is to buy cannabis from a licensed dispensary. In California, medical dispensaries are found all across the board. You name the city, chances are there is a dispensary located there.

Does California Practice Medical Marijuana Card Reciprocity?

Well, the simple answer to that would be yes/no. But legislation is seldom that straightforward. 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 recognized medical marijuana cards from other states as valid, the answer would be a stringent no. You cannot get an out of state card and make a medical purchase in California.
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.

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Limitations of a Medical Marijuana Card In California

There are certain things that one needs to take care of even with a medical marijuana card in California. California’s Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) does not provide patients with employment or tenancy rights. This implies that if an employer decides to fire or not hire a person based on the fact that they use cannabis for any purpose, you cannot take legal action against them. It is completely at the discretion of the employer of the decision they make.
Federal employees and those who hold a commercial driving license are also barred from holding a medical marijuana card owing to the nature of their jobs. Another right you lose as medical marijuana use is the right to bear arms. This has led to the development of sanctuary cities where people use cannabis while retaining their second amendment rights.

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Laws You Need To Know In California

The legislation is pretty clear in California regarding all things cannabis. 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

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