Get a Medical Marijuana Card in California

To get a medical marijuana card in California you have to first find a state-licensed medical health professional and then receive an evaluation to see whether you have a qualifying medical condition or not. If yes, a health physician will write a medical marijuana recommendation for you.
However, you have to keep in mind that both recreational and medical marijuana is legal in California. It’s no longer required for an individual aged 21 and above to get a medical marijuana card.
The only exception, in this case, is that things have changed a little in the year 2020, but not to a greater extent. With many people hoping for new amendments to take place at the federal level, the future of medical cannabis recs might look a little blurry. But patients still need a medical marijuana card to avail of several benefits associated with a medical marijuana card.
While most recreational users have access to marijuana dispensaries in California. The laws limit the use of recreational marijuana use with lower possession and growing limits. Only 161 out of 482 municipalities in California have allowed free establishments of recreational dispensaries. So, regardless of adult-use legalization, there are various good reasons for a patient to get a medical marijuana card online in California.


To get a medical marijuana card in California, here’s what you need to do:

  • ✔ Fill a pre-qualification confidential form online and provide personal as well as medical information. As identity proof, you can submit your driver’s license or state-issued ID card.
  • ✔ Have a face-to-face consultation with the health physician over a video call
  • ✔ On Qualification, receive a PDF copy of the recommendation via email

The entire process will take about 15 minutes and you will receive the hard copy of the medical marijuana card through state postal services within 1-2 business days. Although, you can also download a copy of the recommendation and use it the same day to avail of cannabis from state-licensed dispensaries.
In addition to this, once you receive your recommendation from a doctor make sure that you use the unique 7-character patient ID code to register under the California Medical Marijuana Program. Once you do that you will become an official medical marijuana cardholder in California.
The dispensaries will use your uniquely generated code to confirm if the rec is genuine or not. Not all dispensaries in California will ask for your recommendation. However, if they do you should be able to present the same. Also, make sure that you either laminate your rec or get a laminated medical marijuana card online to prevent external damage for one year from the date of issuance.
As far as the fees of the recommendation are concerned, only patients with a doctor’s approval will pay for the evaluation. Those who fail the qualification, do not have to pay.

A California state-issued ID card as residency proof and supporting medical records of your medical condition will help a lot. For those who have an out-of-state ID proof or government-issued card from a different country can access cannabis in California provided the identification record matches the address of residency.
However, a California address will help you get a medical cannabis card easily and without inconvenience. In addition to this, you must be 18-years-old or older to apply for a medical cannabis card in California.
For patients who are aged 17 or below can designate a caregiver. A primary caregiver in California must be 18 and above and must tend to both cannabis and medical requirements of the patient. Interestingly, any patient can designate a primary caregiver, especially if the medical condition deems necessary.
While these qualifications and documents will help you apply for a medical marijuana card easily. There are some other things that you need to keep in mind. In particular, laws associated with medical marijuana use and how a medical cannabis card in California can help you get marijuana products easily.

The benefits of getting a medical marijuana card in California will help patients navigate through the nuances of cannabis laws easily. Moreover, a marijuana card will allow patients to possess and purchase cannabis without worrying about a possible arrest. Below are the listed benefits related to a medical marijuana card:

  • ✔ Increased possession limits
  • ✔ Adults aged 18 and above can get medical marijuana legally
  • ✔ Legal protection from the cannabis regulatory bodies
  • ✔ Greater access to marijuana dispensaries all across the golden state
  • ✔ Access to high-quality products from state-licensed dispensaries in California
  • ✔ Grow increased limits of cannabis plants from the comfort of home

That said, now let us look at the benefits of a cannabis card in detail. First and foremost, the age limit for recreational users is 21 whereas the age limit for medical cannabis users is 18 and above.
Medical cannabis card-holders also get the benefit of possessing 8 ounces of dried cannabis and growing 12 plants of immature plants. Out of which 6 plants can be mature.
Not only this, but medical marijuana cardholders can also access high-quality cannabis products at every California-licensed dispensary. The products provided by these dispensaries are unique, available in abundance with a wide range of variety.
Besides this, you can save tax on each purchase. For instance, cities and counties in California exempt medical marijuana patients from paying states and use taxes. This means that you can save a significant amount of money.
In contrast, recreational users can only possess 1 ounce of cannabis and grow only 6 recreational plants. In fact, they have to pay the exact MRP displayed on the product label without any tax concessions.
Overall, medical marijuana patients benefit a lot from a rec. So, this means that even if you live in a recreational state where cannabis is legal, a medical cannabis card can help provide a lot of benefits.

To qualify for a medical marijuana card in California, besides the legal age limit and state residency proof, you first need to have a state-qualifying medical condition. In other words, without a qualifying medical condition, you will not be able to get a recommendation for medical cannabis use.
So, below are the qualifying conditions as stated under Senate Bill 94:

  • ✔ AIDS/HIV
  • ✔ Anorexia
  • ✔ Arthritis
  • ✔ Cachexia
  • ✔ Cancer
  • ✔ Chronic Pain
  • ✔ Glaucoma
  • ✔ Migraine
  • ✔ Persistent Muscle Spasm
  • ✔ Seizures
  • ✔ Severe Nausea
  • ✔ Medical conditions that limit an individual to perform regular activities as defined under the American With Disabilities Act, and;
  • ✔ Conditions that cause serious harm, be it, physical or mental also qualify for cannabis use.

If you have any of the above-mentioned medical conditions, you can talk to a medical marijuana doctor, get evaluated for a qualifying condition, and receive a PDF copy of the recommendation online quickly and easily at your email address.

For primary caregivers in California, the rules are quite simple. First, a caregiver in California must be 18-years-old and he or she must consistently provide assistance to the patient. The assistance should cover all the parameters. For example, housing, health, safety, and overall well-being of the patient.
A caregiver can be anyone from a minor’s parent to an individual who has experience in this field. Like an employee of a licensed clinic, a health managing facility, hospice, or a private health agency.
Besides this, a person who wishes to become a primary caregiver must keep in mind that only a patient can apply for both the caregiver and patient’s MMIC. A caregiver can help in this case by providing personal information and receive the status of the application through the state medical marijuana program.
In addition to this, as a caregiver, you need to understand that you can apply for more than two patients, provided you reside in the same state as the patient. You will also need to provide the patient with details such as proof of identity either in the form of a driver’s license or else a government-issued state ID card.
You must apply for a caregiver at the county’s program personally because you will be asked to pay a fee as mentioned under the city or county MMJ program. And the authorities will have your photo taken to appear on the MMIC. For those who are providing specialist care to the patients most likely need to take a course to qualify for a special care unit.

Laws You Must Keep in Mind to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in California

Under Prop 64 (The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, 2016) private and medical protection of patients who have a medical marijuana card is a must. The Medical Marijuana Identification Card issued under the program provides for privacy rights as stated under the Health and Safety Code section of cannabis laws. However, the laws clearly state that all patients must provide medical information that’s protected under the Confidentiality of Medical Information Act.
An MMIC holder also gets a fee waiver in most indigent cases. Earlier the fee was a maximum of $100 per card, now the limit has gone down to $50 per card. While the laws provide protection and privacy rights, it also grants custodial and parental rights provided the patient keeps the following things in mind.
First, a qualified patient must act in accordance with the Compassionate Use Act. Second, they must obey the guidelines given by the regulatory bodies. Third, caregivers and patients are exempted from paying state taxes on products related to cannabis. Be it marijuana concentrates, edibles, topicals, oils, patches, only when they show a valid MMIC issued by the CDPH to the concerned dispensary.

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More About Marijuana Laws in California

The Compassionate Use Act of 1996 or Prop 215 came into effect in California keeping the seriousness of ill patients in mind. It allowed the protection of those patients and the ones who had a marijuana recommendation from a state-licensed medical health professional.
When the act became a law, it also provided protection to health physicians and primary caregivers who assisted patients with a serious medical condition. Interestingly, under SB 420 these patients are termed as qualified candidates for medical marijuana use. The same act is also used as a Health and Safety Code to address the problems with the former proposition.
If we solely talk about SB 420, it requires the California Department of Public Health to first create a medical marijuana program. The state of California currently has a state program that caters to the requirements of medical cannabis patients.
The state program, or to be precise, the web-based Medical Marijuana Identification Card program acts as a verification system. It allows the user through SB 420 to enforce laws while creating uniform MMIC for patients who register online.
Not only this but a web-based verification system allows the regulatory bodies to verify whether a person purchasing cannabis through an MMIC is legit or not. Moreover, this is exactly why the rules stated under SB 420 have been put in place.
Among these things, the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation Safety Act also regulates the taxation framework for the marijuana industry. It allows medical marijuana patients to save money through an exemption on sales and uses taxes.
SB 798 (chapter 775) also requires the state program to include only those patients who have been certified by the California Board of Podiatric Medicine (CBPM). In simple words, a health physician must have adept knowledge about cannabis. And they should have a license from the CBPM to provide a recommendation to patients in California.

How to Renew Your Medical Marijuana Card in California?

In order to renew your medical marijuana card in California, you have to keep one thing in mind. The process of renewal is quite similar to the process of getting a new patient’s recommendation. All you need is a qualifying condition and existing symptoms to get through the evaluation process.
So, here’s how you can renew your medical marijuana card in California:

  • ✔ Fill a form or a confidential questionnaire. Provide details such as state ID proof, personal information, and complete the form thoroughly.
  • ✔ Have a face-to-face consultation with state-licensed medical health professionals. Ask away any questions and give information regarding your medical history.
  • ✔ On qualification, receive a cannabis recommendation from state-licensed doctors.

The entire process will not take more than 15 minutes and you can get your card renewed from either a new health physician or from a medical health professional you got your card in the first place. The only exception, in this case, is that those who want to renew their medical marijuana card must do so before the expiration date nears.
The date of expiration will arrive exactly one year after the date of issuance. So, mark your calendar and prepare for a renewal a few days prior to the actual date. This will help you continue using medical cannabis services as before.

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Can I Grow Cannabis With the Help of a Medical Marijuana Card in California?

Yes, you can grow cannabis with the help of a medical marijuana card in California. However, you have to do so keeping the laws associated with cannabis growing in mind. For instance, the law requires medical cannabis patients to grow within 100 square feet of space.
It also demands the patients to grow only 6 mature medical marijuana plants. While the limit can extend up to 24 or more plants depending on the requirement.
However, the patient has to prove and show whether the extended limit justifies their medical needs or not.
They can do the same by getting a cannabis card online in California from a state-certified health physician. This way both the patient and the health professional understand how much cannabis is required for the treatment. If the limit demands extended periods of cannabis treatment, especially in the case of severely ill patients, they can do so and grow increased limits of medical marijuana. This will also help them invest money on the set up once, while they can prevent themselves from paying repeatedly at marijuana dispensaries. While this is one of the major advantages of getting a medical marijuana card in California, you also have to note that a medical marijuana grower’s license is a form of doctor’s growing recommendation, it has nothing to do with cannabis cultivation as a whole.
Simply put, any form of cannabis grown for commercial purposes requires the concerned individual to get a cannabis cultivation license from state authorities. Once you have a license you can grow and possess higher limits if marijuana for manufacturing and sales purposes.

Who Can Provide a Medical Marijuana Card in California?

To see who can provide a medical marijuana card in California, you have to first understand that a medical marijuana doctor is like any other health professional practicing medicine in the state. The only difference is that a medical marijuana doctor has extensive knowledge regarding cannabis use.
So, here’s who can provide a medical marijuana card in California:

  • ✔ A medical health professional with a state-licensed from the Californian medical authorities
  • ✔ A nurse practitioner
  • ✔ Healthcare provider practicing in the same state as the patient
  • ✔ A health physician who has adept knowledge about medical marijuana use.
  • ✔ Any doctor who has been certified by the California Board of Podiatric Medicine (CBPM)

The above-mentioned health professionals can help you get a medical marijuana card in California. The only difference is that the doctors may provide recommendations either through the telemedicine process or in-clinic. If you get a cannabis card online you will be able to get it easily. The best part is you don’t even have to wait for a doctor’s appointment. All you have to do is wait in a virtual room for a few minutes until your application is reviewed.

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Can I Use My Medical Marijuana Card to Travel With Cannabis

Yes, you can travel with cannabis in California provided you keep some guidelines in mind. For instance, you cannot travel with an open packet of medical or recreational cannabis. You have to carry the product either in a sealed container or a childproof packaging sealed from all four corners.

As far as your medical cannabis recommendation is concerned, you can carry it with you as a precautionary measure. The recommendation will help you prove that the cannabis you’re carrying is for medical purposes.

In addition to this, the traveling clause as stated under the state rules forbids patients from traveling with medical marijuana out of state borders. If you travel with an open container outside state borders you might easily land in trouble. So, make sure when you keep cannabis out of your way while crossing state borders.

Interestingly, cannabis law allows patients to travel with cannabis. However, there’s one vital clause that patients easily forget. It’s the packaging clause. Under this clause, any individual traveling with cannabis must not tamper with the original packaging. In other words, once you come out of the dispensary carrying the packet, do not open it or try to shift the product into a different container. You have to keep the original packaging intact without any signs of damage.

As far as flying with medical marijuana is concerned, the laws are quite tricky in this context. According to the law, as long as you have a medical cannabis recommendation from a state-licensed medical health professional, you can carry the legal limit inside your bag.

The trick comes in when the plane is in the air. You see, cannabis is still illegal on the federal level. So, when the plane is in the air, it falls under federal regulation. In other words, you are committing a crime when flying with medical marijuana. In contrast, as soon as the plane lands on the ground, you can carry around 28.5 grams of marijuana and 8 grams of concentrates for medical purposes only. So, as a result of this complex regulation structure, it’s best to not carry medical cannabis whether flying within or outside of California.

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