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Friday April 28, 2017

Updated on 5/17/2021

By Michael Walters


California was the first state in America to legalize medical marijuana thanks to Proposition 215 in 1996 (better known as the Compassionate Use Act) and later passed California Senate Bill 420 in 2003. In January of 2019, California’s Office of Administrative law approved the Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA), which created the framework for the regulation of both medicinal and adult-use cannabis in California. With a medical marijuana market over two decades old, California’s cannabis landscape has developed over time to obtain massive infrastructure and high patient registration numbers.

Many people who live in California prefer to shop medicinally as opposed to recreationally for a variety of reasons, primarily for quality products and an intimate shopping experience. The easiest way to obtain a medical marijuana card in California is to connect with a licensed doctor network. Below, we’ll detail how you can easily get your medical marijuana card in California online.

Get Your California Medical Marijuana Card Online

Getting your California medical marijuana card online is now simpler than ever. Just follow these simple steps:

  • Connect with a telemedicine provider or licensed CA physician
  • Get approved and instantly download your doctor’s certificate.
  • Shop at any California dispensary and save on sales tax.
  • Receive your original certificate with the seal within 5 days.

You must be 18 years of age or older in order to qualify for a medical marijuana card for yourself, or 21 years old or older if you intend to apply as a caregiver.

How much does a California medical marijuana recommendation cost?

Prices for medical marijuana card evaluations vary in the state of California. Please be sure to consult with your telemedicine provider or licensed physician to make sure you are receiving a fair price.

Why should I get a California medical marijuana card?

Some advantages of having a California medical marijuana card include:

Pros to Having a California Medical Marijuana Card:

  • Money saved on sales tax
  • Greater choice of products and dispensaries – not all jurisdictions have recreational facilities
  • Special deals and services at dispensaries
  • Greater possession amounts
  • Greater degrees of legal protection

Can you break down the California medical marijuana qualification process in more detail?

The process for getting a medical marijuana card in California is relatively simple. When you work with a licensed doctor network or telemedicine provider, it is even easier to navigate the legal framework as a team of professionals is there to help you every step of the way.

1. Sign up with a licensed MMJ doctor service

You’ll typically be asked to fill in a quick questionnaire and to either take or upload a photograph of yourself showing your face in order to create a profile. You will need a cell phone, a valid email address, a computer, tablet or smartphone with a reliable internet connection and a working camera to undergo online evaluation.

2. Complete the questionnaire and upload a photograph.

After the initial information is gathered, you will usually be taken to a waiting room, where you’ll be connected to a physician for a face-to-face chat (online or in-person). The physician will then assess your application to see if medical marijuana (or cannabis & cannabinoids) is suitable for your health needs and the conditions you suffer from.

3. Once approved, you’ll be sent a copy of your recommendation letter via email.

This recommendation letter contains a unique patient ID number that puts you on a private, doctor-run registry that allows you to visit medical marijuana dispensaries in California and put you under the protection of the state’s medical marijuana laws.

Which Conditions Qualify for Medical Cannabis in California?

California has quite a wide range of qualifying conditions. The following conditions may qualify you for a medical marijuana recommendation and card:

  • Anorexia
  • Anxiety
  • Arthritis
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy Side-Effects
  • Chronic Pain
  • Depression
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Irritable Bowel Diseases such as Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS), Crohn’s Disease and Coeliac Disease
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraine
  • Persistent Muscle Spasms and Muscle Cramps arising from Conditions such as Multiple Sclerosis (MS), Parkinson’s Disease (PD) and Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
  • Radiation Therapy Side-Effects
  • Severe Nausea
  • Seizures and conditions that cause seizures (e.g. Epilepsy)
  • Any chronic or persistent condition/symptom limits the ability for the sufferer to conduct one or more major life activities (e.g. eating, movement)

How much medical marijuana can I possess in California?

In California, no patient limit is specified. Technically, a medical marijuana patient may possess “whatever amount the physician recommends.” However, we would advise you to take reasonable precautions. Some sources state that medical cannabis patients may carry up to 8 ounces on their person in the state of California, but there is little information on what is considered "reasonable" for a patient. It is feasible that a doctor may recommend more than the 8 oz. “guideline” for medical patients.

What documents do I need for a California medical marijuana card?

You can show proof of residency in California by using one of the following:

  • Government-issued photo ID
  • Residential lease/property deed
  • Utility bill
  • Letter from the government/court (marriage license, divorce, government aid)
  • Bank statement
  • Driver’s license/learner’s permit
  • Car registration
  • Notarized affidavit of residency

Examples of appropriate ID and proof of residency include:

  • Valid California ID (DMV issued California driver’s license or identification card)
  • Valid Passport or Out of State ID with Proof of California Residency (i.e., utility bill, rental lease, car or voter registration)
  • Valid Passport or Out of State ID with Temporary DMV Form
  • Expired California ID with Temporary DMV Form
  • Valid California Government – Issued ID
  • Valid Resident Card for California (green card)
  • Temporary DMV Form with Any Photo ID
  • Military Card with Proof of California Residency
  • Out of State ID with Proof of California Residency (i.e., utility bill, rental lease, car or voter registration)

Can an out-of-state patient apply for a California medical marijuana card?

The answer is simply, “yes.” Out-of-state patients must make an appointment to speak with and be recommended by a physician licensed in the state of California, just like a state resident. If you do not have a California ID, an out of state ID, passport, or other photo ID with proof of residency, such as a bank statement, utility bill, or rental agreement, is acceptable.

Will I be put on a state registry?

You can choose whether or not you want to be put onto the state registry. Many people who get a California medical marijuana identification card (MMIC) choose to be on the state registry for legal protection purposes.

What rights does a California medical marijuana patient have?

Unfortunately, unlike many other states, California’s MAUCRSA does not guarantee medical marijuana patients’ employment or tenancy rights. This means that an employer may test their employees for cannabis and decide to fire or not to hire a marijuana consumer, even if they are not using cannabis during working hours. A medical marijuana recommendation for a medical reason may in some instances make an employer more sympathetic.

Passing of AB 2355 may change this. AB 2355 would grant people who use medical cannabis the same rights to reasonable accommodation and the associated interactive process as are provided to workers prescribed other legal drugs.

Federal employees or those with commercial driving licenses may also be prohibited from medical marijuana use due to the nature of their jobs. Medical marijuana patients are also giving up their right to bear arms and are put on the “prohibited persons” list. Some California towns are seeking to be a “sanctuary city” for those who wish to utilize medical marijuana whilst also keeping their second amendment rights.