Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996, when the medical cannabis program was first approved. It was the number one state to legalize cannabis for medical purposes. Since then, many people with a debilitating illness have applied for and have been successful in receiving a California MMJ card. Once in possession of this cannabis card, owners can buy medical marijuana from licensed dispensaries, order it online from specialized and protected sites, and even grow their own plants. This has made life a little more palatable for those suffering from such conditions as arthritis, MS, AIDS and cancer – to name but a few of the 50 qualifying conditions.
Twenty years later in November 2016, the people of California passed Proposition 64, which legalized the use of marijuana for recreational purposes for adults over the age of 21 in the state. So, you might think that your 420 card is now redundant right? Well, you’re actually wrong. There are many reasons why you will need to retain and renew your MMJ card, once the law becomes effective in 2018.
MMJ Card Legalization Process
For the remainder of 2017, you will most definitely need to hang on to that California medical card. The Proposition will not come into effect until January 2018 at the earliest. The process of implementing this new law is pretty elaborate, so it’s safe to say that it won’t all happen overnight as we’re all celebrating the countdown to the New Year – there’s a lot of bureaucracy to get through first. Dispensaries will be allowed to start serving recreational users starting in January, but you can bet they won’t all be ready to do that – and some may delay or choose not to do so.
Even once we’ve reached 2018, when the state is required to give recreational weed shops their license, different localities within the state can set their own rules, so it’s not necessarily going to be a clear-cut done deal.
Recreational Use of Medical Marijuana in Public
One of the most important reasons why you will still need your MMJ card is that recreational use of MMJ will not be allowed in public places, even once the Proposition becomes law. However, if you have a California marijuana license, you will still generally be allowed to smoke medical cannabis where tobacco smoking is allowed. Remember to carry that card with you at all times!
MMJ Card Medical Needs
Some long-term MMJ card users are naturally worried that, with the legalization of cannabis, their medical needs may be belittled or forgotten about. They feel that the drug won’t be respected in terms of their requirements and how it benefits their lives. While it’s true to say that this may happen in a few cases, cannabis card holders should be assured that they will still be able to speak in confidence with doctors regarding their medical marijuana dosage, and use and that they will still have the respect of the medical professionals.
Growing Medical Cannabis at Home
Another obvious benefit of hanging on to your card once cannabis is legalized in California is that the new law will allow people to grow up to six plants only in their own home. As a cannabis card holder, you will still be allowed to harvest up to 100 square feet of marijuana plants on your own land.
The Price of Medical Weed
The final bit of good news and another reason why you will still need your card is that however the new proposition affects the price of marijuana, with a California medical marijuana card, you won’t have to pay more as you are exempt from paying sales taxes. Good news, huh?
Steps to Get an MMJ Card
Hopefully we’ve shown you some good reasons why you’ll still need your MMJ card after cannabis is legalized. If you don’t yet have a card, here’s how to apply for one:
If you think you may qualify for MMJ, then the easiest way to get a card is to buy your medical marijuana card online, via MMJ Recs. You just need to complete a standard medical form online and upload any relevant medical documents onto the site. One of our medical marijuana specialists will then evaluate you over the phone or via Skype. This takes just a few minutes; the physician will need information about your qualifying condition and your medical history, and will ask you why you believe taking medical marijuana may benefit you.
You can ask the specialist doctor any questions you like, and he or she will be available to advise you on the best strain and optimum amount for you disability. All benefits and any associated risks will be outlined to you. Once approved, your medical marijuana card will be sent to you in the mail. Be assured that MMJ Recs will treat any information you give us with the utmost privacy.
If you are already in possession of a cannabis card, it’s important to remember that you need to reapply for your card every year.
So, our advice is don’t let the new law stop you from applying for a MMJ card or renewing it if you’re already in possession of one. The benefits of owning a card will remain, even once all the red tape has been gotten through, all the issues and concerns have been ironed out and the law is fully operational.