5 Things You Need to Know About Having a Medical Marijuana Card

Despite the legalization of marijuana in California, it is still illegal to consume or carry it without a medical marijuana card. This will remain the case until late 2018 when the legislation goes through. Currently, nearly 1.5 million California residents have their hands on a medical marijuana card, which allows them to legally buy, grow and consume weed. It’s a lot easier than you might think to get a CA weed card, but there are still some important things you need to know. In this article, we’re going to walk you through the five most important things you needs to know about having a medical marijuana card in California.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card

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We recommend using an online doctor who will be able to prescribe a medical marijuana card.

The most common question people ask when thinking about getting their first CA weed card is: How do I do it? Well, you might be surprised to find out that you’ve been able to do it in California since 1996. Due to its medicinal benefits, doctors have been able to write recommendations for the use of the drug in treatments, but because marijuana is illegal under federal law, they have not been able to prescribe the drug. These written letters were originally for people who grew their own marijuana, but as weed dispensaries started to pop up after Prop 215 passed, these letters slowly evolved into the modern form of the California medical marijuana card.

These days, you can still go visit your local doctor, who will be able to write a marijuana recommendation letter for you. However, booking an appointment with a physical doctor is both expensive and time-consuming, so instead, we’d recommend using an online doctor who will be able to prescribe a medical marijuana card. It’ll save you a lot of time, money and effort.

Understanding the Qualifying Conditions

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Medical marijuana can be used to treat both mental and physical health issues

As further studies continue to illustrate the medicinal qualities of medical marijuana, this list continues to grow and evolve. Some of the common MMJ card qualifying conditions include:

  • AIDS
  • Anorexia
  • Arthritis
  • Cachexia
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraines
  • Persistent muscle spasms
  • Seizures, including, but not limited to, those associated with epilepsy
  • Severe nausea

However, in California, you’ll also find a stipulation that includes any chronic or persistent medical symptom that limits your ability to perform day-to-day activities. This is because medical marijuana can be used to treat both mental and physical health issues, and this stipulation opens up the treatment of medical marijuana to thousands of conditions.

Navigating Your Local Dispensaries

You need a California ID to be able to get a CA medical marijuana card, but this pocket-sized card won’t be enough when you show up to the dispensary for the first time. Instead, you’ll need a letter from your doctor that has your full name, the date it was given to you and your patient ID number. The letter will also need to be signed by the doctor, embossed with a seal and have the contact details — email or phone — to verify it’s authenticity. You’ll only need to present this to the dispensary the first time you go. From then on, they will have you in the system.

Understanding Legal Limits

Medical marijuana card holders will have a major advantage over non-card holders when weed is legalized in 2018. Currently, those without a medical marijuana card are not allowed to grow any marijuana plants. When Prop 64 kicks in, that will increase to one plant. If you have a CA MMJ card, you are entitled to grow up to six adult plants. Remember, you have to be 21 years old, and some localities forbid the growing of the plants outdoors but allow it indoors. The plants must also be in a secure part of your house or lawn where they are protected from theft.

When it comes to carrying marijuana, the rules aren’t as easily defined. To be safe, you should never carry more than 28.5 grams at a time. This will ensure that you fall under the category of personal use and won’t face any issues as a potential dealer.

Renewing Your Medical Marijuana Card

So many people think that once you get your medical marijuana card, you have it for life. Unfortunately, this is not the case. You’ll be required to get a letter from your doctor every year in order to keep your MMJ card valid. You’ll be able to go through the same channels you originally did to renew the card, but it’s important not to let your card lapse, or you lose all the benefits of having one the day it expires.  

What Does Your California Medical Pot Card Allow You to Do?

If you suffer from a chronic condition and are living in California, the chances are that someone, either a medical professional or someone close to you, has recommended medical marijuana as a feasible treatment option. MMJ can assist with the symptoms of many illnesses, both physical and mental, including insomnia, Parkinson’s disease, anorexia nervosa, cancer and migraines. Although it can be odd to try something that has long held a social stigma of being an illegal drug, the truth is that California is a great place to be if you need medical marijuana. However, it’s important to know exactly what the law is and what your California medical pot card will allow you to do.

How Do You Get a Medical Pot Card?

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If you suffer from a chronic condition and are living in California, getting a medical pot card is a feasible treatment option.

First, it’s important to have proper medical guidance when beginning your medical pot journey. Have an open and honest conversation with your doctor about the symptoms you think could be alleviated by medical marijuana. A professional’s advice is invaluable, so speak to them, and they can help you manage your expectations of what medical marijuana will be able to do for you. It doesn’t have to be your family doctor. A registered doctor, osteopath or surgeon can be the person who helps you in your journey for relief.

If you’re nervous about having the conversation in person, you can use an online medical evaluation to get the necessary paperwork to obtain your medical pot card. Doctors are unable to officially prescribe marijuana, even though it’s legal in California, as it’s still illegal at a federal level. They must write you an official recommendation on professional letterhead featuring their contact information. People often refer to a pot card, but the reality is that it’s the letter that you need to secure your medical marijuana. However, for patients’ convenience, most online evaluation services will also provide you with a small, physical card in addition to the letter so you can keep it in your wallet for future use when you visit the dispensary. Don’t forget that you’ll need to get your medical marijuana letter renewed annually!

Sadly, for the rest of the U.S., California medical marijuana privileges are only extended to California residents. You will need to produce a legal form of California ID, such as a driver’s license, to secure your medical marijuana letter. If you want a state-provided card, you’ll also need to provide proof of residence, such as a lease or utility bill, as well as the official form filled out with the letter from your doctor and the relevant fee. A state-provided card might be a better option for patients who want a legal document in relation to their MMJ use, although the letter provided by your practitioner outlining your condition is usually sufficient for most dispensaries.

What Can You Do with A Medical Pot Card?

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MMJ can assist with the symptoms of many illnesses, both physical and mental.

Now that you have your medical pot card, what do you do? Well, you can either grow your own MMJ, which has positives and negatives, or if that feels like too much of a commitment, you can go to one of the numerous medical pot dispensaries in the state of California. It’s important to make sure you take care of your card because you’ll need it every time you go to the dispensary to pick up your medicine.

Dispensaries can be intimidating places for those who aren’t used to them, but it’s important to remember that they’re there to serve a function, much like a pharmacy. The people who work at dispensaries are often incredibly passionate about medical marijuana and its benefits, so if you’re a newbie to the world of MMJ, they can serve as your advisors or spirit guides. Ask questions about the right strains for you and the conditions and symptoms you need treated. You’d be shocked at the different types of MMJ out there!

If you’re feeling brave, you can cultivate your own medical marijuana. It’s important to read up on the legalities of growing your own. The Medical Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act, which is the law governing MMJ, is strict in relation to the amount that patients or caregivers can grow. Technically, you can have the amount that you need to treat your medical condition, though this is clearly a gray area and up for debate. The act does state that you can grow up to 100 square feet of cannabis plants for personal use or up to 500 square feet if you’re a caregiver to five or fewer patients. If you’re going to take the step of growing your own, it’s important to make sure you’re very familiar with the law to ensure you don’t inadvertently break it.

Once you’ve made the step of getting your own medical pot card and you’ve experienced the relief it can offer, you’ll never look back. Don’t be afraid or worried because if you’re lucky enough to be Californian, the state backs your right to seek the best treatment for you.

Steps You Can Take to Get Your Medical Cannabis Card in California

Luckily, you’re a Californian. The Golden State has beaches, bikinis, great weather, gorgeous landscapes, and marijuana is legal for medical purposes. Not only do you live in one of the greatest states in the United States, but you’re also able to get your medical marijuana card in California.

While this is certainly a blessing, not everyone is eligible for a medical cannabis card in California. You still need some type of medical condition to receive your card. You’ll have to see a medical marijuana doctor to know if your “symptoms” require a medical card card.

Two Ways to Get a Medical Cannabis Card

In California, every county except Mariposa, Sutter, and Colusa partake in the medical marijuana program. Every other area of California is cannabis-friendly.

1To get your medical cannabis card in person from the State, you’ll first need to get a doctor’s recommendation. You’ll also need a written documentation of your medical records. Then you’ll need:

  • Proof of identity (driver’s license, passport, etc.)
  • Proof of residency (mortgage, etc.)
  • Completed medical marijuana program application

Once you have these three things, you can apply in-person at one of the state’s offices. The process should be quick once you have all the required recommendations and documentation. Fees vary by county. You can expect fees up to $70 or more. Medi-Cal members tend to get 50% off the county’s fee.

But what if there was a better way to get your medical cannabis card? That you don’t have to step foot into a doctor’s office to get your card? What if applying in-person could be a thing of the past?

2. Enter getting your medical marijuana card online instantly. You can print out your card once a medical marijuana doctor approves you quickly online. Then you can head to the dispensary THAT DAY and shop for your medical marijuana.

An official California medical marijuana recommendation letter &/or card will then be quickly shipped to your home. You’ll officially have your card and be able to buy marijuana how and when you please. Please be aware that some dispensaries only accept the Official copy with raised seal and that is mailed subsequently to your home address the following business day.

Don’t Delay Another Day

At MMJRecs, we want to get your recommendation and photo ID card in your hands as soon as possible. Just fill in our registration form and enter some information about your condition. A doctor will immediately check out your request. Then you’ll be emailed your recommendation. It’s that simple! Just check out our services for a medical marijuana card in California today!