How to Obtain a Medical Marijuana Card in California
Cannabis dispensaries and medical marijuana licenses have become more and more commonplace in California in recent years. Because recreational use of marijuana is not yet legal in the state of California like it is in Colorado, only those who have medical marijuana licenses can buy cannabis legally in the Golden State.
The California Department of Public Health’s Medical Marijuana Program created the Medical Marijuana ID Card (MMIC.) It helps officers and other enforcement officials recognize individuals carrying the card as legal medical marijuana patients who are able to possess and use cannabis. It also allows you to purchase medical marijuana from local shops and delivery services.
In order to know whether or not you are eligible for a MMIC, you first need to discuss it with a doctor (either your Primary Care Physician or a recognized Medical Marijuana Doctor.) If your doctor has diagnosed you with a medical condition, including but not limited to ailments such as epilepsy, cancer, migraines, anxiety, depression, insomnia, and chronic pain, you can take the next steps towards getting a doctor’s recommendation for a MMIC. A comprehensive list of illnesses treated by marijuana can be found by clicking here. (Please note, however, that there are still plenty of other issues outside of this list that cannabis can be effective against.)
Here are the simple steps to obtaining a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC):
In order to actually obtain a medical marijuana recommendation, you will need to visit your doctor, as previously mentioned. If you would like to visit with a doctor via video chat through an official online recommendation program, please click here. If you’d prefer to meet in person, a quick search on Google or Yelp should equip you with a list of local MMJ Doctors in your area. Most of these offices take walk-ins, but it’s advisable to call in advance and make an appointment. The majority of these offices do charge a fee for the consultation and MMIC, and many are cash only so don’t forget to bring money and your ID! If you only have an out of state ID, you should also bring proof of residency, such as a bill with your name and home address.
In this appointment, you will visit with a doctor to go over your medical conditions and discuss whether or not marijuana will be a good fit for you. The consultation can take anywhere from five minutes to an hour, depending on your individual discussion.
If your doctor does recommend medical marijuana for you, the next step is easy! You’ll immediately receive an official document to show your eligibility for the medical marijuana program and you’ll also have the option of purchasing a photo ID card. Although the letter itself will suffice, we recommend getting the card so you can always carry it with you in your wallet for convenience in purchasing cannabis products from a dispensary or delivery service. It’s also important to keep the card or letter on your person in case you need to show proof of your MMIC to a police officer or other authority figure.
The MMIC is valid for one year, after which you’ll need to get the license renewed by going through a similar application process.
If you have any specific questions about obtaining a medical marijuana recommendation, you can contact the doctor offices in your county or visit your state Department of Public Health website. You can also give us a call if you have questions about the process in San Francisco and we will do our best to help you out!