How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in California

By Rolling Up

As of 2018, it is no longer a legal requirement to hold a medical marijuana license for a person over the age 21 should they possess an ounce or less. Medical cannabis patients in California are still exempt from paying state sales and use taxes, and the amount of cannabis medical marijuana patients can possess and grow is more generous (up to 8 ounces of dried cannabis flower, not including leaves and stems, and 6 mature or 12 immature plants if growing unless stated otherwise by their recommending physician). Medical cannabis patients also have access to a greater number of both products and dispensaries. Only 161 of California’s 482 municipalities have allowed for recreational storefronts or establishments to be allowed to operate. There are still good reasons to look into getting a medical marijuana card.


In California the qualifying conditions are the following:


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

Any other chronic or persistent medical symptom that substantially limits the ability of the person to conduct one or more major life activities (as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990) or, if not alleviated, may cause serious harm to the patient’s safety or physical or mental health. 


In order to get a recommendation you’ll need to find a medical marijuana doctor, which can be found online. Patients in California must get a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) through a county office and not through a physician. Applicants must be able to fill out an Application/Renewal Form for their county and provide a valid California driver’s license, proof of residency, such as a lease or utility bill. Fees vary by county, but should not exceed $100. 


If you’re enrolled in Medi-Cal and have low income, a 50% reduction in costs are waived. Rules vary by county. The application takes about 30 days to process. After receiving the card, patients are able to grow and purchase from licensed dispensaries. 

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