Since January 1, 2018, you no longer need a medical marijuana card or doctor’s rec to buy or possess cannabis (up to a certain limit) from licensed dispensaries if you are aged 21 or over in California. While you don’t need a med card, it may still make sense for you to invest in one if you have a qualifying condition.
Some benefits of having an MMIC:
- You are exempt from paying state sales and use taxes.
- The amount of cannabis you can possess and grow is more generous – up to 8 ounces of dried cannabis flower and 6 mature or 12 immature plants if you’re growing as compared to recreational consumers who are capped at 1 ounce of dried flower and six plants.
- You also have access to a greater number of products and dispensaries, as not all jurisdictions in California have allowed for the operation of recreational cannabis dispensaries and certain products are medical only.
What are the steps to get an MMIC?
You first need to get a doctor’s recommendation. It’s important to note, a doctor’s recommendation is NOT THE SAME as a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC). Most medical cannabis doctors can be found online.
Nugg is a great option that allows you to speak to a doctor via video chat or over the phone. You pay a fee, you have an interview with the doctor, and if approved, you will receive your doctor’s recommendation.
California’s Qualifying Conditions:
- Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
- Chronic pain
- Persistent muscle spasms, including spasms associated with multiple sclerosis
- Seizures, including seizures associated with epilepsy
- Severe nausea
- Any other chronic or persistent medical symptom that either substantially limits the ability of the person to conduct a major life activity as defined in 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.
I have my doctor’s rec, now what?
Once you have your doctor’s recommendation, you can start your application for a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) through a county program, not through an attending physician or an evaluation center.
Los Angeles County Office info can be found HERE.
If you do not reside in LA, you can find your local county office HERE.
**Patients must reside in the county where their application is submitted.
You will need to provide:
- A completed Application/Renewal Form.
- MMIC acknowledgement form.
- Physician’s Attestation
- A copy of your doctor’s recommendation
- Proof of identity – such as a valid California Department of Motor Vehicle driver’s license, ID card or other government-issued photo ID card
- Proof of residency – such as a rental or mortgage agreement, utility bill, or California DMV motor vehicle registration.
- Fees required – the amount varies by county but cannot exceed $100.
- Documentation may vary by county and may change over time. Reach out to your local county and confirm what documentation is needed and make an appointment.
Medi-Cal recipients receive a 50 percent fee reduction, and fees are waived for low-income patients participating in the County Medical Services Program. Counties have 30 days to verify an application and five days to make the MMIC available. Minors can apply as a patient or caregiver under certain conditions, and minors can apply for themselves as qualified patients if they are lawfully emancipated or have declared self-sufficiency status.
Please do not rely solely on the statements above as the information is subject to change. Please always check with your local county office, contact info HERE.