Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996, but the Adult Use Marijuana Act was passed in 2016. As a result, it is now legal for any adult to use medical marijuana under the direction of a doctor. California has shifted from a medical-only marijuana state to an adult-use recreation market as of January 2018.
Despite medical weed being legal for adult use, California residents must have an MMIC to receive services at any dispensary.
What is a Medical Marijuana ID?
A Medical Marijuana ID is a formal document that allows adults that are 18 years and older to buy marijuana from any dispensary in California. The MMIC program was created under Senate Bill 420 (SB 420). It enables patients and caregivers to enroll in California’s MM patient registry.
There are several benefits to having a Medical Marijuana Identification Card:
- Your parental rights are protected. As an adult, you are free to use medical cannabis as directed by your doctor and under Prop 215. As a result, your custodial rights cannot be restricted based on this.
- Increased possession capacity. With an MMIC, you have the right to have 8 ounces instead of 1 ounce.
- No tax for medical marijuana. In section 34011 in Prop 64, the state cannot tax medical cannabis under the sales and use tax.
- Doctors can recommend an increase in possession limits. With an MMIC, your doctor can recommend that you have more than 8 ounces.
- Protection from arrest. Before the start of the MMIC program, law enforcement officers could arrest you. This happened if you were in possession of more than 1 ounce of medical marijuana. Now, medical weed users are protected. They cannot be arrested if they have an MMIC and a recommendation from a doctor.
- Reduced age limit for medical purchases. For those between 18 to 21 years, you can now purchase medical marijuana. This is possible from any licensed cannabis retailer if you have an MMID.
- Access to more cannabis retailers. You can now access more cannabis retailers selling medical marijuana across the state of California.
Getting a Medical Marijuana Identification Card
There are two ways of getting a medical marijuana identification card in California. They include:
- From the California Department of Public Health
Getting Your Medical Marijuana Identification Card Online
There are several services which can assist you to get a medical marijuana ID online. They include:
- Dr. Weedy
- MMJ Doctor online
1. Step One – Visit any of the services listed above. Fill in your details via an online application. In the application, answer all the questions to determine if medical marijuana is a recommended treatment for your condition.
Once you have filled the application form, submit it.
2. Step Two – A licensed and certified physician is going to review your application. Upon approval, a digital copy of your Medical Cannabis Recommendation is sent immediately. This is followed by an official copy sent within 1 to 3 business days. To fast track the delivery, the service may pay for the postage. Also, they use non-marijuana labeling to ensure your privacy.
3. Step Three – Upon receiving your MMIC, you can now walk into any medical weed dispensary and legally purchase the recommended quantity. If you wish to, you can grow your own weed at home for personal use.
Getting Your Medical Marijuana Identification Card at the California Department of Public Health
To get an MMIC from the California Department of Public Health, you must meet the following requirements:
- Must be a California resident
- Must be diagnosed with a serious medical condition by a licensed and certified physician
Examples of qualifying medical conditions include:
- Seizures among others
Here are the steps of getting a medical marijuana identification card from the California Department of Public Health:
1. Step One – The first step is to visit your physician. After a check-up and your physician identifies you have one of the above conditions, he or she can recommend medical marijuana as a treatment option. Your physician then documents the diagnosis and recommendation in your medical records.
2. Step Two – After receiving a medical recommendation from your physician, make sure you request a printed copy. If you opt to apply for a medical marijuana identification card online, a copy is sent via mail after consultation.
3. Step Three – With your medical marijuana recommendation at hand, proceed and fill the Medical Marijuana Program Application/ Renewal Form. After filling in all the details, submit the document to the local county office.
When submitting your application, include the following documents:
- A copy of your medical marijuana recommendation from your physician
- A valid California driving license or a government-issued identity card
- Proof of residency (a utility bill should do)
4. Step Four – At the local county office, you must pay a fee in to receive your Medical Marijuana Identification Card. It is important to know that the fee varies depending on the patient’s circumstances and county.
5. Step Five – Once you have finished the application, the local county office has 30 days to verify the details in your application. If verified, it takes five days for you to have your Medical Marijuana Identification Card.
Normally, the MMIC is sent via mail or the patient can pick it up at the county office. So, when applying, ask about the pick-up process.
There you have it, two simple ways to help you get your Medical Marijuana Identification Card. With your MMIC, it is now easy for you to walk into any cannabis dispensary in California and purchase the quantity you need. You don’t have to fear arrest from law enforcement officers for growing or possessing more than an ounce.
Those days are gone. If you are aged between 18 years to 21 years, you can now enjoy the freedom of purchasing medical cannabis, too. That’s not all. As an MMIC holder, you get to save a lot of money. For starters, you are exempt from the new cannabis taxes. Under the laws that became effective on January 2018, California taxes both at the municipal and state level. Depending on your jurisdiction, you may end up saving thousands of dollars every year on taxes alone.
When it comes to growing, MMIC holders can grow more weed than recreational users. Actually, MMIC holders can grow up to 12 plants or more, especially if their condition warrants it. As a result, one can consume his or her own weed grown using his or her own methods, which is an assurance of its safety.
Disclaimer: This article is intended for information and educational purposes only and is not intended to reflect the views of the publication.