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California Medical Marijuana Requirements

Posted by Jason Draizin on 10/17/2010 in How to Get Medical Marijuana

Since the passing of Prop 215, aka the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, thousands of patients in California legally use medical marijuana to alleviate the symptoms of countless medical conditions and side effects of certain medical treatments.  However there are countless others who haven’t yet taken advantage of the benefits of this powerful medicine because they do not understand the California medical marijuana requirements. The good news is, California’s medical marijuana laws are among the most lenient in the country—which means getting legal access to medical marijuana in CA is relatively easy for patients in need. To get medical cannabis in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego, or anywhere in the Golden State, simply follow these California medical marijuana requirements:

  • You must be 18 years of age or, if under 18, be accompanied by a parent or guardian.
  • You must be a California Resident with proof of residency.
  • You must suffer from one of the following qualifying medical conditions: Anorexia; Arthritis; Cachexia; Cancer; Chronic pain; Glaucoma; HIV/AIDS, Migraine headaches; Persistent muscle spasms; multiple sclerosis; Seizures; Epilepsy; Severe nausea; or any other chronic or persistent medical symptom that either: Substantially limits the patient’s ability to conduct one or more major life activities as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, and if not alleviated, may cause serious harm to the patient's safety or physical or mental health.
  • You must obtain a medical marijuana recommendation from a state licensed physician stating you will benefit from the medicinal use of cannabis. Find a qualified medical marijuana doctor in CA.

Once you have obtained a medical marijuana recommendation from your physician, you have fulfilled all of the California medical marijuana requirements. However, there is also an optional medical marijuana card program in California called the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) that provides ID cards for patients and caregivers. Remember, obtaining a marijuana card is strictly voluntary, and not one of the necessary California medical marijuana requirements.

If you prefer the convenience and added assurance of having a state ID card, click this link to contact your county program for explicit instructions on how to apply. The requirements for getting a medical marijuana card from the MMP vary by county.