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CA Marijuana Qualification

Updated on January 25, 2019.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

What Ailments Qualify For Medical Cannabis in California

Patients in California diagnosed with one of the following medical conditions, are afforded legal protection under the California Medical Marijuana law, as per Ballot Proposition 215:

Or any other chronic or persistent medical symptom that either substantially limits a person’s ability to conduct one or more of major life activities as defined in the federal Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or if not alleviated, may cause serious harm to the person’s safety, physical, or mental health.

California Medical Marijuana Program: Information

  1. Patients must be eighteen (18) years of age. If a patient is under the age of eighteen (18) the patient’s parent or legal guardian must approve, unless they are emancipated or declated self-sufficient status.
  2. Patients must provide proof of identity via California DMV Driver’s License or State or Government issued Identification Card.
  3. Patients must be a resident of the state of California and provide proof of residency through either a rental or mortgage agreement, utility bill or California DMV motor vehicle registration.
  4. Patient must be diagnosed with a qualifying condition, as defined by Senate Bill 94 (Chapter 27, Statues of 2017), listed above.
  5. Patient must obtain a certified physician’s recommendation along with documented medical records.
  6. You must apply in person at your County Program for a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC)
  7. In person, you must submit your application as well as:
    • The Application Fee is not to exceed $100.00. Medi-Cal beneficiaries will receive a fifty percent (50%) reduction. Fees will also be waived for indignet patients who are eligible and participate in the County Medical Services Program.
    • Photo that will appear on your MMIC taken.
  8. After the application form with the required documents is submitted to the County Program, the county has five (5) days to verify your application. The MMIC can take up to thirty-five (35) days to if your application is complete and approved.

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How to Become A Medical Marijuana Patient in California

1. Patients must be a California Resident with a valid California I.D. as proof of residency. If you do not have a California I.D. an out of state I.D., passport, or other photo I.D. with proof of residency such as bank statement, utility bill, etc. is acceptable.

2. Patients are advised, to obtain legitimate medical records or documentation from your primary care physician describing their diagnosis, and to bring these records with to your marijuana evaluation appointment – *Learn how to request your medical records

3. Obtain written documentation from a physician licensed in the state of California stating that, you are a qualifying patient. The recommending physician must meet the criteria outlined in The Compassionate Use Act of 1996, which includes being in good standing in the state of CA, taking responsibility of some aspect of patient care, and complying with accepted medical standards. Be sure to bring your medical records with you to your appointment – *Find a certified medical marijuana physician in California

4. Once a patient has obtained a written certification from a physician licensed in the state of California, patients are required to register with the California Department of Public Health, Public Health Policy and Research Branch, Medical Marijuana Program Unit – upon registration, patients will receive a medical marijuana I.D. card.

Medical Marijuana Access in California

Some medical marijuana patients will claim they have a doctor’s prescription for medical marijuana, but marijuana prescriptions are in fact illegal. The federal government classifies marijuana as a schedule I drug. Therefore doctors are unable to prescribe marijuana to their patients, and medical marijuana patients cannot go to a pharmacy to fill a prescription for medical marijuana. Instead, medical marijuana doctors in California will supply patients with a medical marijuana recommendation in compliance with state law.

According to California medical marijuana laws, patients and their caregivers may possess one ounce of marijuana in usable form and six marijuana plants, with no more than three mature and flowering plants producing usable marijuana at any one time. The state of California does not allow for the purchase or sale of medical cannabis.

One of the challenges involved in any sort of legal marijuana program – especially one in a state as large as California – is making sure all of the cannabis used in the state is safe for consumption. This is particularly important for patients who meet medical marijuana qualifications in California.

For example, as of April 2017, the state had yet to establish regulations governing the levels of pesticides allowed in weed cultivated for recreational and medical purposes. Many dispensaries in California had to pull products off their shelves after an investigation conducted by a Los Angeles television station.

Station personnel purchased more than 40 cannabis products sold at dispensaries throughout Southern California and had them tested for pesticides. Nearly 95 percent of those products tested positive for pesticide levels that were in excess of safety limits established in other states that allowed the use of recreational weed.

Nevada, Colorado and Oregon have strict standards in place that limit the amount of pesticides that can be used during the process of cultivating legal cannabis. As a result of the investigation, the California Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation announced it would establish regulations addressing the level of pesticides in both recreational and medicinal marijuana by January 1, 2018.

In a separate study, the Americans for Safe Access (ASA) organization gave California a “B+” grade regarding access to cannabis in the state. This was the highest grade issued by the organization, which cited an abundant supply of cannabis, as well as reasonable taxes and very few limitations on California medical marijuana qualifications. ASA was also encouraged parental rights can no longer be denied because a parent is a patient who uses medical cannabis.

If you would like to learn more about obtaining a medical cannabis card in California or you would like to find updated information regarding this important issue, check with often.

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Finally, a helpful & informative website! answered all of my medical marijuana questions and helped me schedule an appointment with an accredited doctor in my area.~Susan - Denver, CO