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CA Marijuana Qualification

Updated on April 23, 2020.  Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer

What Health Issues Qualify For Medical Cannabis in California?

California medical marijuana is available to anyone who has a medical marijuana card. To get a card, your doctor will need to diagnose you with a medical condition and approve the use of medical marijuana for treatment.

These are the conditions that qualify for the California medical marijuana program, according to the law:

California Medical Marijuana Program: Information

  1. Patients must be at least 18 years old. If a patient is under 18, the patient’s parent or legal guardian must approve, unless they are emancipated or declared self-sufficient status.
  2. Patients must provide proof of identity, such as a California driver’s license or some other government-issued identification card.
  3. Patients must be a resident of California and provide proof of residency through either a rental or mortgage agreement, utility bill or California DMV motor vehicle registration.
  4. Patients must be diagnosed with a qualifying medical condition (listed above).
  5. Patients must provide written documentation from a physician that medical marijuana is appropriate for treating a documented medical condition.
  6. Patients must apply in person for a medical marijuana identification card at their county office. Submit the official program application along with your doctor’s recommendation. You may also use a version written in Spanish.
  7. In person, patients must submit an application and:
    • Pay the application fee, which cannot exceed $100 or $50 for Medi-Cal beneficiaries. The application fee will be waived for indigent patients who participate in the county’s medical services program.
    • Have their photo taken.
  8. The county has 30 days to verify a patient or primary caregiver’s application. Once the county has verified an application county staffers have five days to provide a patient with his or her medical marijuana card. In total, it can take up to 35 days to receive your card after you apply.

Medical Marijuana Access in California

In order to participate in California’s medical marijuana program, you simply need to follow the steps above. Once approved, your medical marijuana card will be valid for up to one year. You can apply to renew your card.

Keep in mind: you do not need a marijuana prescription from your doctor. Your California doctor simply needs to provide a recommendation for medical marijuana and note your diagnosis in your medical records.

Primary caregivers may also join the California medical marijuana program. Primary caregivers are people who are responsible for taking care of a qualified patient in the form of safety, health or housing. This might be someone who runs a home health agency, a licensed clinic or a hospice facility, for example. Typically, the primary caregiver needs to be at least 18, though certain exceptions apply.

In addition, anyone over the age of 18 can access marijuana by visiting a licensed retail dispensary. You do not need to have a medical marijuana card to purchase marijuana in California.

If you have a California medical marijuana card, you can possess and grow as much cannabis as you need to treat your medical condition, according to California medical marijuana laws.

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