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Obtaining a California Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC)

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical cannabis. Since then, new laws have expanded the program. Recent improvements include new manufacturer regulations in 2017 and a 2020 declaration that made medical cannabis suppliers essential services.

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Qualifying Conditions in California

California has a long list of qualifying conditions with additional flexibility around approval; if a physician believes you’ll benefit from medical cannabis, they can recommend it.

  • Anorexia
  • Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraine headaches
  • Persistent muscle spasms, including those associated with Multiple Sclerosis
  • Seizures, including those associated with epilepsy
  • Severe nausea
  • Spasticity

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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in California?

Patients in California can receive a physician’s recommendation for medical marijuana for the following conditions:

  • Anorexia
  • Arthritis
  • Cachexia (wasting syndrome)
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraine headaches
  • Persistent muscle spasms, including those associated with Multiple Sclerosis
  • Seizures, including those associated with epilepsy
  • Severe nausea
  • Spasticity
Additionally, the Compassionate Use Act (Proposition 215) allows for the use of medical marijuana for any other chronic or persistent medical symptom that:
  • Substantially limits the person’s ability to conduct one or more major life activities as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  • May cause serious harm to the patient’s safety or physical or mental health if not alleviated
What is the history of medical marijuana in California?

In 1996, California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana with the passage of Proposition 215 (the Compassionate Use Act). Senate Bill 420, passed in 2003, further clarified and expanded the scope of the medical marijuana program and established the Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMICP).

What are the medical marijuana caregiver laws in California?
A primary caregiver is someone who assumes responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of a medical marijuana patient. Caregivers must be at least 18 years old (unless they are the parent of a minor patient) and can provide marijuana to their patients without fear of prosecution under state law.
What are the possession and cultivation limits in California?
At any time, medical marijuana patients and their primary caregivers can possess up to 8 ounces of dried marijuana and cultivate up to 6 mature or 12 immature marijuana plants. However, patients can exceed these limits if a doctor determines they require more for their personal medical needs.
Where can I buy medical marijuana in California?
Once you’ve received a physician’s recommendation, you can purchase medical marijuana from any licensed medical marijuana dispensary or collective in California. Always bring your physician’s recommendation or MMIC when visiting a dispensary.
How long does my California medical marijuana card remain valid?
Medical Marijuana Identification Cards (MMICs) are generally valid for one year from the date of issuance. However, your physician’s recommendation may have a different expiration date. You will need to renew your MMIC and doctor’s recommendation as needed; without up-to-date documentation, you’ll be unable to take advantage of California’s program.
Which forms of medical marijuana are available in California?

Medical marijuana is available in various forms in California, including:

  • Dried flower
  • Edibles
  • Tinctures
  • Topicals
  • Concentrates
  • Capsules
  • Transdermal patches
  • Suppositories
Can minors use medical marijuana in California?

Minors can access medical marijuana if they have a qualifying medical condition, a physician’s recommendation, and the consent of a parent or legal guardian. In such cases, the parent or legal guardian must act as the minor’s primary caregiver.

How much does medical marijuana cost in California?
The cost of medical marijuana depends on factors like the dispensary, the product form, and the amount purchased. Typically, prices can range from $10 to $60+ for an eighth of an ounce of dried flower. For accurate pricing information, contact your local dispensary or visit their website.
Keep in mind that there is also a fee for obtaining an MMIC. This fee varies by county but typically ranges from $50 to $100 for non-Medi-Cal patients and $25 to $50 for Medi-Cal patients.

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