California has been at the forefront of the movement to legalize cannabis for both medicinal and recreational use. As the first state to pass a medical cannabis license in 1996, California has paved the way for other states to follow suit. Today, 33 states have a medicinal cannabis license program for qualifying conditions.
California’s open policy allows all residents 21 and over to purchase cannabis legally, but specific medical prescriptions may only be available to patients with qualifying conditions. Having a medical cannabis license due to a disorder also gives further protection against arrest and privacy.
Patients with a medical cannabis card can possess larger amounts of the plant than those who do not and are exempt from cannabis tax. These extra benefits as a medical cannabis card holder make all the difference for patients who already suffer from a condition that prompts them to use the plant medicinally rather than recreationally.
Caregivers must also apply for a medical cannabis license like the patients they monitor. To be eligible for caregiver status, a person must have proof of California residence with a state license or identification card, live in the same county as the patient, and agree to be photographed.
Based on California Proposition 215, disorders and conditions that make a resident eligible for the program include:
The cost for the card in most counties statewide is $100 a year; however, in Sacramento, patients with proof of Medi-Cal benefits only pay $50 a year.
Branded perfectly, SB 420 and SB 94 revised the original Compassionate Use Act passed in 1996, amending some of the provisions. Based on the bill, both patients and caregivers are legally allowed to grow or possess up to 12 immature or 6 adult cannabis plants at time. Under no circumstance is a patient or caregiver allowed to sell the cannabis they cultivated or possess since a license to do so is necessary.
Every California county has their own local codes and zoning laws regarding the amount of cannabis patients in their district can cultivate or possess, which is important information for patients to seek out before growing or purchasing the plant.
Adults may also be involved in the home cultivation program in California. In their cars, legal customers can carry marijuana, but it must be in a closed container or in the trunk. Marijuana plants must be kept in a closed room which is not publicly noticeable.
To obtain a medical marijuana card in California, one must start by filling out the application form for the Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) Program. Then, to complete your application, you must include copies of the following items:
You must be 18 years old and provide proof of identity. A valid government-issued state ID or driver’s license. You can also use a U.S. Passport or Veteran’s Administration cards.
Next, you’ll need to provide proof of residency in California. This can be a vehicle registration, utility bill, or rental/mortgage receipt. The proof should show your name and current California address.
You need to be diagnosed with a qualifying condition from the list above.
You must provide a written medical marijuana recommendation from your doctor that medical cannabis use is necessary for one or more serious medical conditions.
Non-refundable application fee of $100 (or $50 for Medi-Cal beneficiaries.) Acceptable forms of payment are cash, credit, debit, cashier’s checks, money orders–no personal checks are accepted.
Marijuana is legal for all residents and visitors to California because of the Adult Use of Marijuana Act. However, there are benefits for non-residents to become medical marijuana patients and get their med card within the state.
By being part of the medical marijuana program out-of-state patients can avoid a 15% sales tax that recreational cannabis users must pay when they purchase marijuana. Non-residents in the state of California need to get both a medical marijuana ID card and a doctor’s recommendation to buy medical cannabis.
In conclusion, California has been leading the way in terms of making cannabis available for both medicinal and recreational use. With its long-standing open policy, obtaining a medical cannabis card in the state is relatively simple, and caregivers must also apply for a medical cannabis license like the patients they monitor. Patients with a medical cannabis card can possess larger amounts of the plant than those who do not and are exempt from cannabis tax. It is important for patients to know the local ordinances in which they reside as every California county has their own local codes and zoning laws regarding the amount of cannabis patients in their district can cultivate or possess.