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How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in California

Body and Mind
Body and Mind August 25, 2022

Medical marijuana is used to treat many patients for conditions like chronic pain, nausea, muscle spasms, poor appetite, and more. Cannabis users treating a medical condition can get a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) to access additional benefits such as credibility, legal protection, and fewer taxes.

It is important to note that not having a medical marijuana card in California will not hinder your access to cannabis in the state because weed is also allowed for recreational use.

However, an MMIC allows patients to legally purchase and possess larger quantities of products like flowers and concentrates. It also lets patients cultivate more cannabis plants at home than is allowed otherwise. You can apply for your MMIC in the county of your residence.

Who is eligible for a medical marijuana card in California?

California’s medical marijuana law states that you’re eligible for an MMIC if you suffer from any of the following conditions:

  • Cancer
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Side effects of radiation therapy
  • Glaucoma
  • Arthritis
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Migraine headaches
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Severe nausea
  • Anorexia
  • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
  • Any persistent or chronic medical symptom that causes serious harm to your mental or physical health

You must be 18 and above to apply for a medical marijuana card. If you are between the age of 18-21, you need a physician’s recommendation to use medical marijuana.

What are the benefits of a medical marijuana card?

An MMIC helps the state to keep a database of patients that use medical marijuana, along with information about their caregivers. This information allows law enforcement members to verify and check whether a patient or primary caregiver qualifies to possess the card.

While you are not required to get an MMIC, if you do, you’ll get the following benefits:

  • You get the authority to use medical marijuana anywhere in California. This means you are eligible to purchase medical marijuana from any dispensary in any county of California.
  • The card also allows patients to possess, transport, and grow marijuana for medical use.
  • With a medical marijuana card, you can find more potent options. The card may also allow you to buy products with a higher level of intensity according to your requirement. This will help as some patients may need a higher dose to treat their symptoms.
  • You can choose from a wide selection. You’ll have more options and easier access to medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • Those who have an MMIC are exempted from the state tax on marijuana.

What are the steps to apply for a medical marijuana card in California?

To apply for a medical marijuana card in California, you need to complete these steps:

Keep your documents ready

While applying for your medical card, you’ll need the following documents:

  • Copy of medical recommendation from your doctor
  • Identity proof (Government issued ID like a driver’s license)
  • Proof of residency (rent agreement, California vehicle registration, utility bills)
  • Passport size photo (For application through mail)

Fill out the required forms

You can obtain the application forms online. You’ll have to fill out the following forms:

Contact the health department

You have to contact your county’s health department and make an appointment to submit your application.

To apply for your MMIC through the mail, you must submit all the above-mentioned documents, application form, and application fee to your county’s health department unless stated otherwise.

Wait for approval or denial

It takes up to 40 days for an application to be approved. You may receive a denial letter because of the following circumstances:

  • Failed to provide required documents and information
  • County Program deemed application information to be false
  • Did not meet the qualification for MMIC

If your application is denied, you can appeal to the health department free of cost. You can also do this via mail. Attach a copy of your denial letter with the appeal form and mail it to your respective county’s health department.

A California Medical Marijuana Card can be used for 12 months (until its expiration date), after which you’ll need to renew your MMIC.

If your card is stolen on lost, you must inform the Medical Marijuana Program, after which you’ll need to apply for your MMIC again.

How to apply as a primary caregiver

Primary caregivers cannot apply for an MMIC by themselves. They require their patient to include their caregiver while filling out their application form. Caregivers must provide ID proof and apply in person at their patient’s county program.

When can you be a primary caregiver?

You can be a primary caregiver if you are responsible for a qualifying patient’s housing, health, or safety. You’re eligible to be a primary caregiver if you are 18 and above and are the parent or work at a facility that provides this service.

What does being a primary caregiver entail?

If you’re a medical marijuana user’s caregiver, you’re allowed to possess their dose of cannabis on their behalf. Other than this, you can administer their dose to them, transport a specified amount for their care, and even grow and rear the plant for their use.

What is the application process for minors to receive an MMIC?

A minor (below 18) can apply for a medical marijuana card alone if they are legally emancipated. If not, they must apply through a legal guardian or parent for verification purposes. The minor will have to apply as a primary caregiver in case of emancipation. You can contact your county health department to learn more about this process.

H2:What will my MMIC look like?

The MMIC will have the following information about the holder:

  • Photo identification of the holder
  • Identification number unique to the cardholder
  • Date of expiration
  • Patient/primary caregiver status
  • Name and number of the county program where the card was issued
  • Internet address used to verify the MMIC’s validity

Frequently Asked Questions About the MMIC

Here are a few frequently asked questions about Medical Marijuana Identification Card in California:

Is my MMIC valid across all of California?

Yes, your MMIC is valid in all counties in California but may not be recognized in other states. For more information, you’ll have to contact the state in question.

MMICs from other states are not valid in California.

Can my doctor prescribe marijuana to me?

While a doctor can’t prescribe marijuana, they can recommend or approve the use of marijuana if they feel that it’ll help your condition. This also applies only to the list of eligible ailments mentioned above.

I’m a primary caregiver to more than one patient. Where must I reside?

If you are the primary caregiver to more than one patient, you must reside in your patient’s county.

Do I have to go through the application process again while renewing or reapplying for my MMIC?

Yes, you’ll have to complete the same forms and go through the process again.

Can I grow my own cannabis with an MMIC?

If you possess an MMIC you are eligible to grow 6 mature and 12 immature cannabis plants on your premises. It is recommended to grow the plant indoors as it is illegal to grow it within public view.

Growing a marijuana plant does not give you the right to sell it. Selling marijuana is only allowed if you have a license.

How much is the fee to apply for an MMIC?

Counties can set their fee and charge no more than $100. If you’re eligible for Medi-Cal, your fee can be waived by 50%.

Can I transport medical marijuana?

You can carry medical marijuana while traveling within the state. The marijuana container must be sealed as traveling with an open container of cannabis is illegal. It should also be stored in your trunk.

Am I allowed to use cannabis anywhere if I have an MMIC?

Having an MMIC does not allow you to consume cannabis and cannabis products everywhere. Consumption of cannabis is allowed on private property but not on public property like restaurants and bars.Many private properties also have rules against the use of cannabis. Keep this in mind if you are living in a rented space. Similarly, hotels have policies that can be clarified on arrival if you want to consume marijuana.

You are not allowed to smoke marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school where children are present. This also applies to daycares and youth centers.

Any land that is governed under federal law does not allow the possession or consumption of cannabis. Possession of cannabis on federal lands like national parks is not allowed. Having an MMIC allows you to transport cannabis according to your needs within the state but not across state borders.

I have my doctor’s recommendation – do I have to get an MMIC to access medical marijuana?

Having your doctor’s recommendation is a good practice, but a recommendation alone is not the same as an MMIC.

If you don’t have an MMIC, you won’t be able to purchase products with a higher level of THC/CBD, grow more plants at home, or transport the amount allowed for medical marijuana users.

We recommend applying for an MMIC to get all the benefits of the card.

What cannabis products can I purchase with my MMIC?

With or without an MMIC, you’re allowed to purchase any type of cannabis product as long as you are 21 or older. With an MMIC, you can purchase a higher dose and quantity as per your requirement.

When you do choose a cannabis product, make sure you check the dosage and pick the one that suits you best. Products that are high in THC will give you the ‘high’ effect. If you’re not looking for that, make sure you pick out the ones that are infused with CBD instead.

If you don’t like smoking, there are other ways to administer cannabis for its effects. You can try edibles like chocolate bars, cookies, gummies, or honey. These are infused with cannabis properties like THC and CBD. They are particularly great for helping those who suffer from eating disorders and can even help to bring back the appetite of cancer patients.

You can also consume cannabis through a cannabis-infused drink if you’re not fond of the edibles. These can go up to 100mg of THC in dosage and have become a popular pick-up at dispensaries.

Cannabis-infused topicals such as balms, creams, and salves are also popular. They can be used by rubbing them into the problem area. These products are easy to use and can be regulated in dosage.

Where can I find a licensed marijuana dispensary?

Ever since medical marijuana has begun to become part of the Californian culture, it has become easy to find a dispensary. However, this does not mean that all dispensaries can be trusted. It’s best to shop from a licensed dispensary, especially when it’s medical cannabis products. You can conduct a license search for any dispensary to make sure you’re getting a legal and good-quality product.

We hope this guide answered all your questions about a Medical Marijuana Card and how you can apply for your own. You’re eligible to use your MMIC at any Body and Mind dispensary located in California. We have three in the state: Long Beach, San Diego, and Seaside.

At Body and Mind, we aim to supply organic, high-quality cannabis products. We have everything from flowers and concentrates to merchandise and cannabis snacks. You can learn more about the potency and make of each of our strains by speaking to our experts at our dispensaries.

You can also shop online or visit our dispensaries across California:

Long Beach – 34411 E Anaheim St Long Beach, CA 90804 (9 am – 10 pm)

San Diego – 7625 Carroll Rd San Diego, CA 92121 (8 am – 9 pm)

Seaside – 1900 Fermont Blvd Seaside, CA 93955 (9 am – 9:45 pm)

Body and Mind
Body and Mind August 25, 2022

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