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Posted 06/20/2021 in Health by HappyMD

What Medical Conditions Qualify For Medical Cannabis in California

What Medical Conditions  Qualify For Medical Cannabis in California

Medical marijuana is accessible in California to anybody with a valid medical marijuana card. To get a card, your doctor must diagnose you with a qualifying medical condition and recommend that you use medicinal marijuana for therapy.

According to the legislation, the following ailments qualify for the California medicinal marijuana program:


  • AIDS
  • Anorexia
  • Arthritis
  • Catechism (Wasting Syndrome)
  • Cancer
  • Persistent Pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraine
  • Muscle spasms that persist (including spasms associated with multiple sclerosis)
  • Convulsions (including epileptic seizures)
  • Excessive nausea

Any other chronic or persistent medical condition that impairs an individual's capacity to do significant life tasks.

qualifications for medical marijuana in california

Medical Marijuana Program in California: Information


  • Patients must be 18 years of age or older. If a patient is under the age of 18, his or her parents or legal guardian must consent unless the child has been emancipated or declared self-sufficient.
  • Patients must provide identification, such as a California driver's license or another kind of government-issued identification.
  • Patients must be California residents and show evidence of residence in the form of a rental or mortgage agreement, utility bill, or California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) motor vehicle registration.
  • Patients must be diagnosed with a medical condition that qualifies (listed above).
  • Patients must submit written evidence to a physician indicating that medicinal marijuana is a suitable treatment option for a certain medical condition.
  • Patients must apply in person at their county office for a medicinal marijuana identification card. Submit the formal program application along with a letter of reference from your physician. You may also use a Spanish-language version.
  • Patients must submit an application in person and include the following:
  • Pay the application fee, which is limited to $100 for non-Medicaid applicants and $50 for Medi-Cal recipients. For poor patients who enroll in the county's medical services program, the application cost will be waived.
  • Pose for a photograph.
  • The county has 30 days to validate the application of a patient or main caregiver. After the county verifies an application, county workers have five days to provide the patient's medical marijuana card. After you apply, it may take up to 35 days to get your card. 

California Medical Marijuana Access

To enroll in California's medicinal marijuana program, just complete the procedures outlined above. Your medicinal marijuana card will be valid for up to one year if authorized. You may renew your card online.

Bear in mind that you do not need a doctor's prescription for marijuana. Simply give a referral for medicinal marijuana and document your diagnosis in your medical records, and your California doctor is done.

Primary caregivers may also enroll in the medicinal marijuana program in California. Primary caregivers are those who are accountable for the safety, health, and housing of a qualifying patient. They may be the owner of a home health service, a certified clinic, or a hospice institution. Generally, the main caregiver must be at least 18 years old, but there are few exceptions.

Additionally, anybody over the age of 18 who visits a registered retail shop may get marijuana. In California, you do not need a medical marijuana card to buy marijuana.

If you have a California medical marijuana card, you are permitted to possess and cultivate as much cannabis as necessary to treat your medical condition.

In California, Obtain the Medical Marijuana You Require

Visit HappyMD.org for an in-depth look at California's certified marijuana physicians. We can assist you in obtaining the marijuana relief you need.

California was the first state in the country to legalize medical marijuana. Patients who fulfill specific criteria may lawfully acquire and consume marijuana with a doctor's recommendation under California law. In California, recreational usage has just been authorized, unfortunately, all marijuana usage is still illegal under federal law. If you're considering medical marijuana, here's what you should know.

california medical marijuana card qualificationsMedical marijuana legislation in California, local jurisdictions, and the federal government


Medical marijuana/cannabis usage has been allowed in California since 1996 by Proposition 215, the "Compassionate Use Act" (Cal. Health & Safety (H & S) 11362.5). Following the passage of Proposition 64, the legislature enacted the "Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act" ("MAUCRSA"), establishing a unified regulatory framework for medical and recreational marijuana. (For further information, see NORML's overview at www.canorml.org/Cal NORML Guide to AUMA.)

These regulations authorize and regulate the cultivation, distribution, manufacture, testing, dispensaries, and transportation of marijuana for profit, with licenses needed from both municipal and state authorities. Beginning on January 1, 2018, temporary state licenses were accessible.

Individual patients are mostly unaffected by these restrictions, as long as they cultivate exclusively for personal medicinal purposes and limit their growing space to 100 square feet for growing up to 99 plants for your personal use. Primary caregivers are exempt from the new restrictions if they cultivate up to 500 square feet for the personal medicinal use of up to five patients.

Municipal and County Ordinances

Numerous cities and counties ban or regulate marijuana dispensaries and production. Every county and city may have its own set of ordinances. The majority are accessible through the internet.

Our page on recreational marijuana laws includes a map of local area ordinances and links to tools for tracking changes. You may always verify the most current state of the legislation by directly accessing the city or county code.

Federal Statutes

Federal law prohibits the use, possession, and distribution of marijuana. U.S. Code 801 et seq. There are no exceptions or special considerations for medical purposes, and California law can not supersede federal law.

In February 2021, Attorney General candidate Merrick Garland (since confirmed) said that he would reinstate a version of the Obama administration's "Cole Memorandum," stating that his Justice Department would refrain from prosecuting Americans in states that had legalized and regulated marijuana. ("Attorney General candidate Garland shows a more accommodative attitude toward marijuana," MJBizDaily.com, February 22, 2021). Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer has made federal decriminalization a priority. ("Schumer: Senate will move on marijuana legalization with or without Biden," Politico.com, April 3, 2021.)

The most frequently asked questions regarding medicinal marijuana qualifications in California

Do I still need a medical card now that recreational marijuana is legal?

Patients with a physician's recommendation are permitted to cultivate and possess greater amounts of marijuana than recreational users. Additionally, if you are under the age of 21, you must get a physician's prescription in order to buy marijuana. (Note that some dispensaries have ceased sales to patients under the age of 21, even with a referral, in order to comply with recreational dispensary regulations.) Finally, a county-issued medicinal marijuana identification card exempts you from paying sales tax on marijuana.

How can people get recommendations for medicinal marijuana?

Medical professionals do not "prescribe" marijuana. The prescription of Schedule I substances, including marijuana, is expressly prohibited by federal law. Rather than that, physicians may "recommend" marijuana in suitable circumstances. Prop. 215 refers to those who suffer from "cancer, AIDS, spasticity, anorexia, migraine, glaucoma, or any other disease for which marijuana offers relief." Physicians have prescribed marijuana for a variety of different ailments, including insomnia, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), among others.

The majority of recommendations for medical marijuana are issued by physicians who specialize in assessing patients for recommendations, rather than by the patients' primary physician. Before making a suggestion, the recommended physician should examine the patient's existing medical records, including any additional medicines the patient is already taking.

How can patients get marijuana, and what much are they permitted to possess?

Patients are permitted to have up to six mature or twelve immature plants and eight ounces of dried cannabis under Senate Bill 420 (2003). Patients may cultivate marijuana on their own or buy it from approved shops. Without a license, it is illegal to sell it.

 Cities and counties may opt to increase the quantity restrictions (although more than 100 square feet would subject the individual to the new licensing requirements.) They may also impose zoning limitations that ban dispensaries or outdoor growing, so be sure to verify your local laws.

What is a Medical Marijuana Identification Card, and how are patients able to get one?

A Medicinal Marijuana Identification Card is optional—patients do not need one to consume medical marijuana lawfully; all that is required is a physician's referral. However, it may be very beneficial. It absolves the patient of any tax liability associated with marijuana sales. Additionally, the ID card prohibits law enforcement from detaining a patient who is in possession of acceptable marijuana quantities (which may exceed the legal recreational limits).

County Departments of Public Health issue the cards. The card is not free; the current yearly cost in Sacramento County is $100 ($50 with evidence of Medi-Cal eligibility) ("Medical Marijuana Identification Card – Frequently Asked Questions," Sacramento County Department of Health Services).

Return of marijuana confiscated during a traffic stop or arrest by a police officer

Law enforcement officials sometimes confiscate (seize) marijuana during investigations, regardless of whether the patient is arrested. The patient is entitled to have the property returned, but in certain instances, this is not as simple as just asking for it.

If the police agency refuses to return the marijuana, the patient may submit a motion for property return. This information and example forms are accessible at the Law Library or on the Americans for Safe Access website (ASA). Additionally, this website contains information on patients' legal rights while dealing with law enforcement, as well as practical advice about producing and utilizing medical marijuana.

How can a main caregiver get an MMIC in California?

A main caregiver card must be applied for by the patient. It is priced similarly to a patient's MMIC. Both the patient and the caregiver must be present at the county office to acquire the main caregiver's MMIC in order to photograph the caregiver.

A main caregiver card is not required in conjunction with a patient's MMIC. It is not essential to apply for both simultaneously.

What information is shown on a medicinal marijuana card issued in California?

 Your MMIC will include the following: 

  • Your one-of-a-kind user ID is:
  • The expiration date of your card
  • The program's name and telephone number in the county where your application was accepted.
  • The internet address is used to verify the authenticity of the MMIC.
  • A photograph of yourself
  • Whether you are a main caregiver or a patient,
  • Your medicinal marijuana identification card will include a picture of you to help prevent its fraudulent usage. It will not, however, include your address, phone number, or any other personally identifiable information.

Is it possible for someone to locate me through the California registry?

Personal information is not stored in the California medicinal marijuana registry. It includes only your one-of-a-kind user identification number.

When someone inputs your identification number, the only information returned is if the number is genuine. No personally identifiable information will be given, such as your name, address, or social security number. The register makes it impossible for the police, employers, and others to hunt down patients.

How long does it take to get an MMIC in California?

The county has 30 days from the date of receipt of your application and the required documents to validate your application. You will be notified within that time period if any information or papers are missing.

Once your application has been validated, the county has an additional five days to issue you with a medical marijuana card.

How long is a medicinal marijuana card valid in California?

MMICs have a one-year validity period. They may be renewed only by resubmitting the application. You will need to acquire new medical paperwork unless the one you already possess is still valid. However, you will be required to submit it when applying for renewal.

A main caregiver card expires when the patient's card does, even if the patient's card is issued less than a year after the primary caregiver card is issued.

Is the MMIC acceptable in other counties in California?

The medicinal marijuana registry in California is a statewide operation. Your MMIC is valid statewide.

Is the MMIC valid in states other than California?

Other states are free to accept or deny the California MMIC. Contact the state you want to visit to see whether they will accept it.

Is California a state that recognizes medicinal marijuana cards issued by other states?

California does not accept medicinal marijuana cards issued by other states.

In California, can a juvenile get a medicinal marijuana card?

Minors may get MMICs in California as patients or main caregivers. Unless the minor demonstrates emancipation, the county is obliged to notify the minor's parent or legal guardian, or the person legally empowered to make medical decisions for the minor. This is to ensure the accuracy of the information provided on the application/renewal form.

Minors must provide either a valid government-issued picture ID or a verified copy of their birth certificate.

Is federal law protection provided by the California MMIC?

Marijuana remains illegal in the United States under federal law. The United States government does not accept MMICs issued by states. However, on a practical level, the federal government's policy is not to pursue individual patients who comply with state medical marijuana legislation. 7

 For more information about getting a medicinal marijuana card, see the Medical Marijuana Program of the California Department of Health.


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