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State Laws

Medical Marijuana Laws: California

Although recreational marijuana has only recently been approved in California, medical use of marijuana has been legal for quite some time. Ballot Proposition 215 was approved on November 5, 1996 by 56% of voters. Prop. 215 was amended on January 1, 2004 by Senate Bill 420, outlining how much patients can grow, possess and cultivate. S.B. 420 states:

“Qualified patients, persons with valid identification cards, and the designated primary caregivers of qualified patients … who associate within the state of California in order collectively or cooperatively to cultivate marijuana for medical purposes, shall not solely on the basis of that fact be subject to state criminal sanctions.”

California has quite a complex system regarding rules and regulations. At the moment, California’s Medical Marijuana Programme (MMP) cannot provide information on acquiring marijuana. The MMP also has no jurisdiction over medical marijuana cooperatives, dispensaries or collectives. Essentially, different jurisdictions in California have different rules.

Patients must have a valid recommendation letter from a physician in order to buy from a medical marijuana dispensary. Registering onto the MMP and getting a MMJ card is voluntary, but highly recommended, as it makes life easier for patients!

Patients must be at least 18 years of age in order to apply for a medical marijuana card. Those younger than 18 may be able to get a hold of medical marijuana via their parents regiatering as caregivers.

Medical marijuana patients can possess up to 8 ounces of marijuana on their person. They can grow up to 99 plants with the appropriate grower’s license. Patients may be able to cite a defense of medical necessity in court if they have an appropriate license and growing more than 6 mature or 12 immature plants.

Average prices for patient registration cost around $66 for those who are non-Medi-Cal and $33 for those with Medi-Cal.

Approved conditions include: AIDS/HIV, cancer, anorexia, arthritis, cachexia/wasting syndrome, chronic pain, glaucoma, migraine, PTSD, conditions that cause seizures and/or spasms (e.g. epilepsy, MS), severe nausea, or any persistent or chronic condition.

California was the first state in the US to legalize marijuana for medical use and set up a Medical Marijuana Program (MMP), with Prop. 215 and SB 420 (the Compassionate Use Act) being voted through in 1996. If you’re looking to get yourself a recommendation and California Medical Marijuana Card (MMC), get in contact with Dr. Frank as soon as possible. You may book an appointment over the phone, online or in-person. We can do check-ups online, too. You do not need to have a prior relationship with a doctor in order to get a recommendation – this can be done away from your primary doctor.

However, it is only recently that marijuana became legal for recreational use, making California the fifth state in the US vote through the measure with Prop. 64. Those who qualify for a medical marijuana card are exempt from the sales tax and, due to some oversights on the regulations surrounding Prop. 64, may well be exempt from any tax on medical marijuana until January 1st 2018. Here’s how to get a hold of a Medical Marijuana Card in California:

Seeing Your Primary Care Physician – Helpful But Not Necessary

Your personal or family doctor will likely have your complete medical history, confirming and detailing any conditions you may suffer from. You can also request your medical records, which your doctor can give to you either immediately or request a full medical history detailing your condition and send it to you via postal mail, email, fax or to be picked up directly. These documents can be immensely useful for future appointments.

However, you do not need to have a prior relationship with a doctor in order to get a MMC. Patients can see doctors via telehealth without a prior relationship.

  Book a Marijuana Evaluation Appointment
Should you suffer from any of the following …

  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Arthritis
  • Cancer
  • Chemotherapy or radiotherapy side effects
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraine headaches
  • Multiple sclerosis (MS)
  • Any chronic or persistent medical symptom that has a significant impact upon a person’s life or mental health (e.g. chronic pain)

… you can apply for a Medical Marijuana Card through the MMP. Your condition will be confirmed by a mixture of medical records and your medical marijuana evaluation appointment.

  Get Your Physician’s Statement
This is an official document stating that your doctor “recommends” or “approves” use of marijuana for your medical condition. Your physician must be licensed in the state of California in order to make this diagnosis. Physicians, surgeons and osteopaths are the only professionals who can provide a Physician’s Statement. This is the most important document for your application to be successful.

 Get Your Application Form and Submit It
Application forms for the MMP can be found in the doctor’s office, but can also be downloaded from the internet. Once you’ve filled out your details on the application form, you must attach the following in order for your application to be successful:

A government-issued ID card (e.g. driver’s license, a State of California ID card)
Proof of residence in a Californian county (e.g. rent/mortgage agreement, motor vehicle registration letter, utility bill)
Your physician’s statement recommending you for marijuana use
Your application fee ($50 – $100, depending upon county, although Medi-Cal patients may get prices cheaper than $50)
Once completed, you can send your application form and documents to:

California Department of Public Health (CDPH)
County Health Services Branch
Medical Marijuana Program
Attention: Appeals
MS 5203
P.O. Box 997413
Sacramento, CA 95899-7413

  Start Enjoying Your Local Dispensaries
Once you have your medical marijuana card – which can take between 15 and 30 days to process and issue  – you can start enjoying your city’s and neighborhood’s medical marijuana and extracts.

And that’s that! As you can see, getting a hold of a Medical Marijuana Card in California needn’t be as as complex as one might think. So call us today and get your medical marijuana card sooner than you think. So book an appointment with Dr. Frank today, and see what we can do to help you. We can take examinations online, too.

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