Featured content by: Dr. Frank D’Ambrosio
What’s something that pretty much all “stoners” would like? Other than access to their meds, it’s probably “the ability to go about my day and not get hassled by the law”. Other than in California, Colorado, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon and Washington, this isn’t possible without a medical marijuana card. Even in states with legal recreational marijuana, having a MMJ card is perhaps still the best way of accessing high-quality cannabis products, especially as not every town or city welcomes recreational marijuana businesses.
Should you wish to read a more comprehensive state-by-state guide to getting a medical marijuana card, check out our page here. If you’d like to get some more general information and learn how to apply, then read on …
Why Should I Get a Medical Marijuana Card in 2018?
Surely, now that cannabis is now legal in California, there’s no real reason to have a MMJ card? Well, it’s not as simple as that, and having a valid recommendation and MMJ card has certain benefits, including:
- Higher possession amounts – a medical marijuana patient can technically have on their persons “as much as the physician recommends”.
- Money off of sales taxes.
- Not all towns and jurisdictions are friendly to recreational cannabis – medical marijuana dispensaries are more commonplace across the US.
- Potentially some protection by other states’ medical marijuana programs.
- Arguably access to better quality and tested cannabis and cannabinoid-based products.
- We’ll have to wait and see whether the federal government will go for legal action against recreational cannabis businesses and users. Having a MMJ card may well keep the focus off of you.
So How Do I Get a Medical Marijuana Card?
If you’re in California, you can get a MMJ recommendation and card online by following these three steps:
- CLICK HERE and Register Online.
You will be asked to enter your name, email and password. You’ll also be asked a couple of questions about how you’re hoping cannabis can help you and your medical history after you’ve signed in. The process only takes a couple of minutes.
Please have photographic ID (e.g. driver’s license, passport) and proof of address (e.g. utility bill, rental/mortgage agreement) ready before you set up an appointment, as you will not be able to apply for a MMJ card without these. You must be aged 18 or over in order to apply for a medical marijuana card. If you’re applying for a medical marijuana card on someone else’s behalf as a caregiver, you must be aged either 18 or 21 or over (in California, the age is 18
- Be Seen By a Physician.
Once registered, you’ll enter the virtual waiting room and be seen by a physician. You’ll need a working camera and microphone on your computer in order to do this part of the application process. The consultation usually only takes a few minutes. Having medical records to hand to show the physician seeing you can be helpful, but aren’t compulsory in California.
- Qualify and Receive Your Medical Marijuana Recommendation in Minutes via Email.
Should you qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation and card, your physician-signed recommendation letter will be sent to your email address.
A recommendation letter costs $49, $59 for recommendation and medical marijuana card (which we recommend). Nevada, New York, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts and Puerto Rico also allow for online medical marijuana evaluations without having a physical, in-person meeting as well.
What Medical Problems and Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana?
There is no one definite answer, but some generalities can be seen. Cancer/chemotherapy, AIDS/HIV, chronic pain lasting 6 months or more, and glaucoma are qualifying conditions in most states with a medical marijuana programme (MMP). Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), epilepsy and multiple sclerosis (MS) are also included on the qualifying conditions list in many states. Depression and anxiety are also common qualifying conditions.
Are My Personal Details Kept Private?
When you have a recommendation letter, you can legally access medical marijuana from a dispensary and are under the protection of the state’s medical marijuana laws. This letter contains a unique patient number, which is logged onto a private doctor’s registry that confirms your medical marijuana recommendation letter is legal. A hard copy of the letter and MMJ card (if requested) ought to reach the address you provided within 2-3 days.
Enrolment onto the medical marijuana identification card program (MMICP) is voluntary in California, and you need to sign a separate form indicating your wish to be registered on the program. It is advisable to laminate your recommendation letter to protect it, and it is advisable to be on the MMICP to (hopefully) give you a little more legal protection. Be sure to renew your recommendation yearly as well to keep protected by the state’s medical marijuana laws.
If you’d like to know more about medical marijuana, visit the Doctor Frank website and check out our blog for more information on cutting-edge cannabis research.