California legalized the recreational use of marijuana back in 2018. Even though it is currently legal, there are still many benefits to getting a California Medical Cannabis Card. You will have to make sure you qualify and apply to the state to receive this card.
Qualifying for a California Medical Cannabis Card
This medical cannabis card is used for identification and proof that you are a legal, medical marijuana patient. To qualify, you first need to have a physician who will prescribe medical marijuana. You will then need to be diagnosed as a patient who qualifies.
To qualify as a legal, medical marijuana patient, you must be diagnosed with one of these conditions:
- Chronic pain
- Muscle spasms
- Wasting syndrome
Applying for a California Medical Cannabis Card
After you qualify, you must register with the state’s Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program. To do this, you must prove your residency and identity to the state of California by submitting a photo ID and a document including your name and address.
Now, you’re ready to apply for the card. Simply submit all documents and application fee to your county. You then will receive your card from The California Department of Public Health.
From there, your name goes into a database with all of the other medical marijuana patients in California. Once your card is received, you can purchase marijuana legally from any dispensary in California. The California Medical Cannabis Card will need to be renewed every year.
Benefits of the California Medical Cannabis Card
Even though recreational use of marijuana went into effect in 2018, medical patients with cannabis medical cards have advantages over those without medical use cards. Here are some of those advantages:
1. Lower taxes
Patients with a Medical Cannabis Card are exempt from the sales and use tax. You also may pay a discounted cannabis city tax. Lower taxes means more money in the pockets of medical marijuana patients with cards.
2. Lower age restrictions
Adults under 21 can purchase, possess, consume, or cultivate cannabis legally with a California Medical Cannabis Card. Individuals with a medical card can possess and consume marijuana at an earlier age.
3. Access to even more dispensaries
With the California Medical Cannabis Card, not only do you have access to all of the recreational dispensaries, but you also have access to the medical-only dispensaries. Some of the medical-only dispensaries carry exclusive products. Therefore, those with a medical marijuana card have more access to dispensaries and products.
4. Higher limits
Medical marijuana patients often need more cannabis to treat their symptoms effectively than is allowed for recreational use. While a recreational user can only purchase up to 1 oz of cannabis a day, a medical marijuana patient can purchase up to 8 ozs. of cannabis a day. Those with a medical marijuana card can purchase larger quantities than those without.
5. Lower prices
Many dispensaries offer discounts if you are a medical marijuana patient with a card. You will find this especially true in medical-only dispensaries, where some offer lower prices than recreational ones. Medical dispensaries also have lower taxes. Again, this is a substantial way for those with the medical card to save money.
6. Higher potency
There are strict laws regarding potency limits. For medical marijuana, the potency limits are increased. Medical marijuana patients need a higher potency to treat their symptoms. Therefore, those with a medical marijuana card can purchase marijuana in higher strengths than those without the card.
7. Legal protection
Medical marijuana users have more protection legally for those who possess and cultivate marijuana than those without a medical card. Cardholders are backed by their physicians, who patients have to go through to qualify for the medical marijuana card.
8. Traveling is easier
Some states offer reciprocity to your home state. This allows you to use your medical card to purchase medical marijuana in other states outside of your home state.
Sometimes when states legalize the recreational use of marijuana, people don’t see the need to obtain a California Medical Cannabis Card. However, there are significant benefits to having this card. These cards will save you money, provide the opportunity to buy larger quantities & potency, and provide more legal protection. Here is some additional information from Veriheal regarding California’s dispensaries and medical cannabis cards.