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Medical Marijuana in California

Medical marijuana has been legal in California since 1996 when voters approved Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act, making it the first state in history to allow patients and their caregivers to legally use, possess, and grow marijuana for medical purposes. In February, 2003, the Medical Marijuana Program Act established a voluntary ID card program through each county’s health department. This act also set in place a legal framework for collectives to distribute medical marijuana as well as protections for transporting cannabis.

Frequently asked questions about medical cannabis in California:

  • How do I obtain a medical marijuana card in the state of California?

    To obtain a medical marijuana card in California, you must be a resident of the state and have a recommendation from your physician stating your conditions and why you would benefit from using medical marijuana. Once submitted and approved, you will receive your MMIC within 35 days and can then use it at any of the dispensaries in California. Registering for a medical marijuana card is voluntary.

  • Where can I find a medical marijuana doctor for a recommendation in California?

    To find a medical marijuana doctor or clinic in your area, enter your location in the search field above.

  • What is needed to submit an application for a medical marijuana card?

    • You must apply for a medical marijuana card in person at your county’s program.
    • A copy of your doctor's recommendation
    • Proof of identity (valid driver’s license or identification card, or other valid government-issued photo ID card)
    • Proof of residency (rent or mortgage agreement, utility bill, or California DMV motor vehicle registration)
    • Pay the fee required by your county’s program (Medi-Cal beneficiaries will receive 50% reduction in the application fee)
    • Have your photo taken at the county’s program office (photo will appear on your MMIC)
  • Where can I purchase medical marijuana in California?

    There are thousands of dispensaries in the state of California. Patients 21 years of age or older with a valid Medical Marijuana Identification Card and proper photo ID can purchase marijuana at local dispensaries of their choosing. Please enter your location in the search field above to find trusted, legal medical marijuana businesses in your area.

  • How much marijuana can I have in my possession in the state of California?

    According to Senate Bill 420, qualified patients and their primary caregivers may possess no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana along with six mature (or 12 immature) marijuana plants. In some instances, patients may be allowed to have more than the amount listed if prescribed by their primary physician.

Recreational Marijuana in California

Currently, consumption of recreational marijuana is illegal for everyone in the state of California however, many people believe this won’t last much longer. The Marijuana Policy Project is looking to California as one of the most likely states to legalize recreational marijuana use in 2016. If the bill passes, the state would manage recreational use of marijuana similarly to the way they regulate the use of alcohol. If/when this does happen, the state will have the authority to tax, license, and regulate all recreational marijuana in the state of California.

Frequently asked questions about recreational cannabis in California:

  • How old do I have to be to legally purchase recreational marijuana in California?

    Currently, consumption of recreational marijuana is not legal for anyone in the state of California.

  • Where can I purchase recreational marijuana in the state of California?

    Since consumption of recreational marijuana is not legal in the state of California yet, there are currently no retail marijuana facilities in the state.

  • Where am I legally allowed to consume recreational marijuana?

    Recreational marijuana is still illegal in the state of California. Marijuana consumption by medical patients is limited to private and personal use only. It is illegal for anyone to partake in smoking in public places including concerts, beaches, parks, federal land, etc.