FAQs: Getting a Medical Marijuana Card

Ruth Lemon
Ruth Lemon - VP of Operations

Jun 08 2017 - 5 min read

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions about getting a medical marijuana card (MMJ card) and the laws surrounding them. Check out our Get a Rec page for more detailed answers on FAQs regarding Leafwell and the service we provide. For more information about using cannabis for various conditions, check out our conditions, cannabis science and dosing cannabis pages.

California; calm; canyon; flow; forest; kern river; kernville national park; sequoia valley water
Author: Ken Kistler; from Publlic Domain Pictures.


Is cannabis legal in California?

A non-medical cannabis enthusiast in California may carry 1 ounce/28.5 grams or less of dried flower or 8 g of hashish/concentrate on their person. Medical cannabis patients technically have no possession limit, but the general consensus is 8 ounces or less (any more and law enforcement may ask for more details). Cannabis is legal to possess on non-federal land or buildings in the state of California.

Cannabis is not legal federally, and is considered a Schedule I drug. However, states can legalize cannabis for medical or recreational use without the need for federal permission. Unfortunately, this means people can still be federally prosecuted for cannabis, even in states that have legalized it. State laws can provide some protection, this means protection from prosecution from state laws, not federal ones.

We recommend not carrying your cannabis when travelling to other states, and keeping to within the confines of the law in terms of the amount you can carry or grow. Please don’t give law enforcement a reason to arrest you. Please do not mail it to someone across state lines, and do not think that Obamacare or any other medical program will save you – it will not.

Some states allow for out-of-state patients to apply for their medical marijuana program. US-produced, hemp-based CBD products are also widely available should medical cannabis not be an option, but it is important to find a trustworthy brand.


What do I need to qualify for a medical marijuana card?

A valid state-produced ID (doesn’t have to be Californian) and proof of residency in California (e.g. rent or mortgage agreement, official government letter, utility bill, bank statement). Having your personal health records to hand may also help, but is not a requirement. However, there are discrepancies. Some dispensaries in Northern California will accept out-of-state-ID, whereas dispensaries in the south of California may not.

How do I get a medical marijuana card?

In three easy steps:

  1. Apply online and have a consultation with your physician.
  2. Receive your medical recommendation letter should you qualify.
  3. Get your medical marijuana card and start using the dispensaries!

You can follow the link here. You will be asked to set up a profile, and then you can set up an appointment with Leafwell, either in-person or online.


How much does it cost to get a recommendation letter and CA Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC)?

A physician’s medical cannabis recommendation letter alone is $49. An MMIC and rec combined is $59, and is recommended unless you do not want to be registered on the California medical marijuana program (MMP). The rec and card are valid for 1 year.

A grower’s recommendation for 99 plants is $199, $150 for 50 plants and $99 for 25 plants.

Is there a difference between applying online and going to see a 420 doctor in person?

Some people prefer a face-to-face meet, whereas others may feel more comfortable online. Both are as private as each other, and the doctor can see you over the camera if you need to show them something. However, in some instances, a face-to-face meeting may be best, whereas in other instances online can be best.

What about privacy and security?

We are 100% secure and HIPAA compliant. If you’re worried about the state knowing about your cannabis use, don’t worry – records are kept by health departments, not law enforcement departments. Law enforcement can only search your ID number by looking at your card and running it through a database.

Where can my medical marijuana card be used?

In any medical marijuana dispensary in California. They will check your ID and recommendation letter, then let you in if everything’s valid. Some dispensaries may require you to call ahead, so it is recommended you do so if you live near such a dispensary.

Can I use my medical marijuana card in other states?

Depends on the state! Some states have “reciprocity agreements”, meaning they recognise out-of-state medical marijuana patients. Arizona, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island all have reciprocity policies, but whether or not they will recognize a California medical marijuana card or not is up to the discretion of both the dispensary and the state. Usually, “reciprocity” means that a patient will be recognized as a medical marijuana patient by the state, but they cannot necessarily enter a cannabis dispensary. Nevada is perhaps the most open state for the moment when it comes to reciprocity.

Can I use my out-of-state MMJ card in California?

For the moment, no. If you’re in California long enough to be considered a resident (and have residency somewhere), then get a California-specific MMJ card! Remember – your state-issued ID doesn’t need to be from California! A California MMJ card may be used in Nevada, Maine and Rhode Island, but this depends upon dispensary discretion.

Can Leafwell recommend patients from outside of California?

Yes. Leafwell can recommend patients in the following states, if they are residents (some may have reciprocity or allow out-of-state patients to qualify):


What conditions will qualify me for a medical marijuana card in California?

Suffering from one of the following conditions will likely get you qualification for a MMJ card in California:

This list is by no means exhaustive, and other chronic, life-threatening or persistent conditions (e.g. amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), epilepsy, lupus or diabetes) may also qualify you for medical cannabis. Call or email us today if you have a condition you feel may benefit from medical marijuana and are unsure about whether or not it’s listed as an accepted medical marijuana condition.

Sather Tower; Berkeley University; California
Author: Tristan; from https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:CampanileMtTamalpiasSunset-original.jpg; https://npgallery.nps.gov/AssetDetail/NRIS/82004650

Marijuana’s legal from 2018 onwards in California – remind me why I need a medical marijuana card again? What are the advantages of having a medical marijuana card in CA?

You will not have to pay a sales tax of 15% (which could be raised any time). You can grow a lot more than 6 plants. You can carry up to eight ounces on your person, rather than just the one. There is more legal precedence for medical marijuana users than for recreational users – trust us, courts can be a headache! Anyone with an exemption to the age requirements for a medical marijuana card (18+ years-old) must carry a valid MMJ card. A signed recommendation from a “weed doctor” and a valid medical marijuana identification card can save money, at least in California (we know that this isn’t necessarily the case for every state). For those who may require specific cannabis strains, having a medical marijuana card may prove advantageous when it comes to being able to grow more plants to test for the phenotypes required.

Can I apply on someone else’s behalf? Can I get a medical marijuana card for a minor?

Yes you can if you are their official caregiver. You must also fill out a Caregiver’s Pack if you are applying on behalf of someone else. This sort of license is usually given to those caring for loved ones who are sick and/or disabled.

You will also be eligible for all sorts of deals at dispensaries, and you’ll probably have access to a better quality of product as well (the best flowers, concentrate, transdermal patches, cuttings for growing and so on). Basically, getting a MMJ card could save you lots of money. Caregivers are not considered medical marijuana patients unless they qualify for medical cannabis and have the appropriate 420 recommendation letter.

Feel free to ask us more questions on medical marijuana. Please remember that this may be updated in future as laws change.

Booking a consultation with a doctor for a physician's recommendation or medical cannabis certificate and medical marijuana card with Leafwell.
See a doctor today and get a physician’s recommendation for a medical marijuana card.
Written by
Ruth Lemon
Ruth Lemon

Ruth Lemon has worked in Cambodia and Australia, gaining experience in the non-profit sector, education and international development, and digital marketing. Ruth is helping Leafwell to scale without compromising the customer experience and seeks to create a frictionless customer journey. She now lives in the UK with her rescued Cambodian cat and believes Leafwell is improving access to and understanding of a valuable medical alternative.

Leafwell medical marijuana card

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