Most medicinal marijuana recommendations are made by doctors who specialize in evaluating patients for recommendation, rather than the patients’ usual physician. The recommending doctor should review patients’ existing medical records before making a recommendation, including reviewing any other medications the patients are already using.
California led the nation in legalizing medicinal marijuana. Under California law, patients who meet certain requirements can obtain and use marijuana legally with a doctor’s recommendation. Recreational use has also recently been legalized in California, but all marijuana use remains illegal under federal law. If you’re thinking about using medicinal marijuana, here’s what you need to know.
Cards are issued by county Departments of Public Health. There is a charge for the card; currently the fee is $100 annually ($50 with proof of Medi-Cal benefits) in Sacramento County (“Medical Marijuana Identification Card – Frequently Asked Questions,” Sacramento County Department of Health Services).
Now that recreational marijuana is legal, do I still need a medical recommendation?
For the most part, these rules do not affect individual patients, as long as they cultivate solely for personal medical use and limit their growing area to 100 square feet. Primary caregivers can cultivate up to 500 square feet for the personal medical use of up to five patients without falling under the new rules.
California, local, and federal laws on medical marijuana
These rules permit and regulate for-profit cultivation, distribution, manufacturing, testing, dispensary, and transportation, with permits required from both local and state agencies. Temporary state licenses became available starting January 1, 2018.
What is a Medical Marijuana ID card, and how do patients get one?
Testing laboratories must obtain and maintain ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation. You can use an interim testing license while you work on your accreditation.
Cultivation license types are based on the:
Infusion mixes cannabis extract or plant material with other ingredients to make a cannabis product.
You must have a valid DCC license before performing any commercial cannabis activity, including:
Type 9: non-storefront retailer (delivery only)
Outdoor licenses are for cultivators who grow cannabis outside without using any artificial lighting or light deprivation techniques on mature plants.
Mixed-light licenses are for cultivators who grow cannabis in a:
Type 11 distributors can:
Manufacturing license types
Indoor licenses are for cultivators who grow cannabis in a permanent structure using at least 25 watts of artificial light per square foot.
Type P manufacturers can only package and label cannabis products.