MMJ Doctor’s Recommendation

A medical marijuana (MMJ) recommendation is commonly referred to as a marijuana “card.” It is legally required for all patients who are medicating with cannabis in California. Once a patient has a recommendation, he/she is able to access high quality medicine from collectives across the state. We follow the Dr’s recommendations provided for treatment.
To get a MMJ recommendation, you must first be evaluated by a doctor. The doctor will talk to you about your condition and help determine if medical marijuana may be a good option for your illness. They can also guide you with information about which method of ingestion and which strains are best suited for your needs.

Prop 215 Vs Prop 64

In California, the possession or use of marijuana for recreational purposes was illegal going into the election. The passage of Proposition 215 in 1996 legalized medical marijuana. Although the Department of Justice under President Obama did not prosecute most individuals and businesses following state and local marijuana laws, both medical and recreational marijuana were illegal under federal law in 2016. Proposition 64 made recreational marijuana legal in California state law. Prop 64 is currently working through all the logistics for recreational marijuana. At this time we can only service proposition 215 for medical marijuana until further notice.

Did you know?
California’s Proposition 215—passed in 1996—was the first medical marijuana bill of its kind and remains the primary reference for cannabis bills passed in other states.

What Medical Conditions Qualify?

Prop 215—also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996—covers patients who “would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief.”

“You don’t need to have a terminal or debilitating illness to receive a recommendation for marijuana. [Prop 215] gives doctors the freedom to evaluate the suitability of marijuana for each individual patient on a case-by-case basis.”

A multitude of applications.

Because cannabis interacts with with one of the largest regulatory systems in the body, it can be used to treat a wide variety of illnesses. Patients have used cannabis to treat cancer, anorexia, depression, insomnia, AIDS, glaucoma, arthritis, spasticity, migraine, chronic pain, anxiety, epilepsy, muscular dystrophy, nail-patella, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s, Chron’s disease, and many other illnesses.

The other illness phrase was included because regulators understood that marijuana can treat many conditions. They didn’t want to prevent any patients from receiving the medicine they need by creating a list that was too narrowly defined. Cannabis has been shown to assist with a range of other illnesses, including PTSD, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.

You don’t need to have a terminal or debilitating illness to receive a recommendation for marijuana. The law gives doctors the freedom to evaluate the suitability of marijuana for each individual patient on a case-by-case basis. If you believe that marijuana may help with any symptoms that are causing you distress, you should consult a doctor who has experience with recommending cannabis. That doctor can help you decide if cannabis is a treatment option you may want to pursue for your condition.

How Much Marijuana Can I Possess?

SB 420 establishes guidelines for how much cannabis a patient can possess. These baseline statewide guidelines allow a patient to posses 6 mature or 12 immature plants and one half pound (8 ounces) of processed cannabis.
Individual cities and counties can allow for higher, but not lower, limits. Additionally, doctors can specifically state (in a patient recommendation) that a patient needs more for their personal use and this will allow a patient to exceed those limits. (However, beware of doctors offering “cultivation” licenses for a large number of plants because those may not be valid recommendations.)
The state Supreme Court held that patients can’t be prosecuted simply for exceeding the established guidelines. However, if those standards are exceeded it is more likely that a patient will be arrested and forced to defend the fact that the amount is consistent with personal medical needs.
1/2lb. (8oz.) Processed Cannabis
Includes dried flowers, edibles, oils, tinctures and other concentrates. Patient’s may possess any combination of these so long as the total weight does not exceed 1/2 lb. (8 oz.).
12 Immature Plants
These plants are in a vegetative stage. This is the time when the plant grows in preparation for flowering. For plants grown outdoors, this stage occurs in summer when sunlight is plentiful.
6 Mature Plants
These plants have begun flowering and will soon be ready for harvest. Outdoor plants enter the flowering stage near the end of summer as sunlight becomes less available, triggering a reproductive cycle.

If I Get a Card, Will I be on a List?

Many people who qualify for medical marijuana recommendations choose not to pursue treatment because they fear they will end up on a “master list” of marijuana patients. Thankfully, this list doesn’t exist. There is no consolidated database the DEA can use to conduct raids or employers can use to conduct background checks. Your patient status will remain confidential.
The record of your medical marijuana evaluation is protected under federal laws through HIPAA (the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act), just like documents at any other doctor’s office. Releasing medical records requires patient permission, and doctor-patient confidentiality extends to the police, DMV, and employers. Therefore, your evaluation will stay private.
Additionally, doctors retain these records separately and securely. Often, these records can be accessed online (and legally the site must be HIPAA compliant) but there is no consolidated verification site. That’s why you have to go to different websites for different doctors’ offices (or call the office by phone) to verify. Check a medical marijuana recommendation and you should see either a specific phone number or specific website where you can verify. Then, try verifying the recommendation on the site for a random doctor – it doesn’t work.
With a recommendation, you can receive medical marijuana through a collective, often called a dispensary. To register as a member, you will need to provide your recommendation and an ID. You will also need to complete a registration form. California law requires collectives to protect all of this information, just like any business would. Although the DEA has raided dispensaries, a patient has never been arrested as a result of these records. Simply put, you should not be worried about joining a collective.
The bottom line is that there isn’t any master list of medical marijuana patients. Receiving a medical marijuana recommendation puts you on the right side of the law—without exposing you to additional risk.