Do I Still Need a Medical Marijuana Card In California?

Do I Still Need a Medical Marijuana Card In California?

In this article we will try to answer questions we receive from you:

Do i still need a weed card in california? Do you need a medical card to buy from a dispensary in california 2017? Do I need a Medical Marijuana Card at all in California?

The answer is yes, you must have a Medical Marijuana Card (MMJ ID) and a licensed doctor’s recommendation to possess medical marijuana or cannabis based medicines in California in 2017.

MMJ ID cannabis cards streamline the registration process at dispensaries for first time and medical marijuana renewal visits. A  cannabis dispensary will verify your 420 letter of Recommendation during registration at cannabis club.

MMJ ID Cards expire after 1 year, so it is important that you remember to contact your mmj doctor to renew.  Click here to schedule your appointment if you need to renew your medical marijuana card online now.

To get an MMJ ID Card, you need a Doctor’s Recommendation and a Valid Driver’s license, or photo ID with proof of California Residency.

While recreational marijuana use in California is legal, you can’t buy weed legally until 2018.  Even then, the MMJ ID is a very good idea. Without a MMJ ID you will have to pay a recreational cannabis user tax of an estimated 16% or more. With a Bill 420 Recommendation and a MMJ ID (at the cost of approximately $89.00), the savings on tax will be significant and worth the visit to the MMJ Doctor.

California the fifth state to legalize recreational pot, after Colorado, Washington, Oregon and Alaska.

Even though there aren’t any legal pot shops yet, and you can’t buy Medical Marijuana from a medical marijuana dispensary without a patient marijuana card, the good news is that for adults over the age of 18, in California, it is now legal to use, possess and share cannabis, as well as grow weed at home.

Adults can have up to one ounce of buds, or eight grams of vape concentrate, legally.

Bill 420 – The Medical Marijuana Program Act

Bill 420 allows Californian adults to purchase, possess, use or grow Medical Marijuana for compassionate use, provided they have a recommendation from a state licensed 420 physician.

Medical Marijuana refers to the use of Cannabis or its cannabinoids as a medication to treat a disease or symptoms of a disease. Some members of the medical establishment and government believe that Cannabis can reduce nausea and vomiting during chemotherapy, improve appetite in people with HIV/AIDS, treat chronic pain, muscle spasms, and many other conditions.

The California State Legislature Passed Bill 420

In 1996, in adherence to the Tenth Amendment in the Constitution, Bill 420, in combination with Proposition 215, The California Compassionate Use Act established the guidelines and regulations for the California Medical Marijuana program as it stands today.

Some of Bill 420 Medical Marijuana Highlights:

  • Seriously ill people may possess, cultivate and use if treatment is recommended by a licensed physician
  • Primary caregivers, if authorized, may possess or cultivate Medical Marijuana for use by their patient
  • Physicians are protected from any state criminal or civil liability for recommending or approving Medical Marijuana to patients

A Summary of Bill 420 for Medical Marijuana:

  • Any adult can become a legal Medical Marijuana patient in California provided they get a recommendation from a licensed 420 physician to treat a medical marijuana conditions.
  • Once a person qualifies, a Medical Marijuana Patient Verification Card (MMJ ID) is issued.
  • MMJ ID and a recommendation document allow the cardholder to purchase  Medical Marijuana from any pot dispensary in the state.
  • The legal right to use Medical Marijuana can be established as required by a hard copy 420 recommendation, MMJ ID Card and online verification.
  • All 420 patient information is privileged, confidential and cannot be given to others without patient permission.
  • A MMJ ID and recommendation legally entitles you to grow, possess, consume, and transport Cannabis as a medicine in the state of California. Note that some county ordinances differ from that of the state.
  • If you test positive for Marijuana, your employer may have grounds for termination, despite having a MMJ ID card and recommendation.
  • Medical Marijuana use is not covered by health insurance.

The MMJ DOCTOR has created a very simple process to legally access Medical Cannabis

By visiting one of our locations in San Francisco and San Jose, or by using a Telehealth compliant system, you can become a medical marijuana card holder in minutes.

Accessing the MMJ Doctor that specifically evaluates for Cannabis use means that Cannabis will be considered as a viable treatment for any and all your qualifying conditions. If you decide to try Cannabis as a treatment, you must obtain a 420 Medical Marijuana “Recommendation” for Medical Cannabis use from a licensed California MD.

A Recommendation is different from a traditional prescription and uses the language, “I recommend” rather than “I prescribe”, to comply with the California Compassionate Use Act of 1996, Proposition 215.

The MMJ Doctor Recommendation letter must include:

  • The MMJ Doctors signature.
  • The date the MMJ statement was written.
  • The MMJ Doctors contact information or a website where Cannabis dispensaries can verify your Recommendation.
  • The date of expiration or re-evaluation of the Cannabis Recommendation (usually for one year).

The MMJ Recommendation statement may include a reason for treatment, the dose, and/or guidelines of use.
The MMJ Doctor has systems in place that make it very simple for weed dispensaries to contact them at any time for verification of the physician’s statement. Here at MMJDOCTOR, we are available 24/7 for verification via our website or phone number. It is also very important that medical records are maintained in a secure, HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act) compliant system as we do.

Information for Medical Marijuana Patients in the year 2017

In 2015, the California Legislature passed the Medical Marijuana Regulation and Safety Act (MMRSA or MCRSA), establishing permission for cannabis cultivation and weed dispensaries, etc. at the state level (with local approval). The law went into effect on January 1, 2016. However, the state has said it needs until January 2018 to set up the related agencies, information systems, and regulations to actually issue licenses. In the interim, municipal governments may choose to adopt ordinances to permit or license local businesses in preparation for state licensing. Facilities currently operating in accordance with state and local marijuana laws may continue to do so until such time as their marijuana license applications are approved or denied. In the meantime, cannabis patients are advised to complete the Bill 420 recommendation, and prospective facilitator applicants are strongly advised to apply to the state Board of Equalization for a Resale Permit, and to prepare for seeking approval from their local governments. For more information regarding this, please see the state Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation website.

Purchasing Medical Marijuana

You cannot legally buy a marijuana plant, but someone can give you one. If someone is already cultivating cannabis in their backyard they could share the bud or a clone so another person could start growing their own cannabis plant. But money cannot exchange hands.

You shouldn’t need to have a medical marijuana card to possess and consume cannabis. But until your plants (or your friend’s plants, which have to be shared freely) are producing, you need to get the MMJ ID to legally purchase Medical Marijuana in California.

Purchasing Recreational Marijuana will likely not be available until 2018 or 2019

The state of California has a number of regulations to get through, and each locality has the ability to make different rules. Some areas, like Oakland and San Francisco, might get everything in place sooner. However, the deadline for the California to start issuing cannabis licenses to any eventual weed shops is Jan. 1, 2018.

Grow Your Own Cannabis

Although growing cannabis plants in your house is the easiest way to make sure you abide by regulations requiring that home cannabis growing is done in an enclosed and secure way, this does raise some concerns regarding possible robbery (especially if the cannabis grower is bragging about the wonders and value of their marijuana crop). “11362.77. (a) A qualified marijuana patient or primary caregiver may possess no more than eight ounces of dried marijuana per qualified mmj patient. In addition, a qualified patient or primary caregiver may also maintain no more than six mature or 12 immature marijuana plants per qualified patient.”. Rural weed growers may be able to set up a little 420 greenhouse outside. But in more urban and suburban situations, it may be more difficult to keep the weed plants out of plain sight. You can apply for a Marijuana Grower`s permit and in case if you are approved you can grow up to 99 cannabis plants. Apply here at 

 A Time and A Place

Medical Marijuana cannot be smoked or ingested in a public setting. Businesses, which sell alcohol or tobacco, will not be able to sell Recreational Marijuana. The best place to consume the product is in private residences. However, there may come a time when private events may be hosted for marijuana use, or some businesses may be able to decide to allow consumption on the premises.

Medical Marijuana Edibles

After reports of minors accidentally ingesting Medical Marijuana edibles (because they looked like candy), States are planning on a very strict regulation. Cannabis Edibles will have to be a very low dose, with a specified number of milligrams per dose. Packaging will be regulated as well as to not appeal to children and be child proof. There may also be “natural”  weed edibles, which would follow the raw, vegan, and super-food variety.

Marijuana cannot be taken across state borders

In every state with legal weed (Alaska, Colorado, Washington, and Oregon), weed must be grown and consumed in that state only because of the federal prohibition of the drug. Giving it away, within those states though, is perfectly acceptable. Not all States will allow Medicinal Marijuana across the state border, even with a MMJ ID and a 420 Recommendation. It’s best to check with any State you may travel to.

You can read our article : Mailing medical marijuana – will you get arrested? 

It is Illegal to Consume Medical Marijuana and Operate a Vehicle

It’s still illegal to consume medical marijuana and operate a vehicle, boat, aircraft or any other such vessel, and it will continue to be that way. The exact protocols for determining if a driver is impaired by marijuana will be set out by the California Highway Patrol. The fines will be stiff. Medicinal Marijuana is not excluded from this law, even with a MMJ ID and a 420 Recommendation.

“We encourage people to think about cannabis in a new way. To be something that is perfectly acceptable for adults to do in a responsible way. That’s one of the messages that legalization sends.”


MMJ Doctor offers Exceptional Medical  Marijuana (medical cannabis) Evaluations in San Francisco & San Jose (today we offer online medical marijuana card evaluations also). Our mission is to ensure everyone can be evaluated to see if medical cannabis is something that can benefit them with their medical conditions. Our California licensed 420 doctors will never turn away anyone who needs an evaluation for medical marijuana.Under the guidelines outlined in Proposition 215, the Compassionate Use Act and proposition 64, passed by California voters in 1996 and November 2016, medical  and recreational Cannabis is Legal in the state of California.

To schedule your in-person visit please click here : Appointment.

We offer online evaluations now at


Do I still need a weed card in california? Do you need a medical card to buy from a dispensary in california 2017? Do I need a Medical Marijuana Card at all in California?

The answer is yes, you must have a Medical Marijuana Card (MMJ ID) and a licensed doctor’s recommendation to possess medical marijuana or cannabis based medicines in California in 2017.

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