A Step-By-Step Guide to Getting Your Medical Card in California

Even though recreational cannabis is legal in California, it is still more than worth it to get your California medical marijuana card. From evaluation to certification and every action in between, we’re breaking down CA’s medical marijuana application process into just three easy-to-understand steps:

  1. Meet with a qualified physician for an evaluation 
  2. Visit a county program and apply for your MMIC 
  3. Pay your fees, wait for approval, and get your card!
Up-close image of the cannabis plant. How-to guide on getting your medical marijuana card in California.
How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in California

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Who Can Get a Medical Card in California?

Those who are 18 years or older, are residents of California, and who have at least one qualifying medical condition are able to obtain a medical marijuana card in The Golden State. 

If you are under 18, you’re still eligible to get a medical card in California under certain circumstances. For those who have been emancipated or are declared self-sufficient, minors can apply as a qualified patient. However, those with parental figures or guardians may apply with their parent/guardian as their caregiver. They will have the final decision over medical cannabis decisions. 

What Are the Qualifying Conditions for Medical Cannabis in California?

To get a medical card in California, you must have at least one of the following medical conditions

  • Anorexia
  • Arthritis
  • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Glaucoma
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Migraine
  • Persistent muscle spasms, including spasms associated with multiple sclerosis
  • Seizures, including seizures associated with epilepsy
  • Severe nausea
  • Any other chronic or persistent medical symptom that either substantially limits the ability of the person to conduct a major life activity as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Or if not alleviated, may cause serious harm to the patient's safety or physical or mental health.

How-To Steps for Getting an MMIC Card in California

1. Meet With a Qualified Physician for an Evaluation

The first step to getting your Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) in California is to meet with a qualified physician. This physician will give you an evaluation to see if you qualify for at least one of the medical conditions listed above. 

Then, if you’re approved, your physician will fill out a medical recommendation stating that they believe your qualifying condition could be helped through medical cannabis.

2. Visit a County Program and Apply for Your MMIC

From here, once you’ve got your medical recommendation, you’ll want to head to your closest county program to actually apply for your MMIC. Along with your recommendation, you will also need proof of identity and proof of residency to apply. 

3. Pay Your Fees, Wait for Approval, and Get Your Card!

The fees for your card will vary depending on where you go and medical circumstances, but they will never exceed $100. After you pay your fees, the state has 30 days to either approve or deny your application. Finally, As soon as it is approved, they will have your card ready for use within five days. That’s all it takes!

Have more questions about your California medical card?