How To Get A Medical Marijuana Card in California

how to get a medical marijuana card in californiaMedical marijuana has been legal in California under Prop 215 since 1996. Although doctors are not allowed to prescribe medical marijuana to patients as long as it’s still illegal under federal law, they are able to recommend it’s used to patients in locations where it’s legal. A doctor’s recommendation is referred to as a medical marijuana card. The process of getting a medical marijuana card can seem confusing, but this article will take you step by step through the process of how to get a medical marijuana card in California, as it stands today.

Determine if your condition qualifies for medical marijuana

Before you start the process of obtaining your medical marijuana card in California, you should find out if medical marijuana is a good solution for your ailment. California’s Prop 215 named some specific conditions that would qualify for medical marijuana including:

  • Cancer
  • Anorexia
  • AIDS
  • Chronic pain
  • Cachexia
  • Persistent muscle spasms, including those associated with multiple sclerosis
  • Seizures, including, but not limited to, those associated with epilepsy
  • Severe nausea
  • Glaucoma
  • Arthritis
  • Migraines
  • Any other chronic or persistent medical symptom that substantially limits the ability of the person to conduct one or more major life activities (as defined by 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

Prop 215 also mentioned “any other illness for which marijuana provides relief,” allowing doctors to use their own discretion with patients. If your ailment is not in that list, you still may be eligible for medical marijuana in California.

Find A Doctor

,,j custom treatment planTo get a California medical marijuana card, you will need to find a medical marijuana doctor to recommend it for your condition. You can choose to talk to your primary care provider about a recommendation, but most people opt to meet with a medical marijuana doctor instead.

In California, you can get an online medical marijuana recommendation from a licensed medical professional utilizing a service like PrestoDoctor, or go to an evaluation center in person. The convenience of video chat, same day appointments, and the ability to skip the lines at medical clinics, makes the online option quite popular.

If you do sign up for a service like PrestoDoctor, you can make an appointment with a licensed medical provider on the same day. There are several online medical cannabis evaluation services available in California, however many of them are fraudulent, and do not follow Telemedicine guidelines.

Ensure that you speak with a medical professional via video or phone to get your recommendation. Otherwise, you will be violating medical marijuana telemedicine guidelines and laws.

What Do You Need For Your Appointment?

The state of California does not require residency, thus we can evaluate anyone as long as their ID has not expired. The following forms of ID are acceptable for an online medical marijuana card service:

• Driver’s License

 • State Identification Card

• Passport

• U.S. military ID (front & back)

During the appointment, you will chat with the doctor about your current condition, medical history, and how medical marijuana could be the right solution for you. Most online evaluation services, including PrestoDoctor, will not charge you for the appointment unless you are approved by the doctor.

When Do You Receive the Card?

prestodoctor cannabis card

Once you’ve been approved for your California medical marijuana card, you will receive your medical marijuana card and recommendation letter signed by your doctor with an embossed seal 3-5 business days later.

You will also receive a digital PDF copy of your recommendation via email instantly on the same day of your approval; however, some dispensaries require you to have the official letter. 

Although your official recommendation letter is all that is required for medical marijuana purchase, the medical marijuana card is wallet-size medical marijuana card is convenient for repeat use.

How To Purchase Cannabis Products

After you receive your medical marijuana recommendation and card, you are able to use it to purchase medical marijuana at a California dispensary for a year. You can do this by heading to a storefront medical dispensary, or, through a delivery service. You can chat with PrestoDoctor support to get our personal advice on which dispensaries to visit in your area!

You may have heard that California passed Prop 64 this last November, legalizing recreational cannabis use throughout the state. However, you will still need a medical cannabis card before January 1st, 2018. After dispensaries receive recreational licensing, allowing them to sell recreational cannabis, medical card holders will still be exempt from paying certain cannabis sales taxes- so having a card is very beneficial!

How Do I Renew?

how to get a medical marijuana card in california

You are required to get your recommendation renewed annually and PrestoDoctor will provide a discounted renewal rate for all return patients.

Simply log in to your account at and click “Schedule an Appointment”. Feel free to reach out if you have any questions.

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