Get Your Medical Marijuana Card in California

california medical card

Getting a medical marijuana card in California is a simple process that involves obtaining a valid doctor’s recommendation. To become a California medical marijuana patient, you can first talk with one of our doctors to see if you qualify. If you qualify, we will send your recommendation as a PDF to your email, as well as a physical copy in the mail.

Medical Cannabis Doctor’s Appointment

PrestoDoctor makes getting your medical marijuana card easy, fast, and private. Our appointments are done 100% online from the comfort of your home. The process only takes a few steps.

First, you will create a PrestoDoctor account and fill out a brief health questionnaire for the doctor before your appointment. You’ll need to upload your ID and a photo of yourself for verification.

Next, you will choose a doctor of your choice, date, and time for your appointment. We have a variety of board certified cannabis doctors to choose from, and a range of times.

Once it is time for your appointment, you’ll be connected with a PrestoDoctor physician for a live video call. During this call, the doctor will ask you questions based on your health questionnaire and decide if you qualify for a medical marijuana certification.

If you are approved, we will then send you your recommendation letter via email and you will also receive a copy in the mail. It will include your patient ID number which allows California dispensaries to verify you are a medical marijuana patient in California. Lastly, you will also receive your physical PrestoDoctor medical marijuana physical card in the mail.

Required Documents

Patients will need to prove that they are California residents to qualify for a California Medical Marijuana card. This can be a California State ID, California Drivers License, utility bill, current DMV vehicle registration papers, or a rental or mortgage agreement.

Second, you must provide proof of identity. Proof of identity documents may be your Driver’s License, State Issued ID, a copy of your birth certificate, or a passport.

Qualifying Conditions:

To become a California medical marijuana patient, you must qualify with one of the following conditions:

  • 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 either: 1) 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 2) If not alleviated, may cause serious harm to the patient’s safety or physical or mental health

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Post Appointment

California does not require patients to register for a state medical marijuana identification card. This means they will not automatically mail out your physical medical marijuana ID card. After your appointment, PrestoDoctor will mail you an ID card but this is not an official state of California medical marijuana ID card.

Getting a physical medical marijuana ID card is voluntary and is not required. Some patients choose to get their state medical marijuana card for additional legal protection as well as a reduced tax rate on cannabis products.

To get your medical marijuana identification card (MMIC), you must fill out the application for the MMIC. Then you will need your proof of identity and proof of residency. Lastly, you’ll need to bring your signed doctor’s recommendation which states that your medical condition may benefit from medical cannabis. Your application to get your card must be done in person.

To find your local department of public health office click here.

There is a fee to get a state issued card. The fee is dependent on the county, and is typically around $100. However, if you have Medi-Cal, California will reduce the amount by 50%.

It can take up to 35 days for the Department of Cannabis Control to mail out your California cannabis ID card.

Benefits of a California MMJ Card

Even though cannabis is legal in California for adults 21+, there are still benefits for having your medical marijuana card in California.

Tax Benefits

Medical marijuana California patients save in tax money compared to recreational adult users. Medical cannabis patients will only pay the excise tax and a cannabis business tax (if applicable). Recreational customers will pay retail sales tax, excise tax, and a cannabis business tax (if applicable). Medical marijuana patients save around 25% on taxes each time they purchase cannabis products.

However, you must have a state issued medical marijuana card in California to be exempt from the retail sales tax. The card and recommendation you receive from PrestoDoctor is not valid.


Medical cannabis patients in California have more products and dispensaries to choose from. Not every dispensary in California allows for recreational marijuana. Additionally, medical marijuana products may be higher percentage in THC.


Some states allow reciprocity. This means that one state may recognize and validate your California medical marijuana card from another state. However, reciprocity rules vary from state to state and it is best to check with the state before you go.

Having your medical cannabis card means you are authorized to use marijuana products. This may give you legal protection when traveling compared to someone who does not have a medical cannabis card. However, keep in mind that it is not recommended you take cannabis over state lines.

Age Requirement

You may become a medical marijuana patient at the age of 18 years old. If your doctor recommends cannabis and believes your condition may benefit from the use of cannabis, you may be able to use cannabis products at age 18 instead of the traditional age of 21.

Primary caregivers must also be 18 years old to apply.

Purchase Limits

Medical marijuana patients are able to buy up to 8 ounces of marijuana flower, or an equivalent amount of concentrate (20 to 50 grams). Recreational users are allowed no more than 1 ounce of cannabis flower, or 8 grams of concentrate.

With a medical marijuana card, you will be able to possess and purchase more cannabis legally.

Become A California Medical Marijuana Patient

Becoming a medical marijuana patient in California is worth the benefits. Finding a knowledgeable medical cannabis doctor in California can be the hard part, but PrestoDoctor can help. Our doctors can answer any questions you may have about medical cannabis. Whether you are a first time user, or a recreational user turning to medical, our doctors will be there to help you along the way.

If you have specific questions about the process, reach out to our live support team on our website.

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