Medical Marijuana Patient Questions

Medical marijuana patient questionsBrowse our frequently asked medical marijuana patient questions below to learn about how to maintain your legal status under California state medical marijuana regulations.

How do I know if I qualify for the program?

You will need to discuss this with your attending physician. In order to qualify for the protections of Prop 215 and SB 420, you will need to be diagnosed with a serious medical condition. The diagnosis and your physician's recommendation that the use of medical marijuana is appropriate for you must be documented in your medical records. If you have a question or concern that is not addressed here, you can contact us via email or by telephone at (310) 366-5906. A wealth of additional frequently asked questions can be found at the CA Department of Public Health website.

Q?

Can I grow my own medical cannabis?

A.

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Q?

Can patients be drug tested by an employer?

A.

The California Supreme Court has ruled that employers have a right to drug test and fire patients who test positive for marijuana, regardless of their medical use (Ross v. RagingWire Telecommunications, 2008). Some employers will excuse patients if they present a valid 215 recommendation. Others won’t. Marijuana is never permitted in jobs with federal drug testing regulations, such as the transportation industry.

Q?

I registered in another state. Can I get medicine in California?

A.

Out-of-state recommendations are not recognized in California, though they are in Montana, Rhode Island and Michigan. While Prop. 215 arguably applies to anyone with a recommendation from a California physician, most physicians refuse to recommend to out-of-state patients.

Q?

Can I sell my excess medicine?

A.

In general sales of marijuana are NOT permitted under Prop 215. However, SB 420 authorizes legal caregivers and collective/cooperative members to charge for their expenses in growing for others on a “non-profit” basis. Growers who provide for others should either be members of a collective or be bona fide “primary caregivers.”

Q?

How much marijuana can I have in my possession?

A.

Per Health and Safety Code Section 11362.77, a qualified patient or primary caregiver may possess no more than 8oz. of dried marijuana per qualified patient. In addition, a qualified patient or primary caregiver may also maintain no more than 6 mature or 12 immature marijuana plants.

Q?

Where can marijuana be smoked?

A.

SB 420 bars marijuana smoking in no smoking zones, within 1,000 feet of a school or youth center except in private residences; on school buses, in a motor vehicle that is being operated, or while operating a boat. Patients are advised to be discreet or consume oral preparations in public.

Q?

What happens after you get my records?

A.

Your medical file is given to one of our physicians for review. They look for sufficient documentation of a qualifying condition, based upon what your doctor has included in your chart notes. If there is enough evidence that you qualify, a clinic staff member will contact you to make an appointment to come in and meet with the doctor who reviewed your records. These doctors are not full time employees of our clinic. They designate certain days each month that they will hold consultations. Patients must meet with the doctor in order to get their recommendation signed. If your records do not contain enough information to qualify you, staff members will be able to offer suggestions on an individual basis to correct the lack. This may mean a delay in processing your application, and may necessitate additional out-of-pocket cost. While we regret the need for this when it happens, state law requires that certain requirements be met.

Q?

I am a qualified patient. What do I do next?

A.

You will need to fill out an Application/Renewal Form. You must reside in the California county where the application is submitted. You will need to provide current documentation with your application as follows:

  • A copy of your doctor’s recommendation.
  • Proof of identity. This can be a valid California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) driver’s license or identification (ID) card or other valid government-issued photo ID card.
  • Proof of residency which can be:
    • Rent or mortgage agreement,
    • Utility bill, or
    • California DMV motor vehicle registration.
  • You must apply in person at your county’s program. There you will be asked to:
    • Pay the fee required by your county program. Medi-Cal beneficiaries will receive a 50% reduction in the application fee.
    • Have your photo taken at the county’s program office. This photo will appear on your MMIC.

Q?

How do I renew my MMIC?

A.

Renewing a MMIC requires the same process as when you originally applied. This includes verifying your information and giving you a new MMIC and new number. If your medical documentation is still valid, you may use this for your renewal. It may be necessary for you to obtain new medical documentation. Your county’s program will verify any information they feel is necessary. You will need to contact their office for more information.

Q?

How long is a MMIC valid?

A.

One year. A primary caregiver card will expire when the patient’s card expires even if it is less that 12 months.

Q?

Do I have to go to your clinic to get a card?

A.

You can obtain a MMIC only at your Local County Public Health Department and not through your physician or an evaluation center. The MMIC is voluntary to patients, and all that is required under Senate Bill 420 (SB 420) is your physician’s letter recommending the use of medical marijuana. All county offices and contact information is listed here.

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