Getting a Medical Card in California

California Sign Marijuana
Rex Wholster / shutterstock.com

Over 500,000 people in California have their medical marijuana card. This card grants you access to purchase cannabis from dispensaries across the state of California, and it’s actually remarkably easy to get.

Many believe that you need a serious medical condition to get approved for a medical marijuana card in California. While that may be true in many states, the rules in Cali are not quite so strict. In fact, it only takes about 15 minutes.

You may have noticed the little pop-up ‘clinics’ peppered across the state. Most of these clinics are just a small office with a desk, sometimes not even that. The role of these clinics is simple: get people approved for their med card.

A simple google search will lead you to the nearest clinic. The actual approval process is very simple, and takes very little time (unless there is a wait, call ahead!). As required by California Law, the clinic is required to perform a “good faith physical examination.” This usually entails a standard, brief physical just like you would get from a normal doctor or clinic. They will ask what ailments you are seeking your medical marijuana recommendation for, which in California can be pretty much anything. Insomnia, stomach pain, anxiety, nausea. The list goes on.

Once you finish your examination, and they determine your illness is legitimate (don’t worry, they will), the clinic will issue you your paperwork. You don’t even need to pay extra to get the laminated card, the recommendation paperwork will suffice at dispensaries.

It’s rumored that many of the dispensaries in California don’t even check for medical paperwork before selling to customers. However, if you do choose to shop at dispensaries, you would be best protecting yourself to take the 20 minutes required to get that med card! You can still get in trouble for possessing cannabis if you do not have the proper paperwork.