Many consider L.A. to be a California Mecca for weed. In addition to legalized adult use, Los Angeles also has hundreds of medical marijuana cardholders that have access to dispensaries throughout the city. There’s no question about it: access to marijuana isn’t an issue in Hollywood.
It’s important, though, to go through the proper steps before walking into a medical dispensary and trying to buy some CBD cream to soothe your ailments. Before you can shop, you need your own MMJ card. Luckily, it’s a simple, easy process that will have you heading to the smoke shop soon enough. Citizens of California approved medicinal cannabis in 1996, and have since streamlined the process.
You know where to get the cheapest weed in LA, but do you know how to get a medical marijuana card? If not, keep reading: Leafbuyer’s got the answers below.
Step 1: Assess
As with all medical marijuana programs, there’s a specific list of conditions that qualify patients for receiving a card. The very first step is personally assessing your own health, and seeing if you have one of the various ailments. If you’re in serious, long-term pain, there’s a high chance that cannabis for pain relief is a likely possibility.
Medical marijuana qualifying conditions include: “anxiety, arthritis, cancer (plus chemotherapy and radiation therapy side effects), chronic pain, fibromyalgia, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, migraines, multiple sclerosis, and any other chronic or “persistent medical symptom that substantially limits the ability of the person to conduct one or more major life activities,” as described in the Americans with Disabilities Act.
After this initial reflection, the assessment has to be taken to the next step, a doctor’s recommendation. There are a few ways you can go about getting this written evaluation, which is required by law, before the application process.
Step 2: Acquire
The first step in applying for a medical marijuana card in Los Angeles is going to a doctor to verify that you meet the qualifications, and acquiring a document that reflects this decision. This documentation has to be from a licensed physician within the state of California stating that you are a qualifying patient.
There are three ways to obtain a doctor’s recommendation. You can meet with your primary physician and ask if they think cannabis is a viable solution to your ailments. If that doesn’t seem like a viable option, you can check out cannabis specialists for an evaluation. This is a more popular option because these specialists are all over Los Angeles; however, they come with their own issues. Often the offices are packed full with long wait times, over charge patients, and can be located in more run-down areas. The third option is the most user-friendly – getting an evaluation online. The online process is quick, accessible, safe, and legal. In some cases, you can even apply on the same site you’ve been evaluated.
The final product is an important piece in the MMJ card process. These recommendations are a full 8.5 x 11″ sheet of paper listing your name, date, patient id number, doctor’s signature, embossed seal, proof of legitimacy, and expiration date. After being approved, patients will take this paper to their first dispensary visit. After verifying the authenticity of the recommendation, dispensaries will then accept either a digital or smaller medical marijuana card.
Step 3: Apply
Every state requires specific documents for the medical marijuana card application process. In California, applicants need proof of California residency (a driver’s license or something that establishes an address, like a utility bill or bake statement, would work) and a photo ID. Also, they also need to have written documentation from a doctor, a.k.a. your weed-approved recommendation.
Once you have these documents, it’s necessary to register with the California Department of Health, Public Health Policy and Research Branch, Medical Marijuana Unit. After doing so and being approved, patients will receive their coveted medical marijuana card.
Healthcare is a factor when paying for the med cards. Besides a county-specific administration fee, it costs about $66 for the application fee per card for non-Medi-Cal patients and approximately $33 for Medi-Cali patients.
Remember: medical marijuana card holders have to reapply for their card every year. Keep yourself up to date, and pay attention to annual deadlines.
Step 4: Use
Medical cannabis is an excellent tool for many different uses – an ID card grants access to dispensaries with medical care all over both the city of Los Angeles and the state of California. Not only are doses typically higher for medical patients (because of the severity of pain within the qualifying conditions), there’s a wide range of products available. From the classic pre-rolled joint to topical lotions to delicious edibles – think beyond brownies, to flavored beverages and truffles and gummy bears – the options are endless.
Make sure to apply for your medical marijuana card for complete access to herbal relief for serious pain.