If you live in California, getting your MMIC (medical marijuana identification card) is essential if you want to enjoy the benefits of medicinal weed. Medical cannabis is legally prescribed for medical conditions like chronic pain, arthritis, cancer treatments, nausea, glaucoma and more.
You might wonder why a MMIC is even necessary when it’s recreationally legal, but we’re here to help clear up those doubts and get you on your way to healing.
The benefits of having a MMIC (Medical Marijuana Identification Card)
In the Golden State, it’s understandable to doubt the purpose of a medical marijuana identification card when almost anyone can walk into a dispensary and legally purchase an unholy amount of marijuana.
You might not realize it, but marijuana is actually taxed differently when it’s purchased for medical and recreational purposes, so you will likely end up paying more money to smoke if you don’t have a MMIC in California.
Whether you purchase medical or recreational marijuana, you’re going to have to pay a 15% excise tax. However, when you purchase recreational marijuana, you end up paying the excise tax, as well as sales, local, and municipal taxes —which can quickly add up to more than 30% of the retail value of your marijuana.
If the savings on taxes alone isn’t a reason to apply for a MMIC, the medical-only dispensaries with exclusive deals and products with higher levels of THC might just sway your opinion.
Make sure you qualify
While it’s a great idea to apply for a MMIC for the savings and deals, it’s important to understand that not everyone can qualify.
Generally, if you’re a healthy person, you don’t qualify. It’s important to leave the good medicine for those that need it anyway.
You’ll need to get a recommendation from a doctor to determine if you qualify. Some qualifying conditions include arthritis, cancer, chronic pain, glaucoma, and many more.
If you don’t suffer from one of the conditions listed, you may still qualify if you have persistent medical symptoms that limit or substantially hinder your ability to lead a healthy and productive lifestyle.
Get a doctor’s recommendation
No matter what your medical history, you’re going to need a recommendation from a licensed medical marijuana doctor in the state of California. You won’t be able to apply without a recommendation.
If you’re under the age of 21, you’re also going to need to appoint or designate a primary caregiver. This is a person who’s responsible for your health, housing, and safety. If you’re under the age of 18, your primary caregiver may be a parent or other legal guardian.
They’ll need to apply in person alongside you, but appointing them will allow you both to possess more than the legal recreational limit for cannabis products without having to worry about police confiscation.
Apply in person with the necessary documents
The first thing you need to do is call and set up an appointment with your county health department.
When applying for a MMIC, you’re going to need to prepare your application and supporting documents ahead of time. This way, applying in person at your appointment will go as smoothly as possible.
It will be helpful to print the application and fill it out prior to your appointment.
Supporting documents you’ll need include a copy of your doctor’s recommendation, proof of identity, and proof of residency.
A driver’s license or government-issued ID card will suffice to prove your identity, and something like a rental or mortgage agreement, utility bill, or California motor vehicle registration with your name on it will serve as proof of California residency.
At your appointment, you’ll need to pay a fee to have your application processed. These vary by county. Processing times vary, but usually take no longer than 35 days (in the worst cases).
What to bring with you to the dispensary
When you go to the dispensary for the first time, make sure you bring your MMIC and another form of identification (just in case), which they’ll check at the door and again right before you purchase something.
Make sure to take advice from your budtender, as they’re the experts on which products work best for various health conditions.
Feel free to experiment and test out new things until you find something that works best for you.
A medical marijuana card may not seem necessary in California, but it can actually save you tons of money, and allow you to possess as much marijuana as you need. Follow this quick guide, and you’ll be enjoying reduced pricing and exclusive deals in no time at all!
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