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Clarifying California’s Rules About Medical Marijuana Cards

Clarifying California’s Rules About Medical Marijuana Cards

Most people used to get a doctor’s “recommendation” (not a prescription) to buy marijuana. These cards usually expired in one year and cost anywhere from $30 to $100. It often came on a sheet of paper with an embossed seal, as well as on a pocket-sized card. This “recommendation,” plus a driver’s license, was required

Most people used to get a doctor’s “recommendation” (not a prescription) to buy marijuana. These cards usually expired in one year and cost anywhere from $30 to $100. It often came on a sheet of paper with an embossed seal, as well as on a pocket-sized card. This “recommendation,” plus a driver’s license, was required to walk into a dispensary.

What almost no one had, or has, is the California Department of Public Health (CDPH) Medical Marijuana Identification Card. Only 6,172 people — in a state of 38 million — got the more formal state ID card in 2017. That’s because it isn’t mandatory, and it’s a total pain to get.

To get the state’s Medical Marijuana Identification Card, you need to: 1) get a doctor’s recommendation, 2) make an appointment with your county health office, because the state program is administered at the county level. 3) Turn in some forms and an application fee. And 4) wait.

California Department of Public Health Medical Marijuana Identification Cards are all the rage in 2018 because it can exempt you from paying sales tax at the register. In Alameda County, that’s a savings of 9.25 percent. It can be a meaningful amount, especially if you buy thousands of dollars’ worth of cannabis in a year.

As for the dispensary that asked for your doctor’s note even though you have a state ID card — you’re experiencing a case of what I’m calling “over-compliance.” It’s when a pot shop goes above and beyond the rules, sometimes making things unnecessarily difficult. Cut them a little slack. This over-compliance is born out of the business’ lack of regulatory knowledge and fear of fines or losing their license. They’d rather be too careful. So they’re taking too much personal information, or they’re being super-strict about cell phone policies, or generally acting by-the-book all of a sudden.

Read more at East Bay Express

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