Yes, you can shop and go to a dispensary without a medical card. In California, all you need to buy marijuana at a dispensary is valid government-issued identification that proves you are at least 21 years old. Because cannabis is legal in California, adults can purchase it without an MMICP card. But the card allows patients to easily demonstrate to law enforcement that they are authorized to possess or grow the amount of cannabis they need, which is more than the amount allowed for recreational use.
The card also prevents patients from having to pay sales tax for cannabis purchases. A recreational dispensary does NOT require a medical cannabis card. To shop at a recreational dispensary, you just need to show your identification to prove that you are 21 years of age or older. Some California dispensaries only serve medical customers with local addresses, but retail dispensaries are open to the public.
Use PotGuide or Weedmaps to locate a facility and call ahead or check the company's website to verify that it is open for public sale. A medical marijuana identification card is optional, patients do not need to obtain one to legally use medical marijuana, just a doctor's recommendation. Obtaining a medical cannabis card is a quick and efficient process, which can be issued the same day of the appointment. Most budtenders aren't medically trained, but they can be very useful in personalizing a customer's cannabis experience.
It can take up to 35 days for your medical cannabis card to be approved, and once approved, the card is valid for one year. So before you start, know what you can and can't legally do under the Cannabis for Medical and Adult Use Regulation and Safety Act (MAUCRSA) and what additional changes you can expect. Patients in the registry who need help obtaining or using medical cannabis can designate a primary caregiver. The BCC requires that all cannabis harvested for commercial, medical and adult use, as well as all cannabis products, be tested to meet certain quality and safety standards.
The recommending physician should review existing patient medical records before making a recommendation, including reviewing any other medications patients are already using. If you have a chronic and debilitating medical condition, you may qualify for a California medical marijuana card. The California Health and Safety Code lists the following medical conditions that qualify a person to obtain a medical marijuana card. After Proposition 64 legalized recreational marijuana, the legislature passed the “Cannabis for Medical and Adult Use Regulation and Safety Act (“MAUCRSA”), which created a combined regulatory system for medical and recreational marijuana.