Medical Marijuana Frequently Asked Questions

The following are typical medical marijuana frequently asked questions.

Q: What Is Medical Marijuana?
A: In short, it allows marijuana to be used as pain relieving medicine.

Proposition 215 added Section 11362.5 to the California Health and Safety Code, which:

  • Exempts patients and defined caregivers who possess or cultivate marijuana for medical treatment recommended by a physician from criminal laws which otherwise prohibit possession or cultivation of marijuana.
  • Provides physicians who recommend use of marijuana for medical treatment shall not be punished or denied any right or privilege.
  • Declares that the measure is not be construed to supersede prohibitions of conduct endangering others or to condone diversion of marijuana for non-medical purposes.

In the state of California on the November 5, 1996 ballot, Proposition 215 was passed with 5,382,915 (55.6%) votes in favor. Prop 216 is also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996. It allows patients with a valid doctor’s recommendation, and the patient’s designated Primary Caregivers, to possess and cultivate marijuana for personal medical use.


Q: Which states have legalized medical marijuana use?

A: Since 1996, 16 states have legalized medical marijuana:

Alaska, California, Colorado, DC, Delaware, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, NewJersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.

Q: Under what conditions can I use medicinal marijuana?

A: These serious medical conditions are: acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS); anorexia; arthritis; cachexia (wasting syndrome); cancer; chronic pain; glaucoma; migraine; persistent muscle spasms (i.e., spasms associated with multiple sclerosis); seizures (i.e., epileptic seizures); severe nausea; any other chronic or persistent medical condition that limits the ability of the patient to conduct one or more major life activities as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, or if not alleviated, may cause serious harm to the patient’s safety, physical, or mental health.

*As an applicant, it is your responsibility to ensure you meet these criteria before continuing with the application process.

Q: Which organizations have endorsed medicinal marijuana?

A: Some organizations include:

The Institute of Medicine, The American Academy of Family Physicians; American Bar Association; American Public Health Association; American Society of Addiction Medicine; AIDS Action Council; British Medical Association; California Academy of Family Physicians; California Legislative Council for Older Americans; California Medical Association; California Nurses Association; California Pharmacists Association; California Society of Addiction Medicine; California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church; Colorado Nurses Association; Consumer Reports Magazine; Kaiser Permanente; Lymphoma Foundation of America; Multiple Sclerosis California Action Network; National Association of Attorneys General; National Association of People with AIDS; National Nurses Society on Addictions; New Mexico Nurses Association; New York State Nurses Association; New England Journal of Medicine; and Virginia Nurses Association.

Q: How can I become a Medicinal Marijuana Patient?

A: 4 Simple Steps:

  1. Residency
  2. Physicians’ Recommendation
  3. County or State Program Licensing
  4. Fees, Finishing & RenewalIf you need help becoming a medical marijuana patient, visit THCF Clinic in your state.


Q:  How long will it take to get my MMIC?

A:  Once you submit your completed and signed application form with the required documents (proof of residency, medical documentation, etc.) to your county’s program, the county program has 30 days to approve or deny your application.

Once the application is approved, the county program has five days to make the MMIC available to you.  It can take 35 days to receive your MMIC if the application is complete and the county program finds no reason to deny your application.

If any information or documents are missing, this may delay processing your application.  If this is the case, your county’s program will contact you within 30 days from the day you submit your application.  If you do not receive your MMIC in 35 days, contact your county’s program.

Q:  How much medical marijuana can I have in my possession?

A:  For information on possession limits please visit the Health and Safety Code Section 11362.77 or contact your local lawyer. Every state has it’s own amount in the law. For the state of Michigan, a patient can have 2.5 ounces.

Q: As a legal patient, how can I acquire medicinal marijuana?

A: 3 ways:

1. Find a caregiver:

A primary caregiver is a person who consistently assumes the responsibility for the housing, health or safety of the applicant (patient).  This may be an individual or the owner, operator or employee of an appropriately licensed clinic, facility, hospice, or home health agency.  As a primary caregiver you cannot apply for a card for yourself.  Your patient must apply for you.

A caregiver is someone who has the know-how of growing medicinal marijuana.

They must be eligible to legally apply and be accepted as the primary caregiver for your supply of medicinal marijuana.

The caregiver must also reside in the same county as you to provide your medicine.

2. Join a Cannabis Club / Dispensary / CO-OP

You must provide proof of identification and your MMIC at each dispensary you choose to drive to in California. Each dispensary in each county has their own regulations as to how much medicinal marijuana patients may acquire at one time.

3. Grow Your Own!

Growing you own medicinal marijuana is easy and efficient. You can have the control of the potency, breed, amount, even flavor. In addition, raising a new
plant to maturity from a seedling is an uplifting routine that brings feelings of accomplishment. Plus you reap the benefits with every harvest. Did you know you
can harvest an indoor plant every 30 days? That could give you 3 ounces a month of your own perfected medicine customized to your liking!

Here is how you can start your education.