This article was produced and sponsored by NuggMD.
So you’ve determined that marijuana is the right medicine for you and now you’re ready to get your medical marijuana card. If you or someone you know has ever tried getting a medical marijuana recommendation, you know the process can be confusing, and sometimes even sketchy, depending on who you’re dealing with.
But not to worry, getting your medical cannabis card online can be an easy, comfortable process with NuggMD, and it’s 100 percent legal thanks to California’s telehealth laws.
What's the back story behind medical marijuana cards
Although you can ask your primary physician whether or not medical marijuana is the right treatment for you, most medical marijuana patients opt to see a cannabis specialist (medical marijuana doctor) to handle their recommendation. And even though marijuana was recently recreationally legalized in the state of California, getting a medical recommendation remains the easiest way for qualified patients to access cannabis, legal recreational sales won’t begin until 2018.
Since 1996 when California voters and lawmakers legalized medical marijuana through Proposition 215, doctors have been bestowed with the legal ability to grant patients “recommendations” to access marijuana for medical treatment purposes. Because of marijuana’s illegal status with the federal government, doctors are not legally allowed to “prescribe” marijuana to patients, but rather must “recommend” patients be legally eligible to access marijuana for treatment.
Colloquially, you may have heard cannabis recommendations referred to as a medical marijuana card, a weed card, license, recommendation (or “rec”), or MMID; but really what you’re getting is simply a licensed doctor’s consent to access medical marijuana to treat your condition.
Getting your recommendation online vs in-person
If you think medical marijuana is the right medicine to treat your particular condition or disorder, you should be able to easily and readily access it for relief. And trust us, you’re not the only person wondering how to get a medical marijuana card quickly and easily. So rather than going through the headache of searching for a trustworthy medical marijuana doctor in your area, then waiting around for your appointment, why not get your valid recommendation completely online in a matter of minutes?
Finding a reliable doctor, then scheduling an appointment, taking the time and effort to travel to the doctor’s office, and then inevitably waiting beyond your scheduled appointment can be a total drag. Not to mention a huge waste of time. This is why getting your medical marijuana recommendation card online is the ideal option for most people! NuggMD ensures patients receive 100 percent legal evaluations from a licensed doctor at their own convenience, using the magic of the Internet.
Ordinarily a brief 5-10 minute video-chat is all it takes to wrap everything up, and you will be quickly on your way to receiving the relief you deserve with a valid medical cannabis recommendation. Of course even when accessing a doctor digitally, all of your confidential medical information is kept private between you and your doctor, protected by HIPPA law, and NuggMD assures patients that all credit transactions are processed by a reliable and secure 3rd party.
What do I need? How do I qualify?
However, not everyone is eligible for a medical marijuana recommendation. In the state of California, you must meet the following requirements:
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must have a valid California ID card or proof of identification
- Must be able to prove residence in the state of California
- Must have a legitimate, qualifying medical condition.
The state of California recognizes a wide variety of medical conditions, which according to California Senate Bill 420 include:
- Chronic Pain
- “Any other illness for which marijuana might provide relief”
As that last bullet point alludes to, there are many other diseases, disorders, and conditions not listed here that qualify you for a medical marijuana recommendation, so it can’t hurt to chat with a doctor about your particular symptoms. In fact, the co-authors of Proposition 215 have publicly stated that they made the bill's wording intentionally liberal such that anyone in California could get easy access to medical cannabis. And NuggMD makes it easier than ever for patients to get the relief that they need.
How the online evaluation process works
Now all you need is a device with Internet access to get started, and to visit NuggMD.com. After creating an account, you’ll fill out standard medical forms similar to that of any ordinary doctor’s office, with the ability to upload any medical documents that you may already have. Remember, all of your confidential medical information remains private between you and your doctor via protection by HIPPA law.
Once you’ve done that, you’ll be taken to the next step to upload a picture of your state ID card (a passport, or any other U.S. issued ID will work too), which will help the doctor confirm that you’re over 18 years old.
Finally, you’re brought to the step to select which package to purchase, either just your doctor’s recommendation letter (which is all you legally need to show to get access to medical marijuana dispensaries), or the second package option which includes an additional wallet sized ID card that can be used for repeat visits to dispensaries. This ID card is where the famous term “medical marijuana card” comes from.
Keep in mind that most dispensaries require the standard 8 ½ x 11” doctor’s recommendation to be shown upon your first visit, and will only accept the convenient medical marijuana ID card after your first visit.
Once you’ve filled out the necessary documents and selected which package you want, your 420 evaluation can begin. The medical marijuana evaluation itself is a simple 5-minute process involving a phone or video call about your current condition, medical history, and how marijuana might be able to help your condition. The doctors working for NuggMD are all friendly, highly knowledgeable, and familiar with how marijuana can treat a variety of diseases and disorders, making the online process incredibly simple for beginners in any California city, from San Jose and Oakland to Los Angeles and San Diego, and everywhere in between.
Ordering cannabis after being approved
Shortly after being approved by your doctor, you’ll receive an email with a PDF version of your recommendation that can be used immediately! Remember though that most dispensaries require firmly a paper copy, so be sure to print it out and call ahead to a dispensary to ask if they’ll accept your temporary copy. In 2-3 days via mail, you’ll receive your official medical marijuana recommendation, with an embossed seal, plus your MMJ ID card if you decided to purchase one, which will be accepted by 100% of California cannabis dispensaries.
Your medical marijuana recommendation card is valid for one year, same as it would be if you were to see a doctor in-person, after which you’ll have to get a marijuana card renewal. Just remember that only California-issued recommendation cards will be accepted at California dispensaries, and recommendations from other states will not be accepted. However, some other states will accept California-issued medical marijuana cards.
Armed with a valid medical marijuana card, you can now safely and legally enter marijuana dispensaries and make purchases, or you can order marijuana delivery via online marketplaces like GetNugg.com, which list the menus of nearby dispensaries and allow you to place orders without ever picking up the phone!