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medical marijuana identification card program

        

The Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMICP) does not have any information regarding dispensaries, growing collectives, etc. Please go to the State Attorney General's Office guidelines website.

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Only patients or their legal representatives may apply for a Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) for themselves and/or their primary caregivers. Because of this, patients are also known as "applicants." The patient or applicant is a person diagnosed with a serious medical condition for which the medical use of marijuana is appropriate.
 
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. Your responsibilities are:
 
Residency
  • You must be a resident of the county where you apply for the MMIC.            
  • Proof of residency can be any of the following items: a copy of a rental or mortgage agreement, or utility bill listing your name and physical address within the county; or a DMV issued motor vehicle registration listing your name and physical address within the county.
  • In the case of a minor applicant who is neither emancipated nor self-sufficient, and does not possess proof of county residence in his or her own name, any of the previously mentioned forms of residency evidence belonging to the parent or legal guardian is sufficient proof of residency, if they are residents of the same county.

Proof of Identity

  • You must bring proof-of-identity when you submit your application.
  • The county program will request a copy of a valid "government-issued photographic identification card" issued to you. Your California driver license or a California Identification (ID) Card is an example of an ID that satisfies this requirement.
  • Minor applicants without a government issued photo ID may use a certified copy of their birth certificate.

Physicians Recommendation

  • You must have a copy of written documentation contained in your medical records from your physician (medical doctor, osteopath or podiatrist) stating that you have a serious medical condition and that the medical use of marijuana is appropriate.
  • Your physician may use the Written Documentation of Patient's Medical Records (PDF) to satisfy this requirement.
  • Your county may have additional required documents.

County Program Photographing

  • Your county program will take a digital photo of you and any primary caregiver you may designate at the time you submit your application.
  • The photo taken will appear on your MMIC.

Fees

  • Be ready to pay the application fee when you submit your application.
  • Applicants who are Medi-Cal beneficiaries qualify for a 50 percent reduction for their own card and primary caregiver's card, if any.  Your county program will verify your Medi-Cal participation.
  • Fees vary by county. You will need to contact your county’s program to find out the fee your county charges for an MMIC application. Each County program may charge an amount not to exceed one hundred dollars ($100) per MMIC application or renewal, not to exceed fifty dollars ($50) per card for Medi-Cal eligible applicants, and the fees shall be waived for participants in the County Medical Services Program.

Completing the Application

  • You must submit a complete and accurate application.  Omitting required information or answering inaccurately are grounds for a denial.
  • Sign and date the required sections.

Renewals

  • Generally, the MMIC expires within one year (with certain exceptions).
  • It is up to you to apply for a renewal.
  • The renewal process is the same as the application process.
  • You must submit current medical information with your Application/Renewal Form (PDF).

Applying for a Primary Caregiver

  • If you designate a primary caregiver, make sure your caregiver is not already serving as a designated primary caregiver to another qualified patient in a different county.
  • If you, as the applicant, are a Medi-Cal beneficiary, the fee for your primary caregiver's card will also be discounted 50 percent. Be sure your primary caregiver completes, signs, and dates their portion of the Application/Renewal Form.

Appeals

  • If you choose to appeal a denied application, it is your responsibility to appeal the denial of your card and/or your primary caregiver's card, if any.
  • Appeals must be postmarked within 30 calendar days from the date on the notice of a denied application.
  • Please see the Appeals webpage for more information on appealing a county denial.      

Other Responsibilities

  • If you change physicians, you must notify the county program within seven days.
  • If you change primary caregivers, you must notify your county program within seven days of the change and you must instruct your former primary caregiver to turn in their MMIC to the county program for confidential destruction.
  • It is your responsibility to use your MMIC only for the purposes intended by the law.
  • You will need to authorize your physician to release medical information to the county program.  Your county program cannot process your application without this authorization.

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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 MMIC for yourself. You must apply in person, with your patient. Your responsibilities are:
  • Provide proof of identity. See "Proof of Identity" under "Applicant(Patient) Responsibilities." 
  • Be prepared to be photographed. See "County Program Photographing" under "Applicant (Patient) Responsibilities."
  • Complete and sign the "Primary Caregiver Declaration" portion of the Application/Renewal Form.
  • If you work for more than one qualified patient, you must reside in the same county.
  • If you no longer work for a qualified patient, you must return your MMIC for confidential destruction to the county program that issued the card to you.

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The attending physician caring for the qualified patient must fulfill the following criteria and responsibilities:
  • Possess a license to practice medicine, osteopathy, or podiatry in California issued by the Medical Board of California, the Osteopathic Medical Board of California, or the California Board of Podiatric Medicine. This license must be in good standing.
  • Take responsibility for an aspect of the medical care, treatment, diagnosis, counseling, or referral of the applicant (patient).
  • Perform a medical examination of the applicant (patient).
  • As a result of the medical examination, document in the patient's medical record that the patient has a serious medical condition and that the medical use of marijuana is appropriate.
  • Have the patient sign an authorized medical release of information.  The county program cannot process the patient's application without the appropriate authorization for release of medical information.
  • Provide to the patient copies of the medical records stating that he or she has been diagnosed with a serious medical condition and that the medical use of marijuana is appropriate. You may use the Written Documentation of Patient's Medical Records (PDF) form to serve this purpose (a copy must be kept in the patient's medical record).
  • Review the Medical Board of California's Guidelines for Recommendation of Cannabis for Medical Purposes.

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The legal representative is a person authorized to act on behalf of a patient who cannot make medical decisions for themselves. The legal representative can be any of the following: a conservator with authority to make medical decisions; an attorney-in-fact under a durable power of attorney for health care; a surrogate decision maker authorized under another advanced health care directive; any other individual authorized by statutory or decisional law to make medical decisions for the person. This can be the parent, legal guardian, or person or entity with legal authority to make medical decisions for a minor. If you are acting on behalf of an applicant who cannot make medical decisions for themselves, you should read and be aware of all aspects of the application process. Your responsibilities are to:
  • Provide proof of identity for yourself and the applicant (patient). See "Proof of Identity" under "Applicant/Patient Responsibilities."
  • Provide proof of legal representation for the applicant (patient). This may include a living will, power of attorney for health care, advanced health care directive, or a court-issued document showing conservatorship.
  • For other application information, please see "Applicant (Patient) Responsibilities".
  • If you are also acting as the applicant (patient's) primary caregiver, you will need to refer to "Primary Caregiver Responsibilities".

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  • Identify the governmental or nongovernmental organization that is designated to carry out Program responsibilities as directed by the county.
  • Utilize MMICP protocols developed by the CDPH.
  • Provide, receive, and process applications for MMIC.
  • Take an electronically transmissible photo of the applicant (patient and/or primary caregiver) that meets criteria prescribed in the state protocols.
  • Utilize the web-based system to transmit a limited amount of application information (e.g., designation of patient or primary caregiver, his or her photo, county or its designee and phone number, card expiration date, etc.) to CDPH's card production and data repository system.
  • Receive state produced MMICs and issue them to the cardholders.
  • Retain various county records of the MMICP.
  • Comply with timeline requirements of Senate Bill 94 (Chapter 27, Statutes of 2017) and CDPH protocols and regulations.

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  • Develop policies, procedures, protocols, regulations, and forms.
  • Establish a uniform application process, an MMIC production system, and a data repository for card verification, through the development of a web-based system that will:
    • Ensure information security through the use of protected firewalls and assigned user IDs and passwords to county health departments.
    • Collect and report application information entered by counties or their designees.
    • Assign unique card identification numbers.
    • Print MMICs and send them to county programs.
    • Allow immediate access for the verification of the MMIC by law enforcement officials and others.
  • Manage the denied application appeal process.
  • Comply with timeline requirements of Senate Bill 94 (Chapter 27, Statutes of 2017).

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