Doctors do not “prescribe” marijuana. Federal law specifically prohibits prescription of Schedule I drugs, including marijuana. Instead, doctors can “recommend” marijuana for appropriate conditions. Patients who are living with “cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief” are mentioned in Prop. 215. Physicians have recommended marijuana for numerous other conditions, including insomnia, depression, anxiety, PTSD, and many more.
For the most part, these rules do not affect individual patients, as long as they cultivate solely for personal medical use and limit their growing area to 100 square feet. Primary caregivers can cultivate up to 500 square feet for the personal medical use of up to five patients without falling under the new rules.
Marijuana use, possession, and distribution is illegal under federal law. 21 U.S.C. § 801 et seq. There is no exception or special treatment for medical use, and California law cannot override federal law.
City and County Laws
California led the nation in legalizing medicinal marijuana. Under California law, patients who meet certain requirements can obtain and use marijuana legally with a doctor’s recommendation. Recreational use has also recently been legalized in California, but all marijuana use remains illegal under federal law. If you’re thinking about using medicinal marijuana, here’s what you need to know.
Cards are issued by county Departments of Public Health. There is a charge for the card; currently the fee is $100 annually ($50 with proof of Medi-Cal benefits) in Sacramento County (“Medical Marijuana Identification Card – Frequently Asked Questions,” Sacramento County Department of Health Services).
California, local, and federal laws on medical marijuana
Medical use of marijuana/cannabis has been legal since Proposition 215, the “Compassionate Use Act,” passed in 1996 (Cal. Health & Safety (H&S) § 11362.5). After Proposition 64 legalized recreational marijuana, the legislature passed the passed the “Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act” (“MAUCRSA”), creating a combined regulatory system for both medical and recreational marijuana. (Read NORML’s summary here: www.canorml.org/Cal_NORML_Guide_to_AUMA.)
Many cities and counties prohibit or regulate dispensaries and the cultivation of marijuana. Any county or city may have its own unique ordinances. Most are available on the internet.
Volatile solvents are chemicals that produce a flammable gas or vapor. Examples include:
Infusion mixes cannabis extract or plant material with other ingredients to make a cannabis product.
Type P: packaging and labeling
The Type 8 license is for laboratories that test cannabis goods prior to sale at a retailer.
Outdoor licenses are for cultivators who grow cannabis outside without using any artificial lighting or light deprivation techniques on mature plants.
Type 11: distributor
Shared-use facilities are places where multiple Type S manufacturers rotate on a schedule and share space and equipment. A Type 7, 6 or N license can register all or part of their manufacturing premises as a shared-use facility.