What Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Card in California (2024)

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How Many Medical Conditions Qualify for Medical Marijuana Treatment in California?

According to California’s cannabis law, there are 11 named medical conditions that qualify for medical marijuana treatment in the state. The law, however, leaves an open-ended provision for recommending medical cannabis for any condition deemed life-threatening or severely limiting the activities of daily living.

Qualifying Conditions for Medical Card in California 2024

The California Department of Cannabis Control lists the following qualifying medical conditions for issuing medical cannabis cards:

  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS)
  • Anorexia
  • Arthritis
  • Cachexia or Wasting Syndrome
  • Cancer
  • Chronic pain
  • Glaucoma
  • Migraine
  • Severe nausea
  • Seizures, such as epileptic seizures
  • Persistent muscle spasms like those caused by multiple sclerosis)

In addition to these listed condition, California also regards any chronic or persistent condition or treatment as qualifying for medical cannabis use, if it:

  • Significantly limits the sufferer’s ability to conduct major life activities, as defined by the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990
  • Jeopardizes the sufferer’s safety or may cause serious harm to their physical or mental health

Does California Add New Qualifying Conditions to its Medical Marijuana Program?

No. California’s cannabis law does not make provisions for expanding the established list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis use. There is no need for such provisions because the law already allows physicians to recommend medical cannabis for conditions usually proposed for addition. These are conditions that may cause chronic, debilitating outcomes impacting sufferers’ ability to perform activities of daily living or having a severe toll on their physical and mental health.

Does California Allow Physicians to Recommend Medical Cannabis for Non-Qualifying Conditions?

In California, physicians can only recommend medical cannabis for conditions identified in the state’s list of qualifying conditions. However, the state allows physicians to recommend medical cannabis for conditions besides the 11 specifically mentioned if they believe such conditions will cause their patients serious harm, impact their physical or mental health, or limit their ability to conduct major life activities.

Do You Need a Doctor’s Recommendation for Medical Marijuana in California?

Yes. A medical recommendation is a prerequisite for obtaining a medical marijuana card in California. This recommendation must establish that the patient was diagnosed with a qualifying condition and that the physician deems the use of medical marijuana as appropriate for managing this condition. In California, doctors capable of providing medical recommendations for medical marijuana use are those certified by the Medical Board of California, the California Board of Podiatric Medicine, or the Osteopathic Medical Board of California.

Who Qualifies for a Medical Marijuana Card in California?

Besides living with a qualifying condition and obtaining a medical recommendation for medical cannabis, California requires those applying for its medical marijuana card to also be:

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