Understanding California's Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMICP)

If you live in California and your doctor has suggested you try medical marijuana to treat your medical condition, then you should consider enrolling in the state's MMIC program. If you are unfamiliar with the MMIC program, the below information will help you understand its purpose and how it is related to purchasing medical marijuana from a local dispensary.

California's MMIC Program

To make law enforcement's job easier and growing, purchasing, and transporting medical marijuana safer for patients and caregivers in the state of California, the MMIC program was created. MMIC stands for Medical Marijuana Identification Card. (You will also see this program called MMICP where the "P" stands for the word "program".) While enrollment in the MMIC program is voluntary, it is designed to make contact between caregivers, patients, and law enforcement officers safer, simpler, and much less confusing for everyone.

For example, if you are registered as a caregiver or medical marijuana using patient and happen to be stopped for a traffic violation where your vehicle is searched, enrollment in the MMIC program ensures you won't be arrested for possession of an illegal substance if the officer finds an allowable amount of medical marijuana or its necessary paraphernalia.

MMICP Registration Requirements

To register with the MMIC program, you are required to be at least 18 years old and must have a doctor's recommendation that states the marijuana is necessary for medical treatment. In addition, you will be required to pay a fee to the state government agency which oversees the program.

MMIC Program Cards and Database Registration

If you choose to enroll in the MMICP, then you will be given an identification card as well as registration in an online medical marijuana users database. The card serves two different purposes:

  1. it assists law enforcement in knowing you are legally in possession of medical marijuana
  2. it allows you to purchase medical marijuana from any dispensary in the state

While you can show your doctor's recommendation to law enforcement or a dispensary's staff, it's just easier and cleaner to enroll and get the card.

Enrollment in the program also puts your name in the online medical marijuana users database. This database can be accessed only by medical professionals and law enforcement if they have a question as it pertains to your possession or use of marijuana. Finally, while you may be concerned about employers or others accessing the database, this is prohibited by law because it is considered to be a medical record and protected by HIPAA regulations. For more information, contact your local Medical Cannabis Patient Center Services.