Medical Marijuana Cards Expiry Date Extended Indefinitely in California

If your medical marijuana ID card was due for renewal this year, you are in luck. Back on May 19th, 2020, the Governor of California extended the expiration of all MMICs that would otherwise expire on March 4th, 2020 for 60 days. Since then, the situation of the coronavirus has gone astray in the country which calls for new rules and orders.

So, in light of the rising numbers of COVID-19 cases in the state, the same order has been revised in January 2021 to provide longer relaxation to medical marijuana patients.

Medical Marijuana ID Card Expiry Extension Order

On 21st January 2021, the Governor of California signed the executive order to extend the expiry date of the California Medical Marijuana ID Cards (MMIC) due to the current state of the pandemic. As per the order, all MMICs that were to expire on or after March 4th, 2020, will remain valid until the state of emergency subsides or a new order is announced regarding the same. The preference will be given to whichever situation happens first.

The state medical marijuana ID card is issued under the Health and Safety Code 11362.71 and legally authorizes the holder to buy and use medical marijuana for personal purposes. The cardholder can be a patient of legal age or a caregiver. Generally, a state-issued ID card for medical marijuana is valid for a period of 1 year. It calls for renewal after it nears the expiry date. But presently, the California government is ready to provide relaxation for the same. It will allow all patients undergoing medical marijuana treatment to access their medication without having to worry about the expiration.

The order will make sure that all state-registered dispensaries accept all MMICs expired on or after March 4th and offer the holders every benefit that they are entitled to by law.

Difference Between a Medical Marijuana Card and Recommendation Letter

While the CA Government has extended the expiration of MMICs, the same is not the case with a medical marijuana recommendation card or letter (MMRC). You must understand the difference between the two to avoid any legal problems.

An MMIC is an official document issued by the public health offices of the county. Its primary purpose is to allow easier access to medical marijuana for patients undergoing marijuana treatment. It’s a state ID card that registers the patient in state records and also makes verification easier for the authorities.

A medical marijuana recommendation card (MMRC) is a letter provided by a professional medical doctor stating their approval for a patient to undergo medical marijuana treatment. The information of the patient is generally stored in private records.

You can buy and use marijuana legally with either of the two documents. You can just use your MMRC to access medical marijuana or register with the state using your MMRC and get a state ID card.

Similar to an MMIC, a recommendation letter also has a validity of a year since its date of issuance. So, if you haven’t registered with the state medical marijuana program for an MMIC, you will have to get your recommendation renewed before the expiry date since there’s no legal extension for the recommendation letter.

Final Thoughts

The state of the pandemic isn’t looking great. The numbers are climbing which forced us back into lockdown. The stay at home order is lifted partially but the smart thing to do now is to stay at home and take care of your health.

Considering the situation, the Government of California took some actions to help the public such as the MMIC expiry extension order. But, if you have been using a doctor’s recommendation to access marijuana in the state, make sure to get it renewed on time.

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