Medical Marijuana for Minors in California
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Yes, a minor can get a medical marijuana card in California, considering that the patient has fulfilled all the state-set eligibility requirements. Historically, the state of California was the first ever US state to legalize the use of medical cannabis back in 1996. Since that year, the state constantly upgraded its medical marijuana laws in favor of its residents. Let’s take a look at the eligibility requirements and how exactly a minor can apply for a California medical marijuana card.

Eligibility requirements for a medical marijuana card in California

The eligibility requirements set by the state for both minor and adult patients are quite similar. Patients from both groups must be permanent California residents and have a valid medical marijuana recommendation from a certified medical doctor.

But in the case of minor patients, there is one exception. As per the state law, the minor must be accompanied by a designated caregiver who can help them with marijuana possession/cultivation. The caregiver must apply for the relevant role separately and must provide all the required legal identification documents.

Qualifying medical conditions

As per the California state law, a patient must be diagnosed with one of the following medical conditions to become eligible for a medical marijuana card,

  • Cancer
  • Severe nausea
  • Side effects of radiation therapy
  • Any persistent or chronic medical symptom that poses a serious threat to mental or physical health if left untreated
  • Glaucoma
  • Arthritis
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Migraine headaches
  • Anorexia
  • Cachexia, or wasting syndrome

What exactly is a caregiver?

The primary role of a cannabis caregiver in California is to possess or cultivate a reasonable amount of medical cannabis on behalf of minor patients so they can assist them with cannabis intake as per the patient’s medical needs. It is important to note that just like some patients in California don’t require a medical marijuana card, you don’t need a proper caregiver license.

However, the following are some conditions that determine your eligibility as a caregiver in California,

  • The patient for whom you’re applying as a caregiver must be eligible to use medical cannabis.
  • You must fit within the legal definition of a primary caregiver as stated in the Compassionate Use Act. That means, “the individual designated by the person exempted under this section who has consistently assumed responsibility for the housing, health, or safety of that person”

Medical Marijuana Laws for minors in California

The medical marijuana laws are similar for qualifying adult and minor patients. Some of the key points of effective laws include,

  • Smoking cannabis is prohibited in areas where a ‘no smoking’ policy is effective.
  • Using cannabis while driving or driving under the influence of cannabis is illegal and an offense punishable by probation/jail time and financial fines.
  • As per the law, there is no specific possession limit for medical marijuana patients within the state. The patient/caregiver can possess medical cannabis for their medical needs.
  • Patients who are not yet 18, may apply for themselves as qualified patients considering if they are legally emancipated or have declared the status of self-sufficiency.

Final Note

The state of California has one of the most future-oriented cannabis laws which allows patients who are not yet 18 to successfully apply for a state medical marijuana card. The only additional requirement is to be accompanied by a designated caregiver and from what we know, the whole application process is quite user-friendly.

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