Anyone with a medical cannabis recommendation knows that referrals come either as cheap but inconvenient letter-size physician’s recommendations, or higher-priced, sleek little marijuana ID cards. The card generally costs $20-$30 more, because it fits right into your wallet. But that higher-priced card often misses information that some dispensaries require for admitting patients.
A Marijuana ID card might look nice, but it’s not a legally valid document — unless one applies for it through a county health department and it was officially issued by the California Department of Public Health. Outside of direct physician’s prescriptions, most people get their marijuana ID card from a “card shop” with onsite referring doctors.
These are not official state-issued cards, and their appearances and layouts are inconsistent statewide. Some mimic the appearance of a driver’s license, maybe with marijuana leaf icons in the background. Others resemble flashy casino rewards cards, and make no attempt to emulate the appearance of state-issued ID.
But more importantly, many cards do not show the recommending doctor’s signature. And without the ability to scan and keep a physician’s signature on file, some dispensaries will send you home to retrieve your embossed and signed letter of recommendation — the cheaper document that seemed less useful.
Marijuana dispensaries don’t all have the same rules for admission, and it’s important to note that when they sign someone up, they’re not just admitting them to the dispensary: They’re technically registering people as members of their co-op or collective, which so far has been how the state classifies…
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