What’s the difference between a medical cannabis (marijuana) card and a medical cannabis (marijuana) license?

A medical marijuana card is an easy to carry representation of the document given to you by the doctor if you are approved for the use of medical marijuana.

Sometimes people unknowingly will refer to the medical marijuana card as a license, but it’s not a license.

How to get a medical marijuana license

In California, typically, once you’ve been evaluated by a doctor, you’ll get

  1. a document that states that based on a physician’s evaluation, he/she thinks that your medical condition may benefit from the use of medical marijuana
  2. a card that is an easy carry representation of this document


With these documents you’re set to gain entry into a medical marijuana dispensary and purchase marijuana medications.

In California, there is a state-authorized medical marijuana identification card, but it’s just an identification card. It’s not a license. Although, again, sometimes people will unknowingly refer to it as a license, but it’s not a license.

Patients are not required to get this card from the state, but, if you’d like to get one, it can be obtained through the health department of the county in which you live. Click here for more info.