Interested in how to become a legal grower of medical cannabis in California? Uncertain about the law? Here’s how to get your grower’s license in California, with which you’re currently allowed to grow up to 99 plants.
You can get your cultivation license in any California city—Los Angeles, San Diego, San Jose, San Francisco, Sacramento, Long Beach, Oakland, Bakersfield, Anaheim, Santa Ana, almost all CA cities for that matter—just make sure yours doesn’t have explicit rules against cultivation like Fresno”
Obtain your grower’s license in California online in about 10-15 minutes. Just click here to visit the nation’s leading online platform for cannabis and start your evaluation with a trusted doctor, then choose “Grower’s Recommendation” once you’re at the checkout screen.
Under Prop 215, medical marijuana patients ages 18 and over can cultivate up to six mature marijuana plants (or 12 immature plants) and possess up to eight ounces of dried flower per residency. Growing more than that will result in a misdemeanor. However, cultivation laws vary from county and city. In Fresno, growing medical cannabis, like dispensaries, is outright banned, leaving MMJ patients unable to secure their medicine effectively and consistently.
Now that Prop 64 has passed, many people are asking whether they still need a medical marijuana card? Here’s the scoop. Adults 21 and older can grow six recreational plants per residency (in a locked, confined space) and keep or give any amount away.
They’ll also be able to buy recreational marijuana in California once recreational licenses are issued to dispensaries. Regardless of where you live, the county cannot prohibit you from growing these plants inside your home, they can only set regulations like not growing outdoors.
Yet sometimes six plants aren’t enough. Many constant and terminal medical conditions like chronic pain and cancer require more cannabis for stronger and long-lasting relief. Sound like you? Don’t worry, because here’s how you can get a 99 plant recommendation in California from a qualified doctor, allowing you to cultivate up to 99 marijuana plants.
Before we do, let’s break down the differences between a doctor’s recommendation, a medical marijuana ID card, and a grower’s license, plus see what’s in store for growing in 2018.
All you need is a qualified doctor’s recommendation to legally purchase medical cannabis and grow up to six MMJ plants. Some people opt for the added option of having a physical MMJ ID Card for the convenience of being able to carry it anywhere, but it isn’t legally required.
To acquire a medical marijuana recommendation, you can either look online for “medical marijuana evaluations near me” and compare prices and distances from your home, or you can receive your MMJ rec through an online telemedicine service like NuggMD that streamlines the process and lets you visit with a licensed doctor from home.
It only takes about ten minutes (or more if you need it). Just have an internet connection and a legitimate qualifying condition (the list of conditions that qualify for medical cannabis is quite extensive). If approved, you’ll receive a letter of recommendation by mail while an electronic version will be sent immediately.
MMJ doctors also give you the option of obtaining an MMJ identification card. Under California MMJ laws, you don’t need an ID card to purchase or grow cannabis, just the official doctor’s letter of recommendation. A MMJ ID card is simply a convenient and secure way to prove your patient status to the dispensary, law enforcement, and when you get seeds or clones.
Once you obtain a rec/ID card, you can purchase medical cannabis from storefront collectives or co-ops, commonly known as “dispensaries,” and from a medical marijuana delivery service that covers your area.
While, technically, this doctor’s recommendation allows you to grow as many plants as your medical condition requires, there’s that Prop 215 plant limit. If you want to grow more, you’ll need a 99 plant recommendation/99 plant grow card.
As mentioned before, anyone with a MMJ rec can cultivate as much cannabis as needed to ease their symptom(s) or condition(s). However, to makes things easier with the law, MMJ doctors often provide an addendum, aka 99 plant script, stating that you need to grow more than the six allowed under MMJ laws, but no more than 100.
While these grower’s recommendations provide another layer of defense against federal prosecution, under the law the amount of MMJ you grow must be relative to your symptom(s) or condition(s; and it does not allow you to sell your surplus crop.
Trying to get around this 99 plant exemption? Under California SB 420, individual dispensary members can band together to grow together as a non-profit collective, enabling them to produce more than 99 plants.
But be careful; growing more than 99 plants under federal law remains a felony with a minimum sentence of five years in jail. For this reason, many of these collectives stick with the 99 plant law. Several cities are banning or severely restricting this collective effort, so remember to check your local cultivation laws before growing 99 marijuana plants.
Need a license to grow 99 plants in California now? Unfortunately, applications for a commercial grower’s license and other growing licenses won’t be available until early 2018.
The CalCannabis Cultivation Licensing, a division of the California Department of Food and Agriculture, published a set of proposed regulations that list 14 different cultivation licenses depending on the size and activity of the growing operation. Growers will need to pay an application fee and an annual marijuana cultivation license fee; requirements will also include a background check and restrictions on where you can grow your cannabis.
Although you can get a MMJ doctor’s permission to grow 99 plants, you’re doing so under state law and at your own discretion. So until you can get an official 99 plant grow license in California starting in 2018, be prepared to always have your doctor’s rec and all other pertinent info about your growing operation on hand. Even with the doc’s 99 plant recommendation in California and abiding by licensing guidelines, federal prosecution is still a possibility.
SEE ALSO: NuggMD now lets you consult with a New York medical marijuana doctor online!