For many Californians, the state’s Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) is a lifesaver: A state-issued license granted to those of us who rely on cannabis for its proven medical powers. That said, when California welcomed adult-use cannabis with the passage of Prop 64 back in 2016, many of us believed the MMIC was rendered obsolete. We say: Not so fast!
Why? The MMIC still grants significant legal protections for medical cannabis users. What’s more, it can save you a significant amount of money during checkout due to its waiver on state taxes. And in the spirit of giving we believe animates the cannabis industry, it can give those of us least able to afford medical cannabis access to its potentially life-saving power.
That’s a lot to digest, but we’ll break it down for you slowly. If you don’t already have an MMIC card, here are some reasons you might want to apply.
California’s MMIC Program: What It Provides
Way back in 1996, California made history with the passage of Prop 215, which decriminalized medical cannabis in the country’s most populous state. As a result, the MMIC program was inaugurated to identify those Californians who could legally possess cannabis.
As we pointed out above, these days it almost shouldn’t matter, given that adult-use cannabis is now legal too. But there are some “hidden” legal protections to the MMIC that, in a pinch, can turn out to be a very big deal indeed.
For one thing, MMIC holders can possess more cannabis than non-cardholders. Under Prop 64, the state’s adult-use bill, adults can possess up to an ounce of cannabis. But the MMIC provides that cardholders can possess up to eight ounces.
Then there’s the question of age. Under state law, only those under 21 years of age to purchase or use cannabis. But those as young as 18 can obtain an MMIC, provided they have a doctor’s recommendation.
Finally—and this is the big one—the MMIC saves you money. How? The MMIC exempts cardholders from paying taxes on their cannabis purchases. And those taxes add up, typically costing anywhere from 14% – 20% over and above the price of the cannabis. You’ll have to pay to obtain your MMIC, but it’s pretty cheap (there’s a $100 cap on the application process) And of course, the savings you gain will quickly offset this cost!
Higher Path’s Compassion Program: How It Works
One of our favorite parts about helping build the cannabis economy is the true spirit of compassion and care that animates it. That’s why we created the Compassion Program, designed to help ensure that those least able to afford medical cannabis can access it for free!
If you believe your income status qualifies, we heartily invite you to enroll in our program. All you have to do is become a member of our collective using a valid driver’s license, and show proof of your low-income status via your most recent tax return and enrollment in any of the following programs: SSI, SNAP, CAL-Works, or General Government Assistance.
Do you have more questions about MMIC or our Compassion Program? Don’t hesitate to reach out! We’re here to help!