Medical Marijuana Doctors Los Angeles
So you’re ready to finally get access to the relief you deserve for your condition with medical marijuana, eh?
In Los Angeles, it seems like you can find a dispensary on nearly every intersection.
However, before you can walk into one of LA’s fine cannabis establishments, you’ll need to visit a medical marijuana doctor in Los Angeles and get approved for a recommendation.
How to Find a Reliable Medical Marijuana Doctor in Los Angeles?
If you or any of your friends have ever considered becoming legal cannabis patients, you know it can be difficult to find a Los Angeles weed doctor with a professional practice.
Take a walk down the Venice Beach boardwalk, and you’ll quickly realize what I’m referring to here. Somewhere in between the $5 palm readings and hulking body-builders, young dudes in green scrubs advertise: “Get Legal in 10 Minutes!!”
Without diving deeper into the consequences of these shady no-medical-knowledge-required, “get legal quick” marijuana card shops; just know that although the current state of medical marijuana can be tricky, it is important to get your recommendation card from a qualified professional.
Not only that, but these “Green Doctors” are notorious for being a bait-and-switch scam, in which they draw you in with the promise of a cheap MMJ card, but then upcharge you into oblivion. Some people have reported having to pay as much as $250.
If you do opt for the in-person option, make sure you research the 420 evaluations location you plan to visit.
You can visit your primary family physician and ask them about cannabis—and for many, this can be a good starting point. However, most choose to see a doctor who specializes in medical marijuana.
Los Angeles is abundant with professional, trusted marijuana doctors. Google is your friend in finding a reliable practice, as well as word-of-mouth. Another newer option that is quickly becoming popular within the community is to get your medical marijuana recommendation completely online through NuggMD, and we’ll get back to that in a minute.
See a medical marijuana doctor in Los Angeles from the comfort of home, California lets you get your medical marijuana card online!
Why Do I Need a Medical Marijuana Card in Los Angeles?
Despite the fact that marijuana was made legal for recreational use in California with the passage of Proposition 64, having a medical marijuana card is still currently the easiest and most reliable way for patients to quickly access the cannabis medicine they need.
In fact, it’s the only way to purchase medical cannabis in Los Angeles or anywhere else in California, at least until recreational dispensary licenses are issued beginning January 2018.
This may change in the future as legislations become clearer and more recreational cannabis establishments pop up, but for now dispensaries still ask for a doctor’s recommendation.
Back in 1996, California voters legitimized medical marijuana by passing Prop 215, and granted doctors the option to issue qualified patients “recommendations” for the medical use of cannabis.
But due to marijuana’s status as an illegal (Schedule I) drug with our federal government, medical practitioners aren’t technically able to “prescribe” cannabis directly to their patients.
Thus, doctors must “recommend” their patients use medical marijuana for treatment by giving them a signed and seal-embossed document explaining the nature of their qualifying condition and recommended treatment.
Marijuana recommendations go by many other names, some more misleading than others: a medical marijuana card, weed license, prop 215 card, cannabis recommendation (or “rec”), or MMID. Really, what you’re getting is a licensed physician’s consent for you to access the medical marijuana you need.
Only California-issued recommendation cards will be accepted at California dispensaries. Cards or recommendations from other states will not grant you access to Los Angeles dispensaries.
Medical Marijuana Card Los Angeles
On the flip side however, it is true that some other states (like Nevada) may accept California-issued medical marijuana cards as legitimate proof of access to medical marijuana.
Medical Marijuana Doctors Los Angeles
How to Qualify for Medical Cannabis in California
Although some people think that anyone can waltz into a 420 Doctors office, pay a fee, and quickly get a legal marijuana recommendation, the reality is that not everyone will qualify.
Before going to your chosen doctor, be sure you meet the state of California’s requirements for becoming a medical marijuana patient:
Must be 18 years or older
Must be able to present a valid form of U.S. identification
Must have a qualifying, legitimate medical condition
So what are the legitimate, qualifying medical conditions? According to California Senate Bill 420, a substantial number of medical conditions will qualify persons for medical marijuana:
Additionally there are many other illnesses, ailments, and conditions not listed above that should qualify you for a doctor’s recommendation.
In fact, the language in Proposition 215 was intentionally worded so as to allow anyone with “any condition for which medical marijuana might provide relief” access to the herb.
How to Get a Med Card
The Easy Option: Seeing a 420 Doctor Online
As I briefly mentioned above, NuggMD’s online 420 doctor platform is changing the way medical marijuana patients get their recommendations approved. Finding a reliable doctor out there in the wild, and then taking the time to make the trip and wait around for your appointment can be a total hassle and waste of time.
And unlike the “get-approved-quick” shams lined up and down Venice boardwalk, NuggMD assures you’ll be connected with a licensed medical professional. Assuming you meet the qualifications, all you’ll need is access to an internet-connected to device to complete the process.
The first step will be to fill out paperwork (online), just like you would for any other medical consultation. Keep in mind that NuggMD takes your privacy very seriously, and keeps all personal information confidential and secure using a HIPAA compliant, encrypted database.
It’s especially important to note how strictly this service takes privacy, as many physical doctor locations (like the 420 Evaluations in Oakland, or the one in San Jose) have been rumored to be rather floozy with their record-keeping.
Next up, you’ll have the option to purchase a wallet-sized medical marijuana ID card to go along with your standard recommendation forms. Please note that this medical marijuana ID card is an optional extra, and that all dispensaries require you to bring in your 8 ½ x 11” full-sized recommendation letter upon your first visit.
Once you’ve chosen which package you want, you’ll be asked to upload either just a photo of your U.S. identification, or that along with a headshot photo of your face that will be printed on your ID card.
After filling out the required medical paperwork, selecting what cards to purchase, and uploading your photo identification(s), you’re ready for the next step: your medical marijuana evaluation.
The doctor’s evaluation itself is a quick 5-10 minute conversation and examination which includes a phone call or video chat with the doctor about your existing symptoms and conditions, medical history, and how medical cannabis may be a viable alternative treatment option compared to what you’re already trying.
Each doctor associated with NuggMD is licensed by the California medical board, friendly, and incredibly knowledgeable on the medical applications of cannabis and how it can be used to treat your ailments, which makes the online process far superior to the arduous, uncertain process of completing your evaluation in-person.
420 Evaluations Los Angeles
What Happens After You’re Approved?
Walla! Soon after your doctor approves your recommendation, you’ll get a temporary PDF copy of your recommendation via email, that you can print out and use immediately.
Keep in mind though, most Los Angeles medical marijuana dispensaries will require you official paper copy upon your first visit, so if you print out your temporary copy, just be sure to call ahead first and confirm the dispensary will accept you.
3-5 business days after your evaluation, you’ll receive an official recommendation letter in the mail that is signed by the doctor himself, comes with a raised embossed seal (required by most dispensaries and delivery services in Los Angeles), and is valid for 12 months. It’ll also come with your patient ID card if you chose to purchase it.
After 12 months, you’ll need to renew your medical marijuana card and recommendation.
Now, with your doctor’s recommendation and medical marijuana card, you’re granted legal access walk into storefront marijuana dispensaries or to order online through delivery marketplaces like Getnugg.com.
Plus, if you use NuggMD to complete your MMJ evaluation, you’ll be instantly credited $20 for your first delivery order on Nugg!
Choose from hundreds of products -- anything from thc oil cartridges to cannabis ointments and rubs (and obviously flowers & edibles) -- and enjoy doorstep delivery in about an hour!
In case you have further questions about how the online vs. in-person process works, there are plenty of resources on the web describing how to get a weed card online.