Are there dispensaries in California that do not require a California driver's license or proof of residency?

"If I am visiting California, and I have a CA marijuana card, can I visit a dispensary?"

There is a misconception that you have to be a resident of California to obtain a cannabis recommendation for medical conditions. You are able to obtain a recommendation if you are physically in California at the time that you have your medical evaluation. All that we require is a photo ID.

Here is link: :https://www.eastbayexpress.com/LegalizationNation/archives/2015/01/28/why-any-patient-can-go-get-medical-marijuana-in-california-right-now

However, some dispensaries are not aware of this and have their own rules that require you to be a resident, show a California Drivers License, utility bill, etc that show you are a resident. I would call the dispensary that you are going to visit to ask if thaey follow the law or just create their own rules. You can also visit one of our partners that follow the same requirements that HelloMD does.

Perry Solomon, MD

There are some dispensaries that will accept an out-of-state ID, but they are few and far between. Typically delivery services are more flexible with this rule.

It is the opinion of some in the legal profession that there is no such legal requirement (that you are a resident) in order to visit a dispensary.

From the text of the law – 215:

"(A) To ensure that seriously ill Californians have the right to obtain and use marijuana for medical purposes where that medical use is deemed appropriate and has been recommended by a physician who has determined that the person’s health would benefit from the use of marijuana in the treatment of cancer, anorexia, AIDS, chronic pain, spasticity, glaucoma, arthritis, migraine, or any other illness for which marijuana provides relief."

The question is, what is meant by the word ‘Californian’s"? This word does not specifically require that you be a resident of the state (in some lawyers opinions).

However, it has become common wisdom that this is the case, and so dispensaries follow each other in requiring a CA ID.

Note that HelloMD does not require you have have a CA ID to use our service, only that you be physically located in the state of CA when you have your consultation with a doctor.


There is nothing in CA law that requires you to be a CA resident or have a CA ID in order to obtain a medical marijuana recommendation; the same goes for purchasing cannabis from a dispensary. That said, you’ve probably already experienced that dispensaries/delivery services have their own rules as to what they choose to accept. I would suggest going to ‘Biz Listings’ at the top of this website (or go to ‘Dispensaries’ if you’re using the HelloMD iPhone app) and search for dispensaries/delivery services in your area. From there, you can call a few local to you and see which will be ok with your out-of-state ID. Generally, delivery services are more flexible that storefront dispensaries.


Our interpretation of the law is that you just have to be physically located in California at the time of the evaluation. All of the partners that you find on HelloMD however, agree with us and I would encourage you to you those.There are some dispensaries who disagree and ask for some identification showing CA residency. I would contact the dispensary that you are going to visit to make sure of their poilicy.

Perry Solomon, MD

Hi there!

Please keep in mind that there is nothing written in Prop 215 law that requires medicinal marijuana patients to be a resident of California.

As long as you have a valid and non-expired government-issued ID – such as a driver’s license, identification card, passport or military ID card, you should be granted access into a California dispensary, assuming the name on your recommendation and your ID are identical.

However, please note that dispensaries are considered private companies. This means, they can request that you provide a proof of residency for California. Again, there is no legal obligation to do this, but dispensaries are allowed to request this if they should choose!

If you visit a California dispensary and they request a California driver’s license or proof of residency that you do not have available, please try using a delivery service! Delivery services are often very accommodating if you do not have proof of residency available. I would also suggest calling a few dispensaries in the area you’re visiting to see if they will require a proof of residency along with your California medical marijuana card. I know of a few dispensaries in my area that are very welcoming of visitors!

I hope this information helps! 🙂


Every time I’ve been to a dispensary, they asked for ID, but I think they were mostly concerned about age or marketing info. Way less sketchy now that recreational purchases are legal in California!

I am informed that California does NOT require residency to obtain a medical cannabis card, but some dispensaries may vary.

I also found a cool article that details the types of dispensaries you might find, and their pros and cons!


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