Do I need to have California photo identification to get a medical marijuana card?

"I just moved to California and I’m in the process of changing my address. Do I need to be in state to join the cannabis community?



There is nothing stopping you from getting a California cannabis recommendation from a licensed CA doctor, so long as you are in CA at the time of the consultation. We can help you do this. You can use your Pittsburg ID, or your passport.

However, once you have the doctors recommendation, many dispensaries will ask you for some type of proof of residence in CA. Acceptable forms of proof could include a lease agreement, or utility bill. Others may refuse service to you entirely without a CA ID, and some may accept your Pittsburg ID or passport (as we will).

Note, that there is nothing in CA law that says you have to be a resident of the state. This rule has been misinterpreted by many in the cannabis industry to the point where this is now ‘common knowledge’ and enforced at most dispensaries. If you do a search, you will see that many attorneys disagree with this interpretation of the law.

If you have any difficulty finding a dispensary to serve you, you might try a delivery service as they will validate your documents before showing up at your door, and may be more flexible with what they accept.

Hope this helps. Welcome to California!


Yes we can connect you with the doctor, and provide you with a recommendation using your Swiss Passport at ID. We do not require CA ID to use our service, only that you are based in CA at the time of your doctors consultation.

Once you are here, many dispensaries will ask you for some type of CA ID or proof of residence before they sell you products. Often a lease, or utility bill will suffice. Others will not bother with this, and will accept your Swiss Passport as ID.

Note that there is disagreement amongst attorneys as to whether this rule (commonly followed) is legitimate at all. Many say that there is no such requirement under the law (to have a local CA ID or proof of residence).

In short, there may be some hassle in attaining products, but many people succeed with exactly what you have planned.


If you register with at HelloMD.com you will be able to see a one of our physicians if you are located in California at the time of your evaluation. If appropriate, you will be able to obtain a recommendation. A AZ recommendation is not acceptable in CA.

Perry Solomon, MD

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