I tried not to take it personal when a friend in the cannabis industry chided me for not being more on top of how “The Medicinal and Adult-Use Cannabis Regulation and Safety Act” will impact my son, a pediatric patient in California. Sure I knew this was coming, but the state’s website hadn’t been updated yet. And since special needs parenting, working full-time, running a business and a household and wah wah wah kept getting in the way, and since I wasn’t really sure where I was suppose to get that information anyway, it fell into my list of priorities titled “I’ll Cross That Bridge When We Get There.”
Aaaaaand . . . here we are.
In my efforts to finally understand what’s going on, I reached out to my good friends at American’s For Safe Access, Canniatric, THCSD and Rylie’s Sunshine, and then the state finally updated their site. Here’s my basic synthesis of what they all say we need to know:
All cannabis products now need to be purchased onsite at a licensed state dispensary. You can find a list using the Bureau of Cannabis Control’s awkward search feature here. (Select “Medicinal – Retailer Temporary License” in the dropbox labeled “License Type” and enter your city.) Oil producers need to be licensed too and are required to sell only to licensed dispensaries. This means they aren’t suppose to be mailing any cannabis products directly to consumers anymore. Not unless the high CBD is sourced from a strain registered as hemp. For example, Charlotte’s Web products from CW Hemp do not fall under the jurisdiction of California’s cannabis laws and can still be mailed directly to you. Cannakids, on the other hand, has already announced on their Facebook page that you’ll need to go into a dispensary. Permitted dispensaries in San Diego county can deliver. Now is the time to find out from the company producing your kid’s medicine how they are ensuring your child’s access.
Also know that dispensaries will be charging additional state and city taxes, as well as sales and use tax. If you bring your Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) you can avoid the sales and use tax, but from what I was told every purchase is still subject to the additional state and city taxes (expect this to be as high as 20% with the card, and 35% without in some counties).
To get your MMIC, start by getting your recommendation from a doctor. We have a list that will see pediatric patients on our resource page. They will then provide you with the forms you need to take to your county’s public health department. Information for San Diego County’s program is here. Be sure to call ahead and schedule an appointment after getting your recommendation and review the extensive list of items you need to bring with you before you head over to the county with your child. The card is $100, or $50 with Medi-cal.
As this new program kicks off, there are some gaps already emerging that started to make my head spin the more I tried to sort them out. There is so much up in the air and swirling around that it would be impossible to anticipate how everyone’s personal situation will be impacted. As we get through this transition, just make sure you’re in contact with your child’s supplier ASAP and making the necessary moves to legally ensure your child’s consistent and safe access.
** And if you are in San Diego the evening of Friday, February 2nd and would like to join our next support group meeting, I strongly recommend reaching out to me for an invite at email@example.com. My dear friend Ray Mirzabegian from Canniatric and CW Hemp will be joining us to give more insight on all these changes, as well as new products coming out to help out kids. **