Frequently Asked Questions

To Become a Member:

First time patients must become members of C.A.P.S . This will require filling out a few forms and reviewing the collective’s policy. Read the policy carefully and follow it. We can process your membership once you provide us with a copy of your current physician’s recommendation and your California Driver’s License. If you don’t have a driver’s license, please provide us with a valid copy of your U.S. or Foreign Passport, Out of State ID, or Military ID along with a proof of residency. More Info

Simply visit our collective. Please remember to bring your CA doctor s recommendation and California photo I.D.
Don’t forget to bring the new membership form filled out ! Download here

Where are you located?
We are located at:
4050 Airport Center Dr. Suite C, Palm Springs CA 92264 (across from Gold GYM)

What is a Collective?
A collective is a group of medical marijuana patients who work together and combine their resources to
cultivate and provide medical marijuana for the benefit of all members.


What is California’s “Compassionate Use” Act?

Medical marijuana is legal in California under the “Compassionate Use Act of 1996” (the “CUA”).

The CUA was passed into law by voter approval of California’s Proposition 215.Its provisions are set forth in California Health and Safety Code 11362.5 and subsequent sections.

 Who is legally entitled to use medical marijuana in California?

You are entitled to use medical marijuana in California if:

  • A licensed California physician,
  • Has approved or recommended marijuana (either verbally or in writing),
  • For the treatment of a serious medical condition.

 What constitutes a “serious medical condition”?

Under the CUA a “serious medical condition” is defined as:

  • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome (AIDS).
  • Cachexia [wasting syndrome].
  • Chronic pain.
  • Persistent muscle spasms, including, but not limited to, spasms associated with multiple sclerosis.
  • Seizures, including, but not limited to, seizures associated with epilepsy.
  • Severe nausea, and
  • Any other chronic or persistent medical symptom that either:
  • Substantially limits the ability of the person to conduct one or more major life activities as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336), or
  • If not alleviated, may cause serious harm to the patient’s safety or physical or mental health.

Do I need a medical marijuana card in order to use medical marijuana?

You do not need a medical marijuana ID card (“MMIC”) in order to qualify for medical marijuana use under the CUA.

However, having a medical marijuana card allows law enforcement to verify that you are authorized to use medical marijuana.

If you have a current, valid MMIC, an officer may not arrest you for possessing, cultivating or transporting marijuana unless:

  • the information on the card is false,
  • the card was fraudulently obtained, or
  • you are otherwise violating the law (for instance, by possessing or growing more pot than is permitted under the CUA, or possessing it with the intent to sell it).

 How do I obtain a medical marijuana card?

You must apply for a MMIC in person at the health department of the county in which you reside. You can get a MMIC in every California County except Sutter and Colusa.

MMIC is a state-run program. Once you have your ID card, it is valid throughout California.

For more information, please see our article, How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in California.

Can a medical marijuana card be used against me?

The California medical marijuana registry does not contain personal information such as name, address or social security number. The only information in the database is:

  • A unique user ID number and
  • Whether the card is valid.

The MMIC itself contains no personal information other than your photograph.

When someone — such as a police officer or dispensary — enters your ID number into the state database, they are told simply whether the card is valid or invalid. No other information is given.

What can a medical marijuana user legally do?

Medical marijuana users may legally:

  • possess,
  • cultivate, and
  • transport marijuana

For their personal, medical use.

Medical marijuana laws do not allow patients to sell it or give it away, or to have possession of marijuana with the intent to sell it.

They also do not permit medical marijuana users to smoke marijuana:

  • In any place where smoking is prohibited by law,
  • In or within 1,000 feet of the grounds of a school, recreation center, or youth center, unless the medical use occurs within a residence,
  • On a school bus,
  • While in a motor vehicle that is being operated, or
  • While operating a boat.

How much marijuana can I possess or grow?

Medical marijuana users may legally:

  • Possess up to eight ounces of dried marijuana,
  • Grow up to six mature or 12 immature marijuana plants, or
  • With a doctor’s recommendation, possess or grow a greater amount consistent with the patient’s reasonable needs.

They may also transport a quantity of marijuana consistent with their reasonable, medical needs.

Is concentrated cannabis (hashish) permitted under the CUA?

For purposes of the CUA, concentrated cannabis (hashish) is considered marijuana. Thus, medical marijuana users may legally possess concentrated cannabis in an amount reasonably related to their current medical needs.

They may also produce concentrated cannabis for their personal, medical use. However, they may not produce it using chemical solvents, such as butane.

How do I find a medical marijuana doctor in California?

Medical marijuana use is not recognized under federal law. Under the federal “Controlled Substances Act” (the “CSA”), marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 hallucinogen.

Because it is still illegal under federal law, many doctors will not prescribe medical marijuana. However, some will, nevertheless, approve its use for your condition verbally, which is all that is required under the CUA.

If you would prefer a written prescription for marijuana — or are afraid to discuss marijuana with your regular doctor — a reputable medical marijuana dispensary can usually recommend a doctor.

What is a medical marijuana “primary caregiver”?

A California medical marijuana “primary caregiver” is:

  • An individual,
  • At least 18 years of age,
  • Designated by a medical marijuana patient,
  • Who consistently assumes responsibility for the patient’s housing, health, or safety.

 What can a medical marijuana primary caregiver legally do?

  • Primary caregivers of medical marijuana patients may:
  • possess,
  • cultivate/produce,
  • transport, and/or
  • administer

Marijuana or concentrated cannabis solely for the patient’s medical use. The amount of marijuana must be reasonably related to the patient’s current, medical needs.

Under no circumstances may primary caregivers:

  • Give marijuana to any other person,
  • Possess, cultivate or transport more than is reasonably related to the patient’s medical needs, or
  • Sell — or possess with intent to sell — any marijuana.

What is a primary caregiver medical marijuana ID card?

You do not need a MMIC to be a primary caregiver. But a primary caregiver ID card offers protection against arrest.

The only differences between a primary caregiver card and a patient card are that:

  • A primary caregiver card identifies you as a primary caregiver, and
  • A primary caregiver card expires when the patient’s card expires, even if that is less than one year from the date of issue.

You do not need to obtain your primary caregiver card at the same time the patient gets a MMIC. However, it is the patient who must apply for a primary caregiver card.

You will need to go the county office with the patient so that you can be photographed.

What if I am arrested for medical marijuana?

Medical marijuana users and primary caregivers may use the CUA as a defense to many marijuana-related charges.

To make use of the defense, you will need to introduce evidence showing that:

  • You (or a patient you care for) had the legal right to use marijuana, and
  • The amount was reasonably related to your (or the patient’s) then-current medical needs.

Such evidence is often — but does not have to be — a doctor’s testimony regarding your (or the patient’s) medical condition and need for medical marijuana.

Once you introduce such evidence, the burden is on the prosecutor to prove that your (or the patient’s) use of medical marijuana was not justified.

If you are a primary caregiver, you will also need to prove that:

  1. You have been designated for that purpose by a legal medical marijuana user,
  2. You are consistently responsible for that person’s housing, health, and/or safety,
  3. The care you provide is independent of assistance you give the person in taking medical marijuana, AND
  4. You began taking care of the person at or before the time you assumed responsibility for assisting with medical marijuana.

 Can I be arrested under federal law for using medical marijuana?

Marijuana — even medical marijuana — is illegal under the federal Controlled Substances Act.

However, current federal government policy is to go after large-scale drug traffickers, not individual medical marijuana users who comply with state law.

Do primary caregivers need a California medical marijuana card?

Patients and caregivers do NOT need a California medical marijuana ID card (“MMIC”) in order to gain the benefits of the CUA.

However, those with a MMIC cannot be arrested for possession, transportation, delivery, or cultivation of marijuana unless:

  • an officer reasonably believes the information on the card is false or falsified
  • the card has been obtained by means of fraud
  • the person is otherwise in violation of marijuana laws (e.g., possession of more cannabis than meets the patient’s reasonable medical needs, possession with intent to sell, etc.)

If you do not have a MMIC, and you are arrested for violating California marijuana laws, you may still raise the CUA as an affirmative defense to the charges.

How do I obtain a primary caregiver medical marijuana ID card?

MMICs must be applied for in person at the health department of the county in which the patient lives. As of July 2014, they are available in every California County except Sutter and Colusa.

Only the patient can apply for a primary caregiver MMIC. To obtain one, both you and the patient will need to go to the appropriate county health department.

Important links

CALIFORNIA Medical Marijuana Program


CDPH 9042 (English Version)

Medical Marijuana Program Application / Renewal Form

Spanish Version

Denial Appeals Application

CDPH 9043 (English Version)

CDPH 9043 (Spanish Version)

Denial Appeals Application

CDPH 9044 (English Version)

Written Documentation of Patient’s Medical Records

CDPH 9044 (Spanish Version)

Written Documentation of Patient’s Medical Records

 Verification of the Medical Marijuana ID card


Medical Marijuana Program, County Programs and Business Hours