California Proposition 215, commonly known as Prop 215 or the Compassionate Use Act, was voter-approved on November 5, 1996 in the general election ballot. Specifically, Prop 215 exempts medicinal marijuana users and their caregivers under medical treatment recommended by a physician, from criminal prosecution for possession and cultivation of cannabis in the state of California.

California is currently home to 200K medical marijuana users.

The counties of San Diego and San Bernadino filed suit in 2008 to reverse the proposition on the grounds that it conflicted with federal law.

Afterward, the California Supreme Court held up Prop 215, and it is still in effect today. California proposition 215 is seen as a landmark measure ensuring the rights of all patients to access medical treatment without fear of prosecution.

california prop 215 marijuana cannabis
California Proposition 215, commonly known as Prop 215


What does it mean when a company says it is “prop 215 compliant”?

This simply means that the cannabis provider is registered as a medical provider to patients in California. Medical marijuana cards in California are called “prop 215” cards and can be issued by any physician. Since physicians cannot legally “prescribe” medical marijuana by prohibition of federal law, the card is instead a professional “recommendation.” However, having this recommendation still counts as a legal reason to access cannabis-related medicines.

This process is sometimes called a “420 evaluation.” There are doctors in California who set up storefronts that specialize in 420 evaluations for cash, fulfilling all requirements that you saw a doctor face to face as a patient and the doctor recommended weed for you. This is all that’s required to satisfy prop 215 requirements, since the language of the law deliberately was left open to allow any medical condition. Anything from cancer to depression to insomnia to acne qualified for prop 215!

California is now also an state where consumption of cannabis for any consenting adult is legal (prop 64), so a prop 215 card is not required for those who want to indulge for recreational purposes. However, a prop 215 still qualifies you to dodge some taxes placed on cannabis transactions, so it might still be worth it.



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