Use the Lexology Getting the Deal Through tool to compare the answers in this article with those from other jurisdictions.

Medical cannabis

Medical use

Which medical conditions qualify for treatment with cannabis products? What other rules and restrictions govern medical use of cannabis (eg, dosage limits)?

Under the Medical Marijuana Program, “serious medical conditions” qualify for treatment with cannabis products. A complete list can be found at Section 11362.7 of the California Health and Safety Code. There are no explicit limits on the dosage of medical marijuana that may be recommended.

Physician licensing

What licensing requirements apply for physicians seeking to prescribe cannabis products to patients?

There are no specific licensing requirements applicable to physicians in order to prescribe cannabis products to patients. However, physicians may not be directly or indirectly employed by a licensed cannabis retailer to provide cannabis recommendations and must be wary of physician conflicts of interest.

Pharmacy licensing

What licensing requirements apply for pharmacies seeking to dispense cannabis products?

Pharmacies may not hold commercial cannabis business licenses.

Health insurance

How are cannabis products covered by health insurers (both public and private)? Are there any rules or restrictions in this regard?

There are no state-specific rules or restrictions regarding health insurers’ coverage of cannabis products; however, neither public nor private health insurers currently cover cannabis products in California.

Product development

What opportunities are available for cannabis businesses to cooperate with healthcare providers, pharmaceutical companies and research institutes in the development of new medical cannabis products? Are there any notable regulatory considerations in this regard?

The California Marijuana Research Program, codified by the Section 11362.9 of the Health and Safety Code, proscribes that the state commission objective scientific research regarding the efficacy and safety of administering cannabis as part of medical treatment by the University of California. In order to maximize the scope and size of its cannabis studies, the program may solicit, apply for, and accept funds from foundations and private individuals, include within the scope of the cannabis studies other independently funded cannabis research projects which meet the requirements set out in Section 11362.9.