(a)(1) The department shall establish and maintain a voluntary program for the issuance of identification cards to qualified patients who satisfy the requirements of this article and voluntarily apply to the identification card program.
(2) The department shall establish and maintain a 24-hour, toll-free telephone number that will enable state and local law enforcement officers to have immediate access to information necessary to verify the validity of an identification card issued by the department, until a cost-effective Internet Web-based system can be developed for this purpose.
(b) Every county health department, or the county's designee, shall do all of the following:
(1) Provide applications upon request to individuals seeking to join the identification card program.
(2) Receive and process completed applications in accordance with Section 11362.72 .
(3) Maintain records of identification card programs.
(4) Utilize protocols developed by the department pursuant to paragraph (1) of subdivision (d).
(5) Issue identification cards developed by the department to approved applicants and designated primary caregivers.
(c) The county board of supervisors may designate another health-related governmental or nongovernmental entity or organization to perform the functions described in subdivision (b), except for an entity or organization that cultivates or distributes cannabis.
(d) The department shall develop all of the following:
(1) Protocols that shall be used by a county health department or the county's designee to implement the responsibilities described in subdivision (b), including, but not limited to, protocols to confirm the accuracy of information contained in an application and to protect the confidentiality of program records.
(2) Application forms that shall be issued to requesting applicants.
(3) An identification card that identifies a person authorized to engage in the medical use of cannabis and an identification card that identifies the person's designated primary caregiver, if any. The two identification cards developed pursuant to this paragraph shall be easily distinguishable from each other.
(e) No person or designated primary caregiver in possession of a valid identification card shall be subject to arrest for possession, transportation, delivery, or cultivation of medicinal cannabis in an amount established pursuant to this article, unless there is probable cause to believe that the information contained in the card is false or falsified, the card has been obtained by means of fraud, or the person is otherwise in violation of the provisions of this article.
(f) It shall not be necessary for a person to obtain an identification card in order to claim the protections of Section 11362.5 .
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