The Benefits of Medical Marijuana Cards in Recreational States

  • Why you may want to consider getting a medical cannabis card even if your state has legalized recreational cannabis

States often legalize medical cannabis long before they implement a recreational cannabis scheme.

As a result, when those states do legalize recreational cannabis, they’re left with a large population of consumers who might be uncertain what to do with their medical cannabis cards.

Should they keep them or get rid of them? Are there any benefits to keeping a medical cannabis card, if so, do they justify the costs and time involved with keeping a medical cannabis card up-to-date?

Given the vast diversity of laws and regulations between the states, it’s impossible to generalize how a medical card may benefit you while living in a state with legalized recreational cannabis.

Let’s take a look at four ways that maintaining a medical cannabis card might provide some benefits in states with recreational cannabis laws.

1.

Potentially save serious money on sales tax.

Recently, the California Department of Tax and Fee Administration released a “Cannabis Special Notice” that advised the state’s consumer that taxes for cannabis will be increasing on January 1, 2020.

The report noted that the mark-up rate will be raised to 80% and that cultivation taxes will be adjusted for inflation. After it’s all added up, California imposes some of the highest taxes on cannabis in the country.

For people who have a medical cannabis card, however, they can instantly save 15% on every purchase since medical cannabis is exempt from excise taxes.

However, that doesn’t mean every cannabis consumer should rush out to get a medical cannabis card.

They can cost up to hundreds of dollars for the initial application fee. Moreover, they require appointments with doctors, extra paperwork, and more.

The 15% percent savings is truly only valuable when the consumer sees significant financial and lifestyle gains over the course of the program.

2.

Added Protection from Prosecution

There’s no hiding the fact that the cannabis industry remains in a precarious position. States with legalized recreational cannabis can’t offer full protection for cannabis-related businesses from federal prosecution.

Nor does possession of a medical cannabis recommendation protect people from being fired for consumption in many cases.

However, maintaining a medical marijuana card in your home state may provide you with an added layer of protection against persecution. Your medical cannabis card is proof that you have a relationship with a qualified doctor who has recommended your marijuana. Should you be growing your own cannabis in large amounts, it’s highly recommended to have a medical cannabis card, even in a state with recreational cannabis.

3.

Increased Purchase and Grow Limits

Depending on your state, you may notice that medical cannabis patients are allowed to either buy more marijuana than recreational consumers or that they are allowed to grow more of their own plants.

In Colorado, for example, recreational consumers are limited to an ounce per purchase, while medical cannabis patients in the state are able to purchase double that amount. 

4.

Increased Access

In some states, like Colorado, medical cannabis patients are allowed access to cannabis at a younger age than recreational consumers.

Medical cannabis patients can apply for their own card at 18-years-old, as long as they have a qualifying medical condition, while their recreational counterparts are prohibited from making purchases until they turn 21.

With all these advantages to having a medical cannabis card, you should look into it for yourself. Remember, every state is different and we couldn’t cover all of them in this post, so it’s important to look into your unique situation.

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