Are Medical and Recreational Marijuana Programs Different?


Medical Marijuana

If you are thinking about getting your medical marijuana card in one of the U.S. states in which recreational cannabis is also available, you are probably going to ask yourself if it is really worth it to get your medical card. Maybe you already have your medical cannabis card and are just wondering if you should renew it. Everyone has different needs, and in order to clarify those questions, this article will be a guide for you to choose between what’s best for you personally. Keep in mind that each state has varying programs, but the following are general differences between recreational and medical cannabis options.

Price of Cannabis Products

One of the biggest benefits you’ll find with getting your mmj card is that many states have medical cannabis dispensaries offering lower prices for their patients since many of them rely on cannabis treatment improve their life quality.

Since medical cannabis is not covered by insurance, the prices offered for those who are using cannabis as a treatment is lower than what’s offered for people who buy recreational. In Colorado, for example, medical cannabis patients avoid the 10% retail marijuana tax and 15% excise tax that all costumers at recreational dispensaries must pay for.

In most cases, the costs of medical marijuana is more affordable than the prices at recreational dispensaries.

Quantity Limits

There’s also a difference in the quantity of cannabis you are allowed to purchase. In California, medical patients are allowed to purchase up to 8 ounces of marijuana per day, while recreational users are only allowed to purchase 1 ounce a day.

This can be a plus if you don’t live anywhere near a cannabis dispensary and want to save some travel time. Or maybe you want to ensure that you’ll always have enough supply of your favorite strain.

Age Restrictions

Recreational cannabis is only available to customers who are 21 or over. Medical cannabis patients under 18 are allowed to access marijuana in order to treat their medical conditions such as epilepsy, cancer, ALS and other debilitating diseases. All U.S. states with a medical marijuana program allow minors to have access to medical cannabis with the assistance of a caregiver.

Cultivate Your Own Cannabis

Most of the recreational programs allow patients to grow their own cannabis, and besides being allowed to grow your own, the amount that you can cultivate is generally much greater for medical users. As an example, in Oregon, recreational growers are allowed to grow up to four plants, while those with medical cards are allowed to grow up to six plants.

Legal Support

According to some state laws, if you have an active card on you, you are allowed to legally purchase from dispensaries in other states. This is often referred to as “reciprocity” and you should definitely research the state that you are traveling to to make sure that they will accept an out-of-state medical marijuana card.

Just remember that before you go on a trip, you should also check the state laws and see if there are any restrictions about traveling with your cannabis there, crossing state lines can be tricky.

Aside from all the previous benefits listed before, you also have professional support from a health care provider who will guide you on your treatment.

Federal legalization of marijuana doesn’t seem too far out of reach anymore. With the latest news out of Mexico, the U.S. will be sandwiched between two countries having abolished marijuana prohibition. Our time will come, and even when it does, there will always be people who truly rely on recreational and medical programs alike.


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