March 2, 2024

Is Getting a Medical Marijuana Card Necessary in 2023?

3 min read

With the wave of cannabis legalization in various parts of the U.S., many might wonder if there’s a genuine need for a medical cannabis card. Well, the short answer is, “Yes, it is beneficial.” 

Here’s why:

Cost-Effective Choice

Recreational cannabis incurs several additional taxes, which could range from 20-25%. In states like California, the taxes include a 15% excise tax and local taxes varying by city. 

But for those with a medicinal cannabis recommendation, these taxes could be avoided. While obtaining a card might cost around $50 or slightly more annually, the cumulative savings from evading taxes far outweigh this price.

Protection Against Legal Complications

While state laws may permit cannabis use, it remains illegal at the federal level. Therefore, having a medical marijuana recommendation offers a layer of protection within the state that issues it, much like a driver’s license attests to one’s right to drive.

Access to Premium Cannabis

Medicinal cannabis patients enjoy privileges that recreational users don’t. In states like California, those with a medical card can legally purchase cannabis from age 18, three years earlier than recreational users. 

Moreover, medicinal cannabis patients often have access to products with higher THC concentrations and can buy, possess, and cultivate larger amounts.

For instance, with services like Emjay in California, while a recreational consumer can buy up to one ounce of dry herb flower and up to 8 grams of extracts, a medicinal user can buy up to eight ounces of flower. 

Moreover, medical cannabis undergoes strict testing for safety, ensuring patients receive high-quality products.

In states like Massachusetts, while recreational and medical consumers can order from the same menu, 35% of the inventory is reserved exclusively for medicinal patients. This guarantees access to products that might run out in the recreational market.

States Where Cannabis is Legal

While many states have decriminalized or allowed the medical use of cannabis, not all have fully embraced its recreational use. States such as Alaska, Oregon, and Washington, besides having medical marijuana regulations, have also progressed to legalize its recreational use. 

The differentiation is crucial as it affects the availability, taxation, and consumption regulations surrounding the plant.

Here’s a rundown of the states that have acknowledged the medicinal value of cannabis:

  • Fully Legal (Medical and Recreational) – Alaska, California, Colorado, Illinois, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nevada, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington.
  • Medical Use Only – Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Louisiana, Maryland, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, and West Virginia.

It’s essential to note that while cannabis might be legal at the state level in these jurisdictions, it remains illegal at the federal level, creating a complex legal landscape.

How to Obtain a Medical Cannabis Card?

The process has been simplified over the years, especially with online platforms. Services like Veriheal, formed in 2016, aim to connect individuals with doctors qualified to provide medical cannabis recommendations. 

Online Medical Card is another such platform that ensures a smooth and affordable process for potential users.

While the recreational market is expanding, the benefits of a medical cannabis card make it a worthy consideration for many. It promises savings, legal protection, and access to a wider and safer range of products.

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