As cannabis continues to sweep across the nation and states start to legalize usage for medicinal purposes, many are wondering how they can take advantage of the many medicinal benefits marijuana can provide.
The primary vehicle recognized by most states which allow medical marijuana (33 + the District of Columbia) usage is a medical marijuana card. The first medical marijuana program in the United States started back in 1996 when Proposition 215 in California permitted access to cannabis if people could prove a medical need.
The application for a medical marijuana card varies by state. It will generally incorporate filling out documentation with state authorities and receiving a recommendation from a doctor who is willing to evaluate to see if medical marijuana could be beneficial.
A growing number of people are willing to go through the process of obtaining a medical marijuana card despite pitfalls and setbacks for the following reasons.
- Permits Access To High-Quality Cannabis: Being able to purchase cannabis from a licensed dispensary gives peace of mind to those who are insistent on a quality product. Legitimate medicinal dispensaries will have accurate labeling that clearly describes how much THC and CBD are in the cannabis product and will have been tested for quality. Different states have varied testing regulations, but many will require certificates of analysis for customers that depict testing for toxins like pesticides and heavy metals.
- Reduced Cost And Taxes: People with a medical marijuana card stand to save a lot of money on purchasing high-quality cannabis. In a state like Colorado, those with a card are able to avoid paying excise and retail taxes on marijuana, while other states like Maine or Massachusetts offer tax breaks for medical marijuana cardholders. Additionally, cardholders can also purchase FDA-approved drugs like Epidiolex, partially made from the marijuana plant, for a cheaper cost.
- Provides Legal Protection: Having a medical marijuana card while being questioned by the police could be a difference between a misdemeanor and felony drug charge or being able to walk away without any consequences. For example, Arkansas law says those with possession of fewer than four ounces of marijuana could lead to up to a year in prison and a fine of $2,500. Those properly enrolled in the state’s medical marijuana program wouldn’t have to worry about punishment.
- Lower Age Requirements for Medical Marijuana Card Holders: For most states that allow medical marijuana use, the minimum age set is 18 years old. Some states do allow minors to utilize medical marijuana under the care and supervision of a caregiver that’s over 18 years old. A medical marijuana card gives minors who might be suffering from life-altering medical conditions access to high-quality marijuana.
- Ability To Take Advantage Of Higher Purchase Limits: Those with a medical marijuana card are usually able to carry more weed than their recreational counterparts in states where the latter’s permitted. For example, those with a card are able to carry up to eight ounces or marijuana in California while recreational users are legally allowed just one ounce.
- Lower Prices: A medical marijuana card often gives people access to marijuana products that are cheaper since most states will peg tax rates of the product as a percentage of price. Since it’s cheaper to operate a legal marijuana business than one that’s illegal, marijuana prices in states like Colorado have been falling. Over the summer, media reported how medical marijuana dispensaries had falling product prices amid growing sales in Ohio.
The Many Benefits Of Cannabis
Medical cannabis is rapidly becoming a popular option for those interested in more natural and holistic solutions to health and medical ailments, rather than resorting to expensive pharmaceuticals with potentially damaging side effects.
Most states require people to renew their medical marijuana card on an annual basis and stipulate restrictions on moving medical marijuana out of the state. Additionally, not every doctor is always willing to recommend patients for medical marijuana as people go through the application process.
However, a growing number of states are exploring and permitting medical marijuana use. Most people choose to smoke or inhale marijuana through a vaporizer, while others will purchase edibles to eat or even apply it to the skin with the help of lotions, sprays, or oils.