Here’s Why You Should Keep Your MMJ Card After Full Legalization in Your State

Here’s Why You Should Keep Your MMJ Card After Full Legalization in Your State

After decades of trying, marijuana advocates in the United States are seeing real progress. The substance remains federally illegal but is medically legal in approximately three-quarters of states. Furthermore, over one-third of states now permit adult-use weed. Individuals in these states can buy an ounce of cannabis (this can vary depending on the state) if they are aged 21+ in most cases.

If you happen to live in a state where marijuana is recreationally legal and have an MMJ card, you might wonder why you should bother renewing. Alternatively, if you are looking to get an MMJ card for the first time, you may decide to forget about it and settle for whatever adult-use limit your state has in place.

 After all, getting a medical marijuana card involves a doctor’s consultation, an application with your state’s MMJ program, and the associated fees. However, don’t be so hasty to forget about the MMJ card! There are plenty of benefits to applying or renewing in states where weed is recreationally legal, and this article outlines just three of them. 

1 – MMJ Is Still Less Expensive in Most States

The assumption is that because a medical marijuana card can cost $100+ for an application and $200+ for a consultation, it is not worth your while proceeding when you live in an adult-use state.

However, you more than make up for what you lose in application and consultation fees due to the lower cost of medical marijuana. When the substance became recreationally legal, the level of taxation increased markedly in most states.

To preserve their MMJ programs, many states have either decreased or exempted taxes on medical marijuana. If you’re a recreational customer, you could pay excise taxes anywhere from 15% to 37%, depending on where you live. This is on top of the standard taxes also applicable to MMJ.

If you are a regular weed user, you could save hundreds, if not thousands, of dollars on your purchases in a year.

2 – Higher Purchasing, Possession, and Cultivation Limits

In most adult-use states, individuals with a medical marijuana card can buy and possess more weed than recreational users. In Colorado, for example, you can buy up to two ounces of cannabis with an MMJ card. In contrast, recreational users can purchase a maximum of one ounce.

While some states have the same cultivation limits for recreational and MMJ users, others give medical users an advantage. For example, it remains illegal in Illinois to cultivate weed without a medical marijuana card. MMJ cardholders can grow up to five plants.

Patients with an MMJ card also have access to stronger potency weed than recreational users in some states. In California, for instance, lotions and tinctures purchased recreationally can have a maximum amount of 1,000mg of THC. For medical marijuana cardholders, this limit is increased to 2,000mg.

However, we should point out the myth that MMJ flower is more potent. A study published in 2020 found no discernible difference between the marijuana flower sold by medical dispensaries and their recreational counterparts.

3 – Lower Age Restrictions

Typically, you must be aged 21+ to access adult-use marijuana. In contrast, most MMJ programs permit you to apply when aged 18+. Furthermore, minors can use medical marijuana with the permission of a parent or guardian. Minors tend to require MMJ to help with medical conditions such as cancer or epilepsy.

If you are 20 or younger and genuinely need marijuana for medical reasons, you have no option but to get an MMJ card.

Final Thoughts on Why You Should Get an MMJ Card After Full Legalization

The number of states that permit recreational marijuana is growing. This is great news for anyone who wants to use the substance casually. However, having full legalization in your state doesn’t mean you should ignore its medical marijuana program.

There are plenty of reasons why you should get an MMJ card if you need the substance to help with a medical condition. Yes, there are application and consultation fees, but you’ll save plenty of money in the long run due to lower taxes on the weed you buy. MMJ programs also have lower age restrictions and higher buying, possession, and cultivation limits. 

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