With more and more states legalizing medical marijuana, and the laws differing from state to state, medical marijuana cardholders and applicants should review state and local regulations to avoid breaking them.
As recreational marijuana laws within the states are passed, the state medical marijuana programs tend to suffer. Data from medical marijuana programs in Colorado and Oregon show that the number of patients in the MMJ database started declining months and years after its legalization of recreational marijuana. Although the medical market still serves its purpose, the purchasing of marijuana shifts towards the recreational market. Depending on state laws, medical marijuana cardholders continue to enjoy the benefits of being part of the state’s medical marijuana program.
Below are the benefits medical marijuana cardholders might enjoy even after the legalization of recreational marijuana.
Priority over Recreational Customers
Having a medical marijuana card gives you precedence over recreational consumers.
Compared to recreational customers, medical marijuana patients must be served immediately in case of any shortages. This provision was passed in Nevada and Illinois, as they allowed medical marijuana patients to bypass the long lines in the dispensaries, which make buyers to take several hours to be served. In such cases, patients are advised to contact a staff member for medical patient access.
Besides, Illinois gives priority to the medical market when supplying cannabis.
Depending on the state, medical cardholders are provided with tax breaks. In some states, medical marijuana cardholders do not pay any fee, while in other states, they are provided relief on pricey marijuana, as well as waivers on additional excise taxes.
Accessibility of Adult-Use Shops by Underage Patients
Patients who are approved by the state can enter and purchase medical marijuana products from the retail stores. If a consumer does not have a medical marijuana card, they must wait until they are either 18 or 21 depending on the state’s medical marijuana program provisions.
Also, underage patients cannot go to a dispensary alone to buy medical weed; they must be accompanied by their guardian or designated caregiver.
The Products are More Potent than for the Adult-Use Market
Some medical marijuana patients require a higher dosage of marijuana than the permitted dosage for the recreational market. Therefore, if they were to buy from the recreational market, it would mean that they would not get relief from their medicine. However, with a medical marijuana card, some states waive the limit placed on purchasing, allowing medical marijuana patients to access products that would otherwise be unavailable to the recreational market.
As you can see, many reasons exist to explain why you still need to get a medical marijuana card even if recreational marijuana has been legalized where you live. Experts say you could also learn a lot about these two pot markets (recreational vs. medical sector) by reading the information put out by various companies, such as Willow Biosciences Inc. (TSX: WLLW) (OTCQB: CANSF).
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