The 8 Best MMJ Sweets On The Market

Since its introduction in 1996 in California, patients have been finding unique ways to incorporate medical marijuana into their daily routine. As well as all the legislature, advocation, and vilification of MMJ, there’s also a fun side too; you can mix and match your medicine with a large variety of sweet treats, making it more appetizing, appealing, and fun! MMJ sweets are all the rage with some patients, and it’s easy to see why – once you try some, you’ll be hooked.

To date, 29 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, with a 30th and 31st likely to follow this year. A number of liberal states have also begun the arduous process of legalizing recreational marijuana, although this doesn’t look set to detract from medical marijuana programs in the states it’s being introduced in. In the case of California, for example, the government recently introduced a sales tax rebate for MMJ patients, which means they don’t have to pay tax on their medicine. This initiative shows the commitment to MMJ from long-standing proponents, and hopefully other states will follow suit.

If you’re looking for new, unique ways to incorporate MMJ, then check out this handy list of MMJ sweets below. Of course, there are many ways to avail of medical marijuana, and not all of them will suit you; make sure to check with your doctor which form of MMJ works best for your specific condition!

Gummies are seriously tasty even before you add in some MMJ.

1. Leaf Eater Gummy Leaves

Everyone loves gummies, right? Well, with these incredibly moreish and potent candies, you’ll definitely find your sweet spot. Leaf Eater is a West Coast brand that loves to cram its product with MMJ; a single gummy carries a hit of 80mgs, with just two of the candies providing a satisfying and relieving 160mgs of marijuana.

2. Cheeba Chews

Cheeba Chews have the distinctive pedigree of being one of the first legal distributors of infused edibles in California. They’ve been producing their award-winning MMJ sweets for eight years now, so clearly they’re doing something right! Their individual dosage of 10mgs won’t take your head off, and if you prefer or require a lighter touch to your medicine, this could be the sweet for you. Their packaging is also nice and discreet as well, making them unlikely to be sampled by eager children, which is always a plus if you have kids around!

3. Kiva Confections Chocolate Bar

Kiva Confections have also been in business for a long time, producing some of the classiest MMJ sweets on the market. They rigorously test their chocolate for artificial ingredients, and aim to give their customers the highest standards. Their packaging is also awesome, and the taste is sublime; some of the best-tasting marijuana chocolate out there for sure.

4. Wana Sour Gums

Wana hails from Colorado, a notoriously MMJ friendly state that was also one of the first in the U.S. to legalize recreational marijuana, along with Washington. Their informed packaging makes it exceptionally easy to keep track of exactly how much you’re taking, which can certainly be a problem if you forget you’re eating marijuana-infused sweets.

MMJ Recs - Chocolate Bar

Chocolate is one of the most popular MMJ sweets.

5. Dixie Mints

Dixie Elixirs produces a wide range of MMJ edibles, and is one of the few companies that offers marijuana-infused mints to their customers. When you think about it, it’s a great idea for an edible; not everyone likes sweet things, or wants to keep sweets around their house. The mints provide a perfect compromise for patients who still want to avail of edibles, but want to do so without the sugar intake. These delicious mints come in a variety of flavors, so you’ll have no trouble finding one you like.

6. RemedyPlus Gummies

RemedyPlus gummies are some of the coolest MMJ edibles on the market. Packaged like old-school sweets you’ll love and remember from your childhood days, their range includes rainbow belts, space worms, and dozens of other retro classics. Doses depend on which type of candy you choose, and can either be pretty light or significant, depending on your preference. Just remember to choose your dose first, not which type of sweet you prefer!

7. Kaneh Co. S’mores Brownie

Kaneh Co. has carved out a long-standing reputation for producing high-quality, delicious edibles and MMJ sweets; you could even eat them without the added THC benefit. When you factor in that their tasty offerings are also beneficial to your health, they make for an unbeatable treat. Their brownies are incredibly satisfying; they’re produced without preservatives, too, so you don’t have to worry about any artificial nastiness. If these guys just produced brownies with no additional MMJ ingredients, it’d be totally fine, they’re that delicious!

8. Punch Chocolate Bar

Punch’s chocolate offerings are both delicious and potent. They separate out into little chunks so you can keep track of how much you’re eating. This is especially important when it comes to this edible, as it can pack quite a… Well, punch. And unlike some other MMJ chocolate brands, they’re intent on keeping it fresh, coming out with new flavors and conceptions every season.

5 Benefits of Having A California Medical Marijuana Card

With over half of U.S. states legalizing medical marijuana (29 at last count), the drug is starting to be accepted as something more than simply an outlier treatment; it is a genuine, progressive form of therapy with tangible results. Although MMJ faced (and still faces, in some states) stiff opposition from conservative politicians, the wave of advocacy has been equally strong, leading to a steady increase in legalization over the years. The first state to adopt MMJ in legislation was California; it was also one of the first states to legalize recreational marijuana, which became legal on the 1st of January this year. Many patients are asking the question: if recreational marijuana is legal, do I still need to avail of the state’s MMJ program and own a California medical marijuana card?

This might seem like a conundrum for many patients; if they can just go up and buy marijuana legally from a local dispensary, then why bother with a doctor’s visit, a prescription, and a medical marijuana card? This is logical thinking, but the situation is a little more complex than it first appears. Marijuana, both recreational and medical, is a relatively new industry, and there are many different aspects to it. However, on balance, the answer is a resounding yes. Even in the face of legalized recreational marijuana, a California medical marijuana card is still a great idea; and here are five benefits of having one!

MMJRecs - Marijuana Leaf

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana.

1. You Don’t Pay Sales Tax

Possibly the biggest incentive of a California medical marijuana card is that you can avoid paying sales tax on MMJ. This generous measure was introduced by the government as a way to reaffirm their commitment to their long-standing medical marijuana program, and to keep it running happily side-by-side with the newly introduced recreational rollout. We all know that health care can be an expensive venture, particularly if a patient suffers from a chronic condition. This sales tax rebate helps patients save money on every purchase, but only if they have a valid California medical marijuana card.

2. California’s Been Doing It The Longest

As mentioned above, California was the first state in the U.S. to legalize medical marijuana, and pave the way for the state of the countrywide legislation as it exists and develops today. The Golden State legalized the drug under Proposition 215 in 1996 – this  ruling was also known as the Compassionate Use Act. As California’s had over 20 years in the MMJ business, all of the teething problems have been ironed out, and the operation runs smoothly and effectively. Indeed, California is considered one of the very best states in the U.S. to avail of medical marijuana; while the recreational rollout will inevitably come with its own set of problems and issues, the MMJ program will continue functioning as normal.

3. There’s a Long List of Qualifying Conditions

California is known to be one of the most liberal states when it comes to a list of qualifying conditions that patients must suffer from to utilize medical marijuana. While the qualifying conditions cover a host of serious illnesses like cancer, Parkinson’s, ALS, arthritis, and AIDS, one of the most important entries on the list is “chronic pain”. It is well known and researched that marijuana can ease general symptoms of pain, and chronic pain is a condition many suffer from at some point in time. The inclusion of this symptom on the list allows doctors to prescribe MMJ to patients who can’t pinpoint their pain to a specific location. This is in stark contrast to some states, who don’t include chronic pain on their list of qualifying conditions, thereby limiting the treatment options for potential patients.

MMJRecs - Marijuana Flowers

Patients in California don’t pay sales tax on MMJ.

4. There Are Plenty of Vendors To Choose From

The MMJ program is so well-established in California that wherever you live, you won’t have to look very far to find your nearest vendor. New York came under fire recently for severely limiting the dispensaries in the state to under 20, which could potentially put pressure on the whole infrastructure of the industry. There are no such restrictions on Californian dispensaries. Not just any one can go about setting one up, of course; there’s still a hefty amount of procedure and licences to go through and obtain. However, you’re bound to find a dispensary closely to you when you live in California.

5. You’ll Have Access To Many Different MMJ Strains

As previously mentioned, it’s unknown at this early stage what kind of teething problems the widespread legalization of recreational marijuana will come with. There are bound to be some, however; taking an established black market industry and dragging it in to the light in one fell swoop is certain to come with some issues. You might think that you won’t need a California medical marijuana card once recreational marijuana is legalized, but without the card, you’re unable to follow your doctor’s specific advice. He or she will know which strain is the correct one to treat your condition, and chances are that strain won’t even be available in the recreational arena, at least not in the early days. Individual strains affect people and conditions differently; if you’re taking marijuana medically, it’s surely sensible to stick to your doctor’s advice and take the most beneficial strain for you.

Why All California MMJ Patients Should Renew Their Medical Marijuana Card

Thinking since marijuana is legal in California you don’t need to renew your medical marijuana card? Think again! There are still a ton of benefits you can get if you renew your cannabis card in 2018. Check out the many reasons listed below to find out why you should hang onto your California MMJ card this year.

Saves you money

The most important benefit to having an MMJ card is your ability to save lots of money. If you want to make sure you’re keeping all of your cannabis costs low, make sure to renew your medical marijuana card instead of just purchasing products for recreational use. Once you have an MMJ card in your possession (it’s a super simple application process), you can pay a reasonable fee (between $25 and $40) to renew your card annually. This one-time yearly fee is quickly offset by the other savings you’ll see add up from using your cannabis card. One way to get major savings is the ability MMJ card holders have to skip paying sales tax on all cannabis products. Anyone with an MMJ card avoids a 15% sales tax – which can end up saving you major bucks. Additionally, consumers who are purchasing only recreational products can pay anywhere from 14% to 20% more on their purchases than those buying medical marijuana products.

You can also find savings when you shop at medical marijuana dispensaries. These specific stores usually offer a wider variety of products than recreational ones, so you can shop for products that fit within your budget. Additionally, there are often added opportunities for savings with things like rewards programs and discounts for referring other customers. Even if you don’t want to head out to a dispensary, having an MMJ card means you can grow more of your own product, so you can keep your overall purchasing costs low.

Keeping your medical marijuana card can help you save a lot of cash.

Access to better products

Although marijuana is now legal in California, having an MMJ card means you’ll have better access to higher quality cannabis products than if you were just purchasing for recreational use. Medical marijuana dispensaries often offer a wider variety of products (including edibles) and usually offer higher-grade strains with different THC:CBD ratios – which means you’ll be getting products that are more potent and are more likely to effectively treat your symptoms. If you decide to grow your own plants, you also have the opportunity to grow specific strains (and higher-quality products) that are right for your own individual needs.

Fewer restrictions

If you already have an MMJ card, you know that there are fewer restrictions than if you’re purchasing products solely for recreational use. For example, with a California MMJ card, you can purchase medical marijuana as long as you are 18 years or older. Without a cannabis card, you have to wait until you’re 21 years old to purchase cannabis products. For individuals with health issues who can’t wait until they’re 21 to purchase marijuana, having an MMJ card can be hugely beneficial.

There are also less regulations enforced for those carrying an MMJ card. Recreational users are only permitted to carry one ounce of flower (or eight grams of cannabis concentrates) at one time. Being able to carry edibles is also restricted for recreational users, who can only carry 10mg of individual doses at a time. However, with a cannabis card, you are able to buy and carry as much cannabis as your medical condition requires.

Just make sure to keep your MMJ card with you at all times, so you don’t face any issues if you’re out carrying or buying marijuana products.

There are far fewer restrictions for those who hold MMJ cards in California.

Can grow more product

Another helpful benefit of renewing your medical marijuana card is the ability to grow more of your own plants. While recreational users are only permitted to grow six mature marijuana plants on their property at any one time, cannabis card holders can grow an unlimited amount in any 100-square-foot section of their property. Not only can you grow more product (which can help keep your costs low), you can also grow the specific plants and strains that are appropriate for your medical condition and symptoms. This additional freedom means you won’t be stuck buying dispensary products that don’t fit your particular needs. Growing your own plants can also reduce your overall costs of purchasing products at a dispensary (who sometimes mark up their products).

Even though marijuana is now legal in California, there are tons of reasons you should renew your MMJ card immediately. Your cannabis card helps you save money and get the exact products you need to treat your symptoms – all with less regulations! So, renew your cannabis card now and get all of the many benefits that come with it!

6 Benefits of Having a California MMJ Card in 2018

Although recreational marijuana is now legal in the state of California, there are still plenty of reasons that you should obtain an MMJ card in 2018. With major bonuses of saving money and having less restrictions, there are so many advantages to having a cannabis card. Read on for all of the ways you can benefit from having a California MMJ card.

1. Continuous care

Let’s say you already have a cannabis card. One of the benefits of renewing it (despite the new legality of recreational marijuana) is that you can continue your consumption of cannabis products without any interruption. Similar to switching health insurance plans, if you discontinue using your MMJ card, you could face obstacles in obtaining your products. You would also likely face an increase in the amount you spend to obtain your cannabis. By keeping your California MMJ card (or renewing it annually), you can be sure that you won’t face any interference in your cannabis purchases or consumption.

2. Lower age limit

Now that recreational marijuana usage is legal, users still must be over 21 years of age to purchase or consume cannabis products. However, with a California MMJ card, you only have to be 18 years old to use medical marijuana. This advantage can be very helpful if you’re under 21 but still need to use cannabis products for medical treatment.

Even though recreational marijuana is now legal in California, you’ll be entitled to a lot more benefits if you have a California MMJ card.

3. More access to dispensaries

With a California MMJ card, you never have to worry about buying your product from a disreputable seller. Cannabis card holders have access to a large number of dispensaries (that often offer better quality products). Instead of purchasing cannabis products from an unknown seller, most medical marijuana dispensaries provide customers with higher-grade strains with a variety of THC:CBD ratios, so you’ll be getting product that is much more effective.

4. Opportunity to grow your own plants

If you’re interested in growing your own marijuana plants in your home, an MMJ card provides you with less limitations than a recreational grower. If you’re solely growing for recreational uses, you are only permitted to have six mature marijuana plants on your property at any one time. However, with a California MMJ card, you are allowed to grow more plants in any 100-square-foot area on your property. In addition to being able to skip the lines at a dispensary, growing your own plants also gives you the opportunity to grow a variety of strains (whichever best fits your particular medical needs) and ends up saving you money in the long-run.

5. Less overall restrictions

Although marijuana is now legal in California, there are still many restrictions in place in regards to using and growing cannabis products. If you’re solely using marijuana for recreational purposes, you can’t carry and use your cannabis products as freely as you can if you own an MMJ card. For example, recreational users are limited to one ounce of flower (or eight grams of cannabis concentrates) at a time, while users with an MMJ card can buy and carry as much cannabis as their treatment requires. Even edibles have restrictions for recreational users (with only 10mg of individual doses allowed at a time). If you have a California MMJ card, however, you’re able to buy and grow more product, in addition to having access to higher strength and better quality cannabis.

Having an MMJ card can help you save money in so many ways.

6. Can save you money

Last, but not least, perhaps the biggest benefit to having an MMJ card is the ability to save lots of cash. There are some minimal costs upfront to get a cannabis card, but it’s well worth it. If you’re interested in obtaining an MMJ card, you can apply for one for around $66 (or just $50 if you’re enrolled in Medi-Cal). There can be slight differences in price depending on the county you’re in, but there’s a cap of $100 for the entire application process. Then, you can either make a visit to a doctor’s office or do an online assessment for around $45-$150. Once you’ve completed the initial application, every year after, you’ll only pay between $25 and $40 to renew your MMJ card annually.

After you’ve obtained your MMJ card, you’ll be able to access major savings since you don’t ever have to pay sales tax on your medical marijuana products. Without a cannabis card, you’d be paying around 14–20% more for your cannabis purchases. For example, with a purchase of around $250 of product, you’d be charged a sales tax of 15% – which adds up to an extra $37.50 to your total! Cannabis card holders, on the other hand, can nix the sales tax and see their savings add up quickly.

MMJ card holders can also discover savings when they shop at medical marijuana dispensaries. These dispensaries (versus recreational stores) often give their customers a multitude of ways to save money, with everything from coupons and special deals to store credit bonuses and rewards programs. Being a loyal customer can often mean you’ll rack up even more significant savings. Some dispensaries even offer discounts for customers that refer other shoppers to them. So, with these extra savings and skipping the sales tax, having an MMJ card just makes financial sense!

There are many significant benefits to owning a California MMJ card in 2018. You can save money and face less restrictions on your usage. Plus, with a super-easy application process and minimal upfront costs, there’s basically no reason you shouldn’t obtain a cannabis card right away!

A History of California MMJ Policies (And What the Future Might Hold)

California might just be the leading medical marijuana state in the country. It has consistently been ahead of the curve when it comes to marijuana legislature, both recreational and medical, and its liberal approach to the medicine has no doubt eased many patients’ suffering in the 21 years it’s been legalized. As the number of states who have legalized MMJ tips over the halfway mark (29 and counting), the question is, will California retain its frontrunner position as the leading state in the medical marijuana arena? And what exactly does the future hold at this critical juncture in marijuana law, when the state’s government tries to introduce a recreational rollout against the well-established and successful California MMJ program?

California’s liberal leanings towards marijuana started way back in 1975, when it was among the first states to decriminalize the drug, under the Moscone Act. In 2010, Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger added further measures to decriminalization in the form of State Senate Bill 1449, which further reduced the charge of possession on one ounce of cannabis or less, levelling it with an infraction, which constitutes a small fine and no court appearance.

MMJ Recs - Californian Highway

California has always paved the way when it comes to MMJ legislation and progress.

The 1975 decriminalization program paved the way for the California MMJ bill to be passed in 1996. Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, passed with a narrow 55% majority, making California the first state to legalize medical marijuana for people suffering from cancer, AIDS, migraines glaucoma, arthritis, and other chronic illnesses, demonstrating a remarkable range of qualifying conditions, even back in 1996. Over the years, the wording surrounding this law has been strengthened and clarified, and in 2010, the limit of possession on medical marijuana was lifted after the California Supreme Court ruled in People vs. Kelly. The key wording now lists a number of conditions, followed by the phrase, “and any other condition for which marijuana provides relief.” While other states have faltered in their ascribing of qualifying conditions, California has made the medicine accessible to every single patient who can possibly benefit from it, and in turn has reduced the pressure on doctors, who may worry about breaking the law if their patient’s illness doesn’t adhere to the qualifying conditions.

The passing of Proposition 215  was a watershed moment in the history of medical marijuana, and paved the way for many other states to follow in California’s footsteps. In the intervening 21 years, as a further 28 states have come on board the MMJ train, California has never wavered in its commitment to its program, and has gone to great lengths to implement a successful dispensary rollout across the state. The result is a program which is much more progressive than many other states, including the likes of New York, which implemented a surprisingly regressive MMJ bill in 2014.

Under Proposition 215, patients with a physician’s recommendation, and their primary caregivers, are allowed to cultivate their own strains of MMJ, and as an alternative, SB 420 allows patients to come together in collectives to grow their own medicine. The amount of medical marijuana grown must be in concordance with the size of the collective, and growth that exceeds this number is still liable for prosecution. However, this setup is set to change at the end of 2018, and all collectives must be licenced within the state. This gives patients a large range of options for growing and acquiring their medicine, and makes access easy for any patients that wants (or needs) to avail of the drug.

MMJ Recs - San Francisco Skyline

With changes afoot for both recreational and medical marijuana, what does the future hold for California?

On January 9th 2016, California voted to legalize recreational marijuana. Although they’re not the first state to do this, they have long been proponents and advocates of marijuana in general, so it came as little surprise to most people that they were among the frontrunners to legalize. Many people wondered how the recreational program would line up against the well-established California MMJ program, and indeed, that is the question that dominates conversations about the future of marijuana in the Golden State.

California has a lead-in time of 14 months to roll out their recreational program, with recreational marijuana becoming legal on the 1st January 2018. However, this proved to be too little time to completely overhaul a previously underground and decidedly massive industry; as it stands, it is actually impossible to purchase recreational marijuana anywhere in California, and that looks to be the case for some time.

A medical marijuana card is still the best way to procure the medicine in 2018, and will remain so for the foreseeable future. Just because both forms of marijuana are legal, it doesn’t mean that MMJ will become obsolete; in fact, it’s quite the contrary. The government actually imposed sales tax rebates on California MMJ when they passed the recreational law, renewing their commitment to the long-established MMJ program and providing patients with a cheaper cost for their medicine in the process. Ultimately, California looks set to continue being the shining example of MMJ progressiveness that it has always been.

Why California Medical Marijuana Patients Still Need an MMJ Card in 2018

Now that California has officially legalized recreational marijuana, many people are wondering if they should still be using an MMJ card in 2018. The answer is yes! There are tons of reasons that you should be hanging onto your medical marijuana card in the new year. Not only will you be able to escape all the limitations placed on recreational users, you’ll also be able to save money! Read on for the main reasons you should use an MMJ card in 2018.

1. Saves you money

Probably the most important reason for getting a cannabis card is to help save you money in the new year. First, if you don’t have a medical marijuana card yet, you can easily apply for a card for around $66 (just $50 for Medi-Cal enrollees). Sometimes the rate can differ between counties, but there’s a cap, so you’ll never pay over $100 for the whole application process. You’ll also have to make a visit to the doctor (or find ones who do online assessments) for about $45-$150. But, after that, you only have to pay between $25-$40 to renew your cannabis card every year.

Once you have your MMJ card in 2018, you’ll find huge savings because you don’t have to pay sales tax on your medical marijuana products. Recreational marijuana users do have to pay the tax, which could end up costing them between 14-20% more than medical marijuana. Let’s say you’re buying recreational marijuana without an MMJ card. With a purchase of about $250, you’d be charged a sales tax of 15%. That equals an extra $37.50 added to your bill! If you’re a regular user of medical marijuana, you could see huge savings by avoiding the sales tax.

2. Continuity of care

Anyone who’s had to change healthcare plans knows what it’s like to switch to a different provider in the new year – it can be such a complicated process! Hanging onto your medical marijuana card means you can escape the red-tape of changing your cannabis consumption and habits. With your cannabis card, you won’t have to worry about switching up your routine. You’ll have the same access to high-quality cannabis products that you wouldn’t necessarily have if you switched to buying recreational marijuana products instead. You’ll also be guaranteed lower prices with your MMJ card than with recreational marijuana purchases. If you want to maintain the type of product and costs that you had in 2017, keeping your MMJ card in 2018 is the smart thing to do.

MMJ - medical marijuana

Even though recreational cannabis is now legal in California, you shouldn’t throw away your MMJ card.

3. Lower age limit

With recreational marijuana, individuals must be over 21 years of age to purchase or consume cannabis products. However, if you have an MMJ card, you only have to be 18 years old to access medical marijuana products. This factor can be significant to users who have medical issues that are treated with the usage of cannabis. With an MMJ card, you don’t have to worry about being under 21 if you need these products.

4. More freedom

When you have a cannabis card, you are permitted to carry and use your marijuana products freely. There are many restrictions to using recreational marijuana (like where you can consume it and how you can transport it), but an MMJ card allows you more freedom with your cannabis usage.

5. Access to a larger number of dispensaries

Because California is brand-new to the legalized marijuana game, there is some uncertainty about how recreational shops will be set up. However, it is likely that medical marijuana users will have access to a larger number of dispensaries that offer higher quality cannabis. For example, most medical dispensaries offer products grown from high-grade strains with various THC:CBD ratios, resulting in better and more effective products. With access to more dispensaries and better cannabis, medical marijuana users are definitely at an advantage over recreational marijuana users.

MMJ - marijuana and medicine

There are so many benefits to being an MMJ cardholder in California – don’t give them up!

6. Less restrictions

There are several disadvantages to being a recreational marijuana user versus an MMJ card holder. Recreational marijuana users are limited to having only one ounce of flower or eight grams of cannabis concentrates, while MMJ card holders can purchase, carry, and consume as much cannabis as is prescribed for their treatment. Edibles are restricted for recreational users as well – they’re only permitted to have 10 mg of individual doses. With a cannabis card, individuals are able to access more potent and higher strength products with no cap on the doses available to them. MMJ card owners are also able to grow more plants (in any 100 square-foot space) than recreational users, who are limited to six plants at a time.

To access all of these advantages, make sure you get your MMJ card in 2018. Although some individuals will benefit from recreational marijuana being legalized in California, to truly have flexibility and to spend less money, it’s essential to still obtain a medical marijuana card in California.

If You Don’t Have An MMJ Card, You’ll Have To Pay Sales Tax When Marijuana Is Legalized In 2018

Thanks to the impending introduction of Proposition 64, the Sunshine State will soon see the statewide legalization of marijuana for recreational purposes. Though this is a truly joyous and progressive event for the state, it has left some MMJ card holders scratching their heads with the question: “Do I still need to keep my cannabis card if it’ll be freely available for all?” The answer is yes, absolutely!

The primary reason for this is because qualified patients who possess a legitimate California medical marijuana card will be exempt from retail tax when purchasing marijuana or marijuana products. This is on the condition that they – or their primary caregiver – present their MMJ card at the point of purchase. If you’re a consistent, long term medical marijuana user, this will save you a lot of money compared to paying recreational prices.

As many people with an MMJ card are limited in their ability to work, this is a huge relief as it means these users will see more money in their back pocket at the end of the day. Though some recreational users may deem this unfair, it is important to keep the lines between recreational and medical users clearly delineated to clearly indicate one group’s need for it taking precedence over the other’s.

If you own a California medical marijuana card, you can save yourself some money on sales tax.

Not only will your California medical marijuana card allow you to buy cheaper cannabis, it’ll also allow you to buy more of it than your recreational counterparts. MMJ card carriers will be allowed to possess a whopping 8 oz. of the cannabis plant, whereas recreational users will only be allowed to possess 1 oz. As well as this, unconventional methods of consuming cannabis like tinctures and topicals can be purchased at much stronger concentrations by those with an MMJ card as opposed to those who don’t have one.

Another good reason not to throw away your trusty California medical marijuana card is that you’ll still be able to consume in public places while carrying it, whereas recreational users won’t. Proposition 64 does not explicitly allow for recreational users to smoke or vape weed in public, but if you have your MMJ card on you, you’ll still be able to consume wherever the smoking of tobacco is allowed.

As a prerequisite for having a cannabis card is having a specifically diagnosed ailment, it’s important that you consult with a doctor before you start to consume. If you decide to forego an MMJ card in favor of just acquiring recreational marijuana instead, you’re denying yourself the opportunity to talk through your ailment with a medically qualified doctor, and more importantly, you can’t talk to that same doctor about what strains are best for treating your specific ailment. Though dispensary budtenders might know a bit about what strains are best for relaxing, they will not have the same medical knowledge of the plant, and therefore will not be sufficiently qualified to give you strain advice. This could lead you to fruitlessly trying out strain after strain until maybe you’ll get it right. Avoid the headache and stick to the medical route.

Hold onto your card so you can still utilize its benefits in 2018!

As different cities and counties within California will be allowing different types of sales, you may find yourself in an area that is still only permitting medical marijuana sales – another reason to keep your MMJ card! These more conservative counties will only allow weed sales through medical dispensaries. These dispensaries will strictly only have medical licenses and therefore will only be able to serve marijuana to those with a valid California medical marijuana card.

If you’d like to avail of tax-free medical marijuana once legalization is enforced, here’s what you have to do. Though you can go to a bricks-and-mortar doctor’s office to get a card, it’s a whole lot easier to buy a medical marijuana card online through MMJ Recs.

You’ll be asked to fill out a short questionnaire about your ailment and your need for an MMJ card. Once this is done, you’ll begin your online consultation with one of our licensed health professionals, who’ll give you a full evaluation over Skype from the comfort of your own home.

This evaluation will take no longer than ten minutes and will consist of the practitioner asking you some non-invasive questions about your qualifying condition and your medical history. You’ll also be asked why you think having an MMJ card and consuming medical cannabis will help you. Following this, the practitioner will assess your need for a medical marijuana card and you’ll be told then and there if you’re eligible. If you are, you’ll be sent your MMJ card recommendation straight away.

We hope this has cleared up a few worries for you. Now you know that it is positively, absolutely, conclusively a bad idea to get rid of your California medical marijuana card once legalization is implemented. If you’re still unsure about your options, or you’re yet to get your own MMJ card, get in touch with us today and we’ll help access all the amazing benefits that come with owning your own medical marijuana card.

Why California MMJ Patients Will Save Thousands Of Dollars A Year In Sales Tax With An MMJ Card

The stigma attached to marijuana is beginning to fade as more and more people experience the benefits this controversial herb has to offer. For instance, it can act as a pain reliever by relaxing and controlling muscle spasms in people with multiple sclerosis, it can slow the progression of Alzheimer’s disease as well as control epileptic seizures and treat glaucoma. The list goes on, and if you feel you could benefit from medical marijuana yourself and you’re lucky enough to live in one to the 29 states in the US that have legalized it, it’s time to go to your doctor for an MMJ card.

The process in obtaining a medical marijuana recommendation is straightforward and doing so means that you will be able to go to dispensaries for advice and obtain medical marijuana for your health issues. The reason behind getting an MMJ card is because under federal law, marijuana is still illegal, therefore a recommendation from your doctor or physician is required in order to prove that you need the medicine to treat your condition. Your doctor must be licensed to recommend medical marijuana and they will firstly discuss with you whether this will be the best treatment to help you if you suffer from illnesses such as AIDS, cancer, or chronic pain. Once it has been decided, they will then be able to provide a written and signed certification. Next, the patient must register with the department of health in their state and medical marijuana program unit. Upon registration with your photo ID, you will then receive your MMJ card, which provides various benefits.

MMJ - flowering marijuana plant

Medical marijuana has many benefits for those suffering from chronic illness or pain.

One of the advantages of holding a MMJ card is that you will be able to grow your own plant (up to six!). In addition to this, you are allowed to carry a larger amount compared to somebody without a recommendation, and you won’t face any problems as a potential dealer if you run into law enforcers. Furthermore, come January 2018, the legalization of recreational marijuana is to come in place. What does this mean for people using marijuana for medical purposes though? It is advised to still have your MMJ card with you for convenience, as the new regulations will not be fully operational immediately. More importantly, an even better reason to keep hold of your MMJ card is due to the potential of saving a good amount of money in terms of sales tax. A number of places charge additional tax on recreational marijuana, whereas sales tax is exempt on marijuana products such as edibles, concentrates, and topical treatments. This means when you take into account the average cost of cannabis, the cost of application, renewal, doctor’s appointment and MMJ card, you can save some sweet cash if you’re using at least around four ounces per year (approximately $238 annually). Moreover, in California, the Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program offers a tax discount to card holders who have a recommendation.

As of January 1st 2018, the laws are set to change as the legalization of recreational marijuana takes place, but given the benefits of having a recommendation, it is a good idea to have an MMJ card – especially if you feel you need cannabis for health purposes as opposed to recreational purposes.

MMJ Recs - Joint

If you have an MMJ card in California, you can save money in sales tax.

Overall, not only are there a number of proven benefits to using marijuana to treat various ailments and conditions from depression to cancer, but obtaining a medical marijuana card through your doctor or medical practitioner could ultimately help you save money on tax. Being in possession of an MMJ card also means you can carry more medical cannabis compared to a recreational user and you will have access to different forms of the medicine such as tinctures, vaporizers, sprays, and patches. You will also have the advantage of having access to professional advice from either your doctor or from people who work at the dispensaries as opposed to a budtender.

If you’re looking to try medical marijuana to help with your health issues, the best way is to get a recommendation from a medical professional as it meets the requirements of the various regulations, but additionally, it will help you save money on sales tax. It is worth noting, however, that in the New Year 2018, tax compliance among medical marijuana businesses may increase as California’s legalization of recreational use of cannabis takes place. Nonetheless, having an MMJ card not only gives you extra options as there are over 3000 dispensaries that sell medical cannabis in California, but you will also have access to a wider variety of products. Also, you do not have to travel to a doctor to get a recommendation if you have access to telemedicine, because then everything can be done online. But one of the bigger advantages here has to be the fact that you will be saving a lot of money given the tax benefits compared to somebody without an MMJ card.

Marijuana Sales Tax: How California MMJ Card Holders Can Save Money After January 1st

Interested in saving money the next time you purchase your medical marijuana? As long as you have an MMJ card, you can skip that pesky California sales tax on MMJ and get your product for much cheaper costs. Here is the information you need to help you decide whether getting a medical marijuana card is worth it to you.

Here’s what you need to know

Starting January 1st, marijuana will be legalized in the state of California. Although there is some confusion about exactly how this new law will be implemented and how it will affect the marijuana business as a whole, there is one thing we know for certain: those with a medical marijuana card won’t have to pay retail sales tax on their purchases of medical cannabis, medical cannabis concentrate, edible medical cannabis products, and topical cannabis. As long as you can present your valid Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC) from the California Department of Public Health, you’ll be able to avoid paying the California sales tax on MMJ. If you don’t have a cannabis card, you’ll pay the standard 15% tax on all of your cannabis products, which can definitely start draining your wallet.

If you’re one of the 1.5 million people in California with an MMJ card, you can buy, grow, and consume marijuana products legally. These products can be used to help fight symptoms of a huge variety of conditions, including anxiety, chronic pain, cancer, migraines, and seizures. Because there’s a stipulation that any condition that prevents you from performing your day-to-day activities qualifies, there are thousands of conditions that can be cited as why medical marijuana would work as a treatment option for you.

MMJ Recs - Marijuana Plant

If you hold a medical marijuana card in California, you’ll be exempt from paying sales tax.

What your costs could be

It can be difficult to determine what your overall out-of-pocket expenses will be when you purchase your medical marijuana products. According to some websites, average cannabis prices in California are usually around $250 per ounce for high-quality marijuana or about $200 for mid-quality product. However, if you want to obtain a medical marijuana card to skip paying taxes, you could apply for a card for around $66 (or around $33 for individuals on Medi-Cal). These fees can vary between counties, but they won’t exceed $100 for the whole application process (or $50 for those enrolled in Medi-Cal). It costs between $25-$40 to renew your card every year, and it will be anywhere between $45-$150 for the doctor’s visit (or you can find a doctor who can prescribe an MMJ card online, so you don’t even have to make a trip to the office). The card is valid for exactly one year when you have to go through the process of renewing it by applying again. Even with the costs of getting a cannabis card, you could still save a significant amount of money by getting a card and not paying California sales tax on marijuana products.

With the legalization of marijuana in California, there will definitely be many changes taking place. It’s possible that dispensaries will start having two separate rooms: one for recreational users and one for individuals with a medical marijuana card. If you don’t have a card and head into the recreational room, you will have to pay that dreaded sales tax.

How much you could save with an MMJ card

Let’s break down how much you could possibly save with an MMJ card. Overall, those individuals purchasing with a cannabis card pay less; it’s cheaper and you can purchase more than others without a card even once it’s legalized. For example, MMJ card holders are allowed to purchase eight ounces versus just one ounce for those without a cannabis card. If you do spend a significant amount on your medical marijuana supply during the whole year, you’re more likely to see generous savings with a MMJ card than without one.

MMJ - medical cannabis

Be smart when you purchase your MMJ – use your card and save money!

If you spend around $250 on product, without a cannabis card, you’d be charged a 15% sales tax of $37.50. Even if the card costs you at the most $100 to get (there’s a cap, so you won’t spend more than this on the actual card), you’d be earning back that cost very quickly. That’s pretty significant savings, especially if you purchase product frequently. Another example would be if you buy 1/8th of marijuana (or 3.5 grams), you would probably pay around $50 with your cannabis card. Whereas, if you don’t have a card, starting in 2018, 1/8th could cost you as much as $90. That’s a huge difference!

Additionally, you should keep in mind that there could be slight increases in the actual cost of the products in 2018 because cultivators still have to incur costs from production. This added cost would apply to both recreational and medical marijuana users. On the other hand, there are also some people who believe that marijuana becoming legalized will create a surplus of products that can only be sold to California residents or visitors to the state. If this surplus does occur, prices could actually be reduced slightly.

The bottom line

While figuring out your exact costs while being a medical marijuana card holder, make sure you do your research and see how the current California medical marijuana requirements apply to your specific circumstances. Then, you can figure out how to use this information to avoid sales tax and limit your spending.

How to Grow Medical Marijuana in California

More and more California MMJ card carriers are cultivating their own plants at home, and it’s easy to see why. Though most cannabis card holders are likely to get their main supply from their local dispensary, it’s a useful – and fun – way to make sure you’re never caught without the wonder plant.

Before you consider home cultivation, it’s prudent that you get an MMJ card. This card will allow you to legally access medical marijuana – and it’s seeds – to treat your ailment with. The process of getting your MMJ card is quick and easy and can be done online from the comfort of your own home. While some people may question this ease of access, it can make a life changing difference to someone who has an ailment that leaves them housebound.

Getting Your MMJ Card

When applying for your California medical marijuana license you’ll first be asked to fill out a short, simple questionnaire on your ailment and how it affects your life. When you complete this questionnaire you’ll start your ‘virtual doctor’s visit’ via our HIPAA telemedicine platform. This ‘visit’ is an online consultation with a state licensed physician. Your appointed doctor will give you a full medical evaluation, where you’ll be asked a few non-invasive questions about your medical history and your ailments. This consultation should take you no longer than 20 minutes.

If the doctor thinks your suitable for a medical marijuana card, they’ll tell you there and then and you’ll be emailed your MMJ card recommendation straight away. When you receive this, it can be printed off immediately and brought to an MMJ dispensary for use. Your physical embossed copy of the recommendation will arrive in a few short days.

Know the Medical Marijuana Laws

MMJ Recs - trough in soil

If you’re going to grow MMJ in California, make sure you know the rules and limitations of Proposition 64.

It’s important that if you intend to grow medical marijuana, that you’re au fait with the laws surrounding cannabis cultivation with an MMJ card. Proposition 64, which came into effect on January 1 of this year, made home cultivation legal – within certain limits. Under this law, California medical marijuana card carriers may possess up to one ounce of the plant and can grow six mature, or twelve immature plants of their own at home. These laws apply to everyone aged 21 and over.

As home grow laws are still in their infancy, they’re not too fraught with taxes and restrictions yet, but as the medical marijuana program evolves, this may change. Make sure to check with your local authority before you get your hands dirty to ensure you’re growing within the limits of the law.

Roadblocks to Growing MMJ

Unfortunately, even with the promotion of home cultivation as a supply solution for MMJ card carriers across California, there are still some roadblocks to accessing equipment or information. As marijuana possession is illegal at a federal level, online retailers are reluctant to sell MMJ growing equipment for fear of legal repercussions.

Similarly, garden centers and nurseries have in some cases been withholding on information on how best to grow the plant, regardless of whether the customer has a medical marijuana card or not. As attitudes and laws surrounding MMJ further relax, this problem should become near obsolete.

Best Practices for Growing Medical Marijuana in California

MMJ Recs - Glove on wooden post

If you’re going to grow MMJ to help with your ailment or condition, know the best practices so you can get the best results.

Like with any other plant, it’s important to know the growing habits of MMJ before you plant your first seeds. Unusually, medical marijuana can exhibit periods of bloom in total darkness, but it’s best to give it plenty of light, water and fertilizer.

Medical marijuana responds very well to fertilizer, especially during the vegetative period of growth. During this period, use a fertilizer that is high in nitrogen to stimulate rapid growth. When the plant flowers, use a fertilizer that’s high in phosphate and potassium to encourage the growth of large, lush buds. Unlike other plants, MMJ’s response to fertilizer is so strong that the more you give it, the bigger and lusher it will grow.

Following the flowering stage of the medical marijuana life cycle, it will sadly die, and the whole growing process should begin again.

Depending on where you live in California, there are different rules and regulations about where you can grow MMJ. These rules are decided by your local authority, so it’s important to get in touch with them before you plant your seeds.

Though outdoor cultivation is easier and less expensive, a lot of local authorities limit growing to indoors. Unfortunately there has been no confirmation as to why that is, but it’s assumed that it’s because some neighbors don’t like the sight – or smell – of the plant.

If your local authority allows it, grow your medical marijuana outside. If your plants are exposed to the sun all day long, and the dark all night long, they should experience rapid growth and start to bloom big, beautiful flowers in no time. To get the same effect through indoor growing, you’ll have to invest in a indoor grow light.

Take your time to choose what MMJ strain you want to grow. It’s best to cultivate a strain that will effectively treat the ailment outlined on your cannabis card. If you’re not sure of what strain will work best to treat your illness, check out our guide here.

Although home growing is now legal in California for medical marijuana card carriers, it’s still inexplicably illegal at a federal level in the United States. Thankfully, the federal government adopts a laissez faire attitude on this topic, so it’s extremely unlikely that you’ll get in trouble with the feds for doing a little home cultivation.

If you feel like your green fingers are up for a gardening challenge, apply for your California MMJ card today and get digging!

Will California Always Be the Biggest MMJ State?

California is a trendsetter in many ways. It’s a center for entertainment and culture in the US, it’s full of the latest advances in technology and it has a massive start-up culture. Its weather is fantastic, the agricultural landscape is active and thriving and there exists the most liberal and exciting medical marijuana laws in the country.

California was the first state in the US to legislate for medical marijuana. Patients had been using marijuana for medical reasons illegally for a long time, and anecdotal evidence suggested that it provided excellent results for people suffering from a wide variety of different conditions.

History of Medical Marijuana Laws in California

MMJ Recs - holding small weed bud

Many medical marijuana professionals in California supported Proposition 215 because they had seen good results for patients with conditions like cancer, HIV and AIDS.

Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, was passed by 55.6% in 1996, which allowed for the use of marijuana for medical reasons for numerous conditions. The Yes campaign was spearheaded by marijuana activists from San Francisco who had noticed that marijuana had helped many suffering from HIV/AIDS in the gay community.

As well as anecdotal evidence from users of medical marijuana, many medical professionals also publicly supported Proposition 215, stating that they had also seen good results for patients suffering from conditions like cancer, which was far less stigmatized than HIV/AIDS at the time.

After the passing of Proposition 215, California was the first state to have legislated for medical marijuana. This presented problems at a federal level, as marijuana was and still is, considered a controlled and illegal substance. California held strong on its right to legislate for treatment for its citizens and the program has run successfully since 1996, inspiring other states to bring in legislation for medical marijuana.

However, there have been some DEA raids on dispensaries and farms in California, and the Supreme Court has ruled twice that federal law can overrule state law in some instances.

Despite some opposition from federal sources, patients have been happily accessing medical marijuana in California since 1996, and it is clearly the capital of medical marijuana usage in the United States.

Accessing MMJ in California

MMJ Recs - Golden Gate Bridge sunset view

Accessing MMJ in California is much easier than in other states because there are many more medical cannabis dispensaries and open laws.

As well as its early adoption, it is also very easy to access MMJ in California. The first step is to organize a visit with a medical professional who can assert your need for medical marijuana. This does not have to be in person and you can actually do a consultation online. The medical professional will ask you about your condition and suggest ways to treat it with medical marijuana.

If you are deemed a suitable candidate, you will be sent a stamped, dated and signed letter, which you will be able to bring to any dispensary to avail of any form or strain of medical marijuana that you think will be able to help you.

Upon visiting your local dispensary, you will be able to speak to the people working there, who will be able to help point you in the right direction for the best treatments for you. There are many different forms of medical marijuana, as well as different strains. Strains contain varying levels of THC and PCP, which offer different types of relief – depending on your condition.

MMJ Recs - hemp plant growing

Choosing the right medical marijuana strain will offer different types of relief and effects, depending on your condition.

You can choose to buy joints to smoke, edibles like candies or baked goods, lotions and salves to rub into your skin, tinctures, vape liquids… amongst many other forms of MMJ. The only limit is your imagination!

Medical Marijuana Conditions in California

California is also notable with its liberal medical marijuana laws for not placing limits on the conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana. In other states, such as New York, there is  a strictly regulated list of conditions that can be treated with medical marijuana, but this does not exist in California, which is great for citizens of the state.

Evidence suggests that there are a variety of conditions, both physical and mental, that can be successfully treated with medical marijuana. These include epilepsy, depression, anxiety, eating disorders, cancer, HIV/AIDS, Huntington’s disease and Parkinson’s disease – amongst many others.

For many patients, the fear of being rejected for medical marijuana treatment can be a big deterrent for seeking treatment, as well as the stigma of using marijuana for medical reasons. Due to the proliferation of medical marijuana in California, as well as its place in the state for over twenty years, these issues do not seem to affect patients in the Golden State.

MMJ Recs - beautiful beach view at sunrise

California continues to not only be a beautiful state to live in, but also the top state for medical marijuana use.

California is rightly lauded as a mecca for patients who need medical marijuana and has served as an inspiration for many states that have followed in its steps. Many patients have actually relocated to California for the sole reason of seeking treatment that they cannot access in more conservative states.

Californians are lucky to be able to access this treatment that should be available to all citizens, but the battle continues on at other state levels and federal levels to provide medical marijuana to all residents of the United States.

6 Ways to Avoid Putting on Weight When Using Medical Marijuana

Medical marijuana has many benefits. Amongst them: pain relief, anxiety reduction, sleep promotion and appetite stimulation. But as is so often the case, too much of something good can become something bad.

Medical cannabis can be so effective at appetite stimulation that a patient can quite easily end up eating too much and gaining weight.

Eating and drinking can be extremely arousing and enjoyable to a person who is under the influence of MMJ – flavors are enhanced, textures are more pronounced and the sensation of fullness often seems to go AWOL. All of these factors make overeating a very easy trap for medical cannabis card users to fall into.

Luckily, you do not need to be a slave to this overeating tendency. You are not helplessly destined to become fat due to California medical marijuana card use. It is not written in stone that you must get rounder, softer and heavier as the years of medical marijuana use tick by. You can put lifestyle structures and habits in place that will make sure you stay on the right track, getting healthier, slimmer, fitter and stronger as time goes by.

Here is our list of 6 ways to keep the weight off and stay healthy while you use medical marijuana. Try a few of these out and you will be amazed at the positive results you get!

Lifting heavy weights is an excellent way to build discipline and keep off weight when using medical marijuana.

Lift Heavy Weights

Heavy lifting will burn fat and build muscle. Since muscle weighs more than fat you may actually get heavier from weight-lifting. However, you will be heavier because you have more muscle on your body. This fundamental change in body composition (more muscle, less fat) will increase your health levels across the board – from cardiovascular fitness to structural integrity to bone strength.

Weight-lifting burns calories, so consistent weight training will lead to fat loss (provided you are not consuming so many calories that the effects are offset – it can be easy to reward yourself after a tough weights session with an eating binge – don’t do this if you want to lose weight).

So, lift heavy weights in order to build bigger, stronger muscles and keep fat levels down while using your medical marijuana card in California.

Do Cardio/HIIT

Doing cardiovascular exercise such as brisk walking, jogging, running, cycling or swimming is great for your overall health – especially lung capacity, heart health, psychological well-being (nothing gives you an endorphin blast quite like finishing a tough cardio session) and fat loss. A regular schedule of cardio sessions (especially if paired with some consistent weight training) will keep your fat levels low (again, provided you don’t undo all the good work with massive overeating).

Long sessions of moderate, consistent cardio (30 – 60 minutes) are effective, but if you are stuck for time short blasts of intensely effortful cardio (HIIT – high intensity interval training) are also very effective. Three 60 second blasts of top effort on a stationary bike or sprints, broken up with a minute or two of soft strolling, will be enormously beneficial, not very time consuming and will make sure that you stay slim while medicating with your California MMJ card.

Take Up a Sport or Physical Pastime

If you are the type of person that just can’t stand formal exercise or gym environments, you can still get good exercise in by taking up a sport such as volleyball, soccer, or a physical pastime such as yoga, dancing or hiking. Regular participation in a sport or physical pastime will mean you are working hard, using your body and keeping your weight levels down while using a California medical marijuana card.

Intermittent Fasting

Fasting has enjoyed a resurgence in popularity over the last few years. People have been using fasting as a way to control weight and increase general health since time immemorial, and now the science is catching up with the anecdotal evidence. A fasted period gives the body a chance to reset itself, often dipping into a state of ketosis (a beneficial state in which the body burns its fat stores for fuel because it’s run out of the carbohydrates you’ve been eating).

When you fast, after an initial spike in hunger, ghrelin (the hunger-inducing hormone) actually decreases, so not eating gets easier as time goes by. Fasting gives your body the chance to devour its own fat. Fasting also increase HGH (human growth hormone) levels.

One of the most popular fasting methods is 16/8, which means you fast for 16 hours and feed for 8 hours. Some people find it easier to fast in the morning (essentially skipping breakfast) and some find it easier to eat until early evening and then fast until breakfast. People report increased mental clarity during the fasted state, increases in exercise performance and decreased weight from fasting.

If your illness permits, give fasting a try; it may be a very valuable weapon in your battle against a bulging belly.

Cut Out Sugar and Simple Carbs

Unfortunately you can’t always have everything you want in life. Trade-offs always need to be made. Many of the most appealing and delicious foods and beverages are also the most fattening. Simple carbohydrates, of which sugar is the simplest, tend to be exceedingly fattening to most people. Sugar, in the form of cakes, biscuits, ice-cream, white bread, pasta and beer will put fat on your body.

There’s no way around it (unless perhaps a Michael Phelps-style training regime). For mere mortals (who are not Olympic athletes or genetic freaks) eating simple carbs will lead to weight gain, so to avoid putting on weight while using MMJ… lay off the sugar.

Being extra cautious and responsible while shopping for food is a wise way to make sure you don’t put on the pounds when using medical marijuana.

Shop for Groceries Wisely

Last but not least, shop wisely. Often when you are under the influence of cannabis your ability to be disciplined and “just say no” to fattening foods and drinks is severely compromised. To offset this don’t shop while high and also try not to have unhealthy foods in your house. This means that when you are at your least disciplined you will not be able to make the kinds of food choices that would make you fat.

You may regret not buying those Oreos when you are rummaging through your cupboards hungrily late at night and under the influence, but you will thank yourself in the morning!

Visiting a Medical Marijuana Dispensary in California: All You Need to Know

Although medical marijuana cards have been in use in California for what seems like forever, it can still be intimidating as a new MMJ card holder to step into a dispensary for the first time. Even the most confident cannabis card carriers can find themselves to be a little nervous at the prospect of their first dispensary trip.

So what exactly does a new MMJ card holder need to know before they take their first steps into this bright new world? Let us enlighten you!

There are hundreds – if not thousands – of medical marijuana dispensaries in California, so choose your dispensary wisely. The quality of dispensaries differ greatly with significant disparities on price, selection and quality – depending on what dispensary you go to.

Do your homework and check out what dispensaries are available before you make the journey. You can find a list of all of California’s medical marijuana dispensaries here.

Choose Your MMJ Dispensary Wisely

Dispensaries vary in function across California, with some choosing to focus on medical marijuana, some on recreational use and most focusing on a mixture of the two. Make sure to go to a medical marijuana dispensary or a hybrid dispensary, as staff in the recreational dispensary may not be trained to give you correct medical advice on suitable products.

If you elect to go to a hybrid medical recreational dispensary there will usually be two entrances: one labeled ‘medical entrance’ and the other labeled ‘recreational entrance’. Make sure that as a medical marijuana card holder you go through the medical entrance.

A Warm Welcome

When you get into the dispensary you’ll see a staff member seated behind a glass window in a waiting room. This is the person who you’ll show your medical marijuana card to. They’ll quickly appraise the card, make sure you’re the person who the MMJ card has been registered to, and then will grant you access to the main part of the dispensary where you’ll purchase your medical marijuana products.

Don’t forget to bring your MMJ card to the medical marijuana facility or you may just be window shopping!

It is absolutely imperative that you bring your California medical marijuana card with you when you visit the dispensary. Without your MMJ card, you will not be allowed access to the medical part of the dispensary and will not be allowed to purchase medical marijuana products.

While You Wait

Sometimes, you may be allowed immediate access to the main part of the dispensary, but know it is pretty common to have a short waiting period before you’re allowed in. This should last no more than 10-20 minutes. The purpose of this waiting time is to allow each patient ample time with the ‘budtender’, who will advise them on the best products to buy to treat their ailment.

While you wait, it’s a good idea to do a little research into exactly what you want to buy at the dispensary (if you haven’t already done this at home). Sure, browsing the entirety of the dispensary can be interesting but trust us, the dispensary’s budtender will seriously appreciate it if you’re au fait with the product selection before you arrive.

Nowadays, a lot of California dispensaries have online menus, so these are worth checking out in advance of your trip.

Knowing is Half the Battle

Each case in a California MMJ dispensary will be well labeled, but unless you’re clued in as to what strain you’re looking for, these labels will look like gibberish (we’re looking at you Golden Goat!). Know the difference between your indicas and your sativas before you get to the dispensary or know exactly what strain of MMJ you’re looking for. If you’re not sure what strain would be best to treat your ailment, check out our handy guide here.

The great thing about a medical marijuana dispensary is that it has well-trained staff who can help answer any questions or concerns.

Knowing what you want doesn’t mean just knowing what strains you want – you should also know through what method you want to consume. Are you looking for some tasty edibles? Some aromatic topicals? Or just a few vape cartridge refills? By knowing exactly what you’re looking for in advance of your visit, your dispensary experience will be as seamless as possible.

Don’t Be Afraid to Ask Questions

If you’re not sure exactly what you’re after make sure to ask the budtender for their advice. These people are friendly trained professionals and it’s their job to make your dispensary experience as comfortable as possible. They’ll know what strains or products are best suited for your needs and will deliver their advice with a smile to put you at ease. At a dispensary there is no such thing as a stupid question so ask as many as you need to!

One Last Reminder

As well as remembering to bring your medical marijuana card with you for your trip to the dispensary, remember to bring cash with you, too. Though most dispensaries are starting to become more card-friendly, a lot of them are still strictly cash only establishments. Avoid the stress of being caught penniless by making sure you have enough cash to make your MMJ purchases that day.

Remember, every dispensary is different and it may take you a while to find the one that’s a good fit for you. Shop around your locality and choose your dispensary wisely, basing your decision on which one makes you the most comfortable.

3 MMJ Policies New York Needs to Change to Take on California

There has always been a rivalry between the east coast and the west; whether it’s sport, politics or hip hop, New Yorkers are always determined to out battle Californians. In the arena of medical marijuana however, as it currently stands, there is one clear winner.

MMJ was legalized in California way back in the Compassionate Use Act of 1996; in this way, the Golden State was way ahead of the other 49 on the medical marijuana front. Washington, Oregon, Alaska and Nevada followed Cali’s lead in 1998, and over the last twenty odd years, MMJ has been steadily legalized in 29 different states in the U.S.

One of the most recent states to take up the cause was, surprisingly, New York. The government in Albany only passed the required act in July 2014, following a lengthy debate in the state senate. This made them the 23rd state in the U.S. to legalize MMJ (a staggering statistic when you consider New York’s traditional liberal leanings).

Even more startling was the restrictiveness of the bill when it was finally unveiled to the NY public; despite passing with a landslide, it was in fact one of the most conservative in the whole country.

Cuomo has long since taken a staunch anti-marijuana position, and the Republicans in the Senate got a little weak in the knees at the prospect of MMJ legalization escalating rapidly to recreational legalization. The result was a bill that failed to cater to the basic needs of most patients across the state.

While the signs are good that this restrictiveness is set to change due to continued pressure and advocacy from support groups, it doesn’t change the fact that it puts New York light years behind California when it comes to MMJ law.

With that in mind, here are three major policies from Cuomo’s bill that need to change if New York wants to draw even or surpass the Golden State.

MMJRecs - Weed in Hand

Since smoking is the most effective way to consume MMJ, New York needs to legalize smoking medical marijuana to be as forward-thinking as California.

1. Introduce Smoking

As patients in California know, smoking marijuana is the most effective form of consuming the drug, and the most potent method of treatment for  a myriad of conditions that MMJ can ease. Bizarrely, this was the one form of consumption that was left out of Cuomo’s bill – presumably because it is the form most associated with recreational use.

In a effort to distance himself from the thorny issue of recreational legalization, Cuomo insisted on a smoking ban. New York patients can instead consume the drug in the form of extracts, tinctures, oils and edibles.

Meanwhile, over on the west coast, smoking is far and away the most common form of consumption for patients. By limiting the use of MMJ, New York established itself as one of the most restrictive medical marijuana states in the country. This needs to change and change fast if they’re hoping to consider themselves a forward-thinking, progressive home for MMJ.

2. Allow More Registered Organizations

Advocates for MMJ recently scored a big win when they got the qualifying treatment ‘chronic pain’ added to the New York bill. This crucial clause, which opens up the benefits of MMJ to a whole range of patients, was absent from the initial proposal.

The trouble is, the 2014 bill only contains provision for five Registered Organizations (ROs), which the state licenses to produce and distribute medical marijuana. Each RO can only operate a maximum of four dispensaries each, leaving a total of twenty dispensaries serving the entire state of New York.

With more patients signing up thanks to the ‘chronic pain’ addition, this startlingly limited number of dispensaries simply won’t be enough to cover all patients in the state. In stark contrast, California has no limit on the amount of dispensaries; New York should certainly look to the west coast for inspiration on this one.

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If New York really wants to help MMJ patients feel better, then the state needs to add more medical marijuana facilities.

3. Take the Power Away From the Governor

Under the Compassionate Care Act of 2014, Governor Cuomo and by extension the senate, have the power to quash medical marijuana if they feel it’s being abused. With a Republican-leaning politician like Cuomo, this could happen at anytime, leaving MMJ patients in New York with a big old sword of Damocles hanging over them.

If it was voted in fairly, then the law belongs to the people; the power to take it away shouldn’t be in the hands of one man. Instead of this regressive clause, both Republicans and Democrats should look to compromise and keep in mind the best interests of the people.

Since last November, when California followed Colorado’s lead and legalized recreational marijuana, the debate has been all about the legality of marijuana in general; having New York all paranoid about medical marijuana, which has been embraced by 29 states and proven to be effective for sufferers of a whole range of conditions, seems extremely regressive and archaic.

Is New York Going to Overtake California as the Leading MMJ State?

As legal medical marijuana becomes more and more widespread in the United States, the particular ways each state is handling the introduction of the medicine are slowly becoming apparent. There are currently 29 legal MMJ states in the country, across the country from California to New York, and all of them approach the subject a little differently to the last.

While advocates continue to fight the good fight to get the medicine legalized in all 50 states, it’s going to be a long road; so it can be instructive to take a look at how the respective programs of the legalized states have shaped up so far.

California: A Trailblazer for Medical Cannabis

The trailblazer state for MMJ is undoubtedly California, who legalized the drug over twenty years ago in 1996. Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Care Act, passed by a narrow 55%, and allowed people suffering from cancer, AIDS, arthritis and other chronic ailments the avail of medical marijuana.

Although the proposition was criticized at the time for its vague wording, it was hailed as a major breakthrough by the medical profession, who could now legally recommend MMJ to their patients. From then, California has gone from strength to strength, and has become the guiding beacon for the legalization of both medical marijuana and recreational marijuana.

California has long been seen as a leading liberal state, as has its counterpart on the opposite coast, New York. America’s largest city has a long history of liberal leanings, and most expected them to carry through with the advent of MMJ. However, that was surprisingly not the case.

New York vs. California MMJ Laws

Quite the opposite occurred actually; when New York finally legalized medical marijuana in 2014, a full eighteen years after California, it was in the form of a shockingly restrictive and conservative bill. One of the sticking points of the new legislation came from Governor Andrew Cuomo, a long-standing anti-marijuana advocate, who insisted that the medicine should not be legalized in smokable form.

MMJRecs - Golden Gate

California allows medical marijuana to be taken in any form, which is vastly different to the MMJ laws in New York.

This greatly limits the potency of MMJ, which is most effective and fast-acting when smoked. In addition, only a small number of diseases, many of them severe, would qualify a patient for MMJ treatment in New York; the 2014 bill didn’t include the blanker term ‘chronic pain’, which critically limits both who doctors can prescribe to, and on what grounds.

In fact, New York doctors themselves had to think very carefully before prescribing the drug. If they were found to be working outside the tight parameters of Cuomo’s bill, they could find themselves breaking federal law.

As it stood upon introduction, New York’s MMJ laws stood in stark contrast to California’s liberal leanings. California allows medical marijuana to be taken in any form, and also includes a wide range of qualifying conditions, which sharply outguns New York’s restrictive measures.

Medical Marijuana Laws: Times They are a Changin’

Things have been changing recently though, and advocates in New York have been applying pressure in order to loosen the conservative bill. These changes, however, bring it nowhere near California’s MMJ legacy; and the problem starts with supply and demand.

It’s hard to walk down any given street in Los Angeles, San Francisco, or indeed any major Californian city, without happening across an MMJ dispensary. Over twenty years of legal medical marijuana have given California an unprecedented head start in terms of cultivation, and the industry continues to go from strength to strength.

Over on the East coast however, things are a little different. Currently, New York’s 2014 bill only allows for five cultivation companies to legally operate in the state, with a maximum of twenty dispensaries (or one every 2,700km). This was initially crippling to the growth of MMJ; though the Department of Health has since recognized its limitations, and doubled the amount of cultivation companies to ten, in a bill passed late last year.

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One good piece of news is that as of March this year, chronic pain was added as a qualifying ailment for MMJ in New York.

There are also continuing and persistent calls for changing the qualifying conditions in New York, some of which have not gone unheeded. As of March this year, chronic pain was added as a qualifying ailment, after it was announced in December 2016. This opens up a whole new world for medical marijuana in New York, making it accessible for many more people for whom it could prove a major benefit. Despite the early aggressiveness of the 2014 bill, signs are good that the Department of Health are loosening their reins and are looking to put New York on the MMJ map.

However, these new measures simply don’t measure up to California’s lax legislation. In fact, the Sunshine State has gone one step further and legalized recreational marijuana, another bold step in the slowly but surely progressing acceptance of the drug. Although it’s making bold strides, and is certainly heading in there right direction, New York still has a long way to go to make up the ground gained by California.

Until NY, the supposed liberal bastion of the Eastern seaboard, severely loosens its laws, Cali will remain the king of MMJ states. But who knows what the lay of the land will look like five years from now. Until then, patients will on both sides of the country will have to continue fighting the good fight, and advocating the plethora of benefits MMJ provides.

Why New York Medical Marijuana Laws Are Stricter Than in California

Why would anyone choose to leave sunny California? The weather is amazing, the people are chill and most importantly, the medical marijuana laws are pretty relaxed.

The Golden State was the first to bring MMJ laws onto its books. While many states have followed suit, not many have as relaxed laws as California does. There is also a great rivalry between the east and west coasts, so how do Californian medical marijuana laws measure up to those in New York state?

MMJ Laws in New York and California

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The main difference between New York medical marijuana laws and California medical cannabis laws are the forms that are legal to consume.

The short answer is that New York has far stricter rules on medical marijuana than California. While California has had MMJ laws on the books since 1996, New York only brought in limited medical marijuana laws on 2014.

The main difference between MMJ in the states is the forms that are legal. In California, you can consume smoking cannabis, edibles, tinctures and pretty much any kind of medical marijuana. However, in New York, there are strict laws in place relating to what can be consumed. Patients may only consume MMJ via oils or sprays to be vaporized or consumed orally. Edibles and cannabis cigarettes are still strictly illegal.

You are also not permitted to grow medical marijuana for your own use, whereas this is permitted in California. This can present issues for patients who experience the best results from cannabis cigarettes or edibles, as opposed to tinctures, oils or vapes.

Medical marijuana benefits different people in different ways, and the forms that you consume them in can often have differing effects. It’s unfortunate that New York state cannot cater to all of its medical marijuana patients, some of which live with chronic and unmanageable pain, but a broader law may come into effect with continued campaigning.

Obtaining Medical Marijuana in New York and California

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In California, the process of obtaining an MMJ card is much easier than obtaining one in New York.

The ways in which you obtain a medical marijuana card in both states are also slightly different. In California, you can visit a medical marijuana professional for an in-person or online consultation. They will ask you the nature of your condition and prescribe medical cannabis to you based on your needs. You then receive your MMJ card and go to your dispensary to pick the form and strain of medical marijuana you need.

In New York, things are far stricter. Patients must suffer from a specified condition that appears on a list that has been ratified by the Commissioner. These conditions include Alzheimer’s Disease, chronic pain (which is very strictly defined) HIV/AIDS, cancer or epilepsy. This means that you need to fit very strict medical criteria before you can even consider seeking a medical marijuana card.

After you have deemed yourself suitable for medical marijuana treatment, you have to visit a registered medical marijuana practitioner. All medical marijuana practitioners must be registered with New York State and noted on a public register. When you visit an MMJ practitioner in New York, they will also decide the appropriate dosage and strain for you, as well as the form you consume it in.

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When you visit an MMJ practitioner in California, you get to decide your appropriate dosage and strain.

In California, that decision is left up to the patient. For example, you can go to a medical marijuana practitioner in New York State, who will decide you need a certain strain, in a certain amount to be administered and consumed in a certain form. You then bring the “prescription” to a dispensary, who can only give you the medical cannabis that the registered practitioner has decided is most appropriate for you.

As medical marijuana practitioners must register with the state, so too must patients. When you receive your MMJ certificate from your practitioner, you must register as a medical marijuana patient online. You will then be sent a card, which will allow you to receive your treatment. You cannot receive any treatment without your identification card.

Dispensaries in New York are also required to be fully registered and can only carry pre-approved products that can be designated to patients. While there is a wide variety of ways to take medical marijuana in California, practitioners in New York are only allowed to certify patients to take certain types and brands, with varying rates of THC and CBD.

As you can see, the measures in New York are far stricter than those in California, and this mostly just comes down to stigma. In California, MMJ has been around for over twenty years, and most citizens are comfortable with the concept, as it has changed so many lives for the better. New York is still coming around to the idea, and is being incredibly strict so as not to be seen to be condoning recreational drug use.

Hopefully, with time, New York will be able to relax its incredibly strict MMJ laws and allow more people access to a lifeline that has changed people from being in so much pain that they cannot function, to being functional members of society.

 

California vs New York: Which State is Best for Medical Cannabis?

Now that the medical marijuana card revolution has spread to New York, it can be easy to compare and contrast its laws to those in other states. While it’s not fair to compare MMJ card states with marijuana gold standard states – we’re looking at you, Colorado – comparing MMJ-friendly states against each other gives us a better picture of which state is best to live in if you’re a cannabis card holder.

California was a trailblazer in the legalization of medical marijuana with the introduction of Proposition 215 all the way back in 1996. For this reason, MMJ laws in the Sunshine State are some of the best in the country, leaving other MMJ states in its shadow.

Unfortunately for New York MMJ card carriers, the liberal bastion of the eastern seaboard just hasn’t caught up to California’s super lax laws. In fairness to them, they only legalized the use of medical marijuana in 2014, so we can’t exactly hold them to California’s standard, which has been over 20 years in the making.

Qualifying Ailments for MMJ

The biggest area where Californian cannabis laws outshine New York’s is by their classification of qualifying ailments. In California, there is a broad lists of qualifying conditions that allow you to apply for a medical marijuana card. This includes anything from menstrual cramps and anxiety, to cancer and everything in between. Thanks to this, anyone in need of the ameliorative effects of cannabis can access it.

New York’s list of qualifying conditions is significantly smaller, and comes with specific stipulations. To get a medical marijuana card in New York, you must suffer from a life-threatening illness. According to the medical marijuana program, this is limited to cancerHIV, AIDS, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, multiple sclerosis, spinal damage, epilepsy, inflammatory bowel disease, neuropathy, Huntington’s disease and chronic pain.

In addition to these limitations, your condition must present you with life-limiting symptoms in order to qualify for an MMJ card. A doctor can not, and will not, prescribe you medical cannabis outside of these conditions due to the intense pressure put on them by the New York Medical Marijuana Program.

Cannabis Cultivation Laws in New York and California

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One downside for MMJ card holders in New York: it’s strictly banned in the state to grow cannabis at home.

Home cultivation is strictly banned in New York, with the state’s needs for cultivation limited to production by ten companies. This presents problems for cannabis card holders who prefer to home grow due to mobility issues.

California, by contrast, allows MMJ card carriers to grow six mature plants or 12 immature plants at home once they have the required growers license. Unfortunately for New Yorkers, there doesn’t seem to be any plans on the horizon to ease home growing laws.

Consumption Laws for Medical Marijuana

Noticeably, you won’t see any medical marijuana card holders smoking MMJ in New York, as smoking the plant is strictly illegal. Governor Cuomo never gave a real explanation as to why this is, with many people speculating that he wanted to distance his MMJ program from methods of consumption that would typically be associated with recreational use. While this isn’t a major problem for most cannabis card carriers – a lot of them would steer clear from smoking due to the obvious health effects. This can be a nuisance for the small few who prefer to smoke their MMJ.

Similarly, the consumption of medical marijuana edibles is banned in New York. Unlike smoking, a significant amount of MMJ card holders would consume this way. Using edibles has a whole host of benefits – and is tasty, to boot – so some patients were very disappointed with this law. Being the bastion of MMJ goodness that it is, Californian medical marijuana law allows both smoking and the consumption of edibles once you’re suitably discreet about it.

Getting a Cannabis Card in California and New York

Acquiring a cannabis card in California is a much easier process than it is in New York. In Cali, all you need to do is complete a short, noninvasive online consultation with a licensed mental health professional and voilà, you got yourself a California medical marijuana card! In New York, it takes a little bit longer to do.

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Just like sitting in New York traffic can be a painfully long process, so can acquiring a New York MMJ card.

First, you must go to a doctor and tell them about your illness and your need for a medical marijuana card. It’s important to note that the doctor you go to must be registered with the Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Program – if they’re not, they won’t be able to prescribe you MMJ, and you’ll be left feeling disappointed. If you have a qualifying ailment and they think you’re suitable for it, they’ll recommend you for medical marijuana certification.

Following this, you’ll have to register for your Registry ID Card. You do this by applying via the Department of Health’s Online Patient Registration System. Once your application is rigorously reviewed, you’ll be sent out your ID in the mail. You’ll need to bring this with you when you visit the MMJ dispensary in New York.

New York’s medical cannabis laws are only in their infancy, so it’s pretty understandable for them to be so far behind their western cousins on the MMJ front. Thankfully, further relaxations of New York’s MMJ laws are on the horizon, with the possibility of total legalization looking likely within the next five years – not bad for a state who only decriminalized MMJ three years ago!

Until then, New York can continue to look to California for inspiration on how to make their state more MMJ-friendly.

 

Will Medical Marijuana in New York Match California in Popularity?

The Californian medical marijuana card program is a shining beacon of MMJ best practice. Those who need to get an MMJ card can do so easily, and without many stipulations delaying the process. As Cali MMJ card holders face so little roadblocks in accessing marijuana, they’re rarely left unnecessarily suffering. This ease of access means that medical marijuana is naturally very popular in California.

California not only makes getting a medical marijuana card very easy, but it also has the infrastructure in place to deal with the high demand. Dispensaries are dotted generously throughout the state, meaning that regardless of where you are, you can easily acquire MMJ.

Unfortunately, not all states can mirror Cali’s wonderful MMJ laws. While New York has been making some concrete steps towards becoming more MMJ-friendly since its legalization in 2014, roadblocks still exist for medical marijuana card holders looking to acquire the plant.

Access to MMJ in New York

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Because many physicians in New York are reluctant to prescribe medical marijuana, people outside of Manhattan have a very tough time accessing it.

As New York’s medical marijuana laws are still in their infancy, doctors – especially doctors outside of the city – are unsure of how to toe the line in regards who they can and can’t prescribe MMJ to. For this reason, a lot of physicians around the state are very reluctant to prescribe MMJ, with most of them point blank refusing to prescribe it at all for fear that they’d lose their license. This means that medical marijuana card carriers living outside of Manhattan have a very tough time accessing MMJ.

A lot of prospective MMJ card holders simply cannot make hour-long trips to willing doctors due to the fact that they are oftentimes limited in their movements by their ailment. This unfortunate situation means that the popularity of medical marijuana in New York is dwarfed by that of California.

Medical Marijuana Ailments

In New York, the list of qualifying ailments deemed suitable for the medical marijuana program is much shorter than that of the Sunshine State. In most cases, you must have a life-threatening illness such as MS, AIDS or cancer in order to be considered for the program. This is further complicated by the fact that your illness must also present you with significant life-limiting symptoms like chronic pain or muscle spasms.

A huge number of Californians would have their medical marijuana card in order to treat ailments that are not deemed suitable in New York. Medical marijuana is used to treat all manner of illnesses in California like depression, anxiety, epilepsy and PTSD, and these generous laws are what give life to its popularity there.

Until New York loosens what it considers to be an allowable condition for MMJ treatment, the popularity of medical marijuana in the state will continue to dwindle.

New York vs California MMJ Laws

The banning of certain consumption methods is another thing attributed to the low popularity of medical marijuana in New York. There is a blanket ban on smoking MMJ across the entirety of the state. Most people attribute this to the fact that weed skeptic Governor Andrew Cuomo wants to distance New York’s medical marijuana laws from consumption methods that would typically be associated with recreational users, rather than users with MMJ cards.

For this same suspected reason, the consumption of medical marijuana edibles in New York is banned, too. While most MMJ card carriers could get over the smoking ban, banning edibles is a tougher pill to swallow. As ingesting your medical marijuana has tons of benefits, it is the consumption method of choice for a lot of cannabis card holders across the country. The outright ban of edibles has thusly negatively impacted upon the popularity of MMJ in New York.

A lot of the contributing factors as to why medical marijuana is so much less popular in New York than in California can easily be put down to the fact that New York’s medical marijuana laws are much younger than California’s – by a whopping 18 years! Having legalized MMJ all the way back in 1996, California weed legislation has gone through many evolutions, eventually giving rise to the super MMJ-friendly state we have today.

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Medical marijuana was legalized in California in 1996, making the Golden State a trailblazer for other MMJ-friendly states.

As weed has been a mainstay of Californian health law since the 90s, it’s more normalized there than it is in New York. Adding to that the fact that recently California announced that it would be legalizing the drug entirely, it’s no wonder that the popularity here outnumbers that of New York so starkly.

Recent New York Medical Marijuana Bills

Thankfully for New Yorkers, the Empire State is moving closer and closer to full legalization of marijuana every day. Recently, two bills were submitted by NY legislators that would potentially create regulations that would see marijuana being taxed and controlled in the same way that alcohol currently is. Not only would this create a huge influx of revenue for the state, but it would also mean that those caught in possession of up to two ounces of marijuana would face no criminal charges – way to go New York!

Eventually, medical marijuana will be just as popular in New York as it is in California. Until then, we’ve just gotta be happy that New York – like a lot of other states – is slowly but surely moving towards being much more MMJ-friendly.

Why Getting an MMJ Card in New York is Harder Than in California

It’s pretty safe to say that California medical marijuana card holders have it pretty easy. MMJ laws in the Sunshine State are famously lax, meaning that acquiring a cannabis card can be done in a few short minutes from the comfort of your own home. Soon, California’s marijuana laws will become even better when state wide legalization is introduced – way to go Cali!

Unfortunately, on the east coast, New York MMJ card carriers aren’t afforded the same weed friendly legislation. Since its legalization in 2014 by Andrew Cuomo, medical marijuana in New York hasn’t been easy to come by. Acquiring an MMJ card has been a legal minefield fraught with uncertainty. As a result, many people suffering from medical marijuana compatible illnesses have had to go without the miracle plant.

New York’s Case Against Medical Marijuana

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Governor Cuomo and his department don’t want the New York Medical Marijuana Program to be abused, so they’re making it very difficult to get a MMJ card.

The legislation of medical marijuana in New York came as a surprise to some as Governor Cuomo does not support the decriminalization of the plant. It is thought that the tough MMJ laws could be as a direct result of this. Although Cuomo does recognize the usefulness of medical marijuana as a form of treatment for certain illnesses, he is vehemently opposed to decriminalization, so it’s natural that he would want to keep MMJ laws as tough as possible to safeguard them from abuse.

Interestingly – and in spite of Cuomo’s beliefs – New York state lawmakers recently submitted two bills which could potentially pave the way for a state wide legalization of marijuana for recreational use. The bills – namely the Marijuana Regulation and Taxation Act – would create a system whereby marijuana would be taxed and regulated in the same way that alcohol is, creating a new market and providing millions of dollars in Revenue for the state.

Under this law, possession of up to two ounces of marijuana would be legal for people aged 18 and over, and people aged 21 and over could legally buy cannabis from state licensed dispensaries, regardless of whether they had an MMJ card or not.

Until total legalization is introduced, it’s unlikely that getting a medical marijuana card will become much easier. Cuomo and his department don’t want the New York Medical Marijuana Program to be abused and thus, make getting the card particularly difficult. While these conservative views are restricting access to the plant for those in need, they see this as a necessary evil to stop people who they think shouldn’t be consuming it.

New York’s MMJ Laws

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One thing that majorly irked medical marijuana card holders in New York: the state banned edibles.

New York’s stringent MMJ laws are none the more evident than in the fact that smoking medical marijuana is strictly forbidden within the state. While smoking is not the consumption method of choice for most MMJ card holders – due to the obvious detrimental health effects – for the few users who prefer to smoke, this is problematic.

Edibles are similarly banned in New York, which irked medical marijuana card holders further. When this news was announced, some cannabis card holders were at a loss as to why these strict rules regarding consumption methods were enforced. It’s likely that the New York MMJ Program wanted to distance itself from recreational cannabis use as much as possible, thus outlawing methods of consumption that are more typically associated recreational users.

Type of Conditions

In the same vein, the list of qualifying conditions that deem you suitable for a medical marijuana card is considerably shorter in New York than it is in California. By and large, to obtain an MMJ card in New York you must be suffering from a life-threatening illness such as HIV or cancer, and your ailment must present you with associative and complicating conditions like seizures or chronic pain.

Thankfully, these laws have become slightly more lax in recent times, as PTSD and chronic pain have been added to the list of qualifying conditions.

Access to a Licensed MMJ Physician

Due to the uncertainty of New York’s MMJ Laws, unless you live close to New York City, it can be hard to find you a doctor who will happily recommend you for a medical marijuana card. Prospective MMJ card applicants across the state have consistently been disappointed, as their own trusted physicians refuse to recommend them for the program should, they step out of line and potentially lose their practice.

The best way to overcome this problem is to apply for your medical marijuana card online. This way you can complete your consultation with a state licensed physician from the comfort of your own home, and have it posted out to you within a few short days.

Essentially, it’s harder to get an MMJ card in New York than in California because the New York Medical Marijuana Program is still in its infancy. California legalized medical marijuana all the way back in 1996 – nearly 20 years before New York – so it’s no wonder that Cali is more weed-friendly than the Empire State.

Thankfully, New York is catching up fast, and it looks likely that we’ll see the full legalization of marijuana within the next five years. Until then, if you need access to MMJ in New York, it’s prudent that you apply for you medical marijuana card online today!

MMJ Myth-busting: Separating Fact from Fiction

Experimenting with medical marijuana can be very intimidating for a lot of people. The sad thing is that there are many types of people who could benefit from MMJ who are being put off by the hype, stigma and lies surrounding its use. Luckily, we’re here to bust some of the most common myths surrounding medical marijuana so that you can get back to consuming your medication without worrying about myths over truths.

Myth: MMJ Is Only for Stoners

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The primary reason for using MMJ is not getting high. It is the legitimate treatment of debilitating conditions.

This is probably one of the most pervasive arguments that people use when showing their disdain for MMJ. Medical marijuana is not the same as street-level weed used for recreational purposes. People with MMJ cards are patients who have seen medical professionals who deem them worthy of treatment with medical marijuana. The process is legal, safe and not about getting high. Most users of medical marijuana view getting high as a side effect of their medication as opposed to the main reason for consuming it in the first place. Now, we’re not saying that you can’t enjoy the high! Of course, it can be a fun side effect, but the primary reason for using MMJ is not getting high. It is the legitimate treatment of debilitating conditions.

Myth: Medical Professionals Don’t Approve of Medical Marijuana

In California, there is a legal process for obtaining MMJ cards. Firstly, you must attend a consultation, either in person or online, with a fully qualified doctor. The doctor must conclude that you need a medical marijuana card. They must then write a letter, outlining your condition and why you require MMJ to treat yourself. This can then be used to obtain MMJ from a dispensary. There are countless doctors in California who approve of the use of medical marijuana for a variety conditions, and some even work solely on writing letters of recommendation for medical marijuana to those who need it. Do not be self-conscious about seeking help for your condition via medical marijuana. If you are in California, it is very easy to find medical professionals who are passionate about this form of treatment and who want to help patients access it as easily and quickly as possible in a perfectly legal manner.

Myth: MMJ Leads to the Abuse of Hard Drugs

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Although there have been some links shown between the use of cannabis and harder drugs such as meth, cocaine and heroin, it is clear those who use marijuana medicinally do not have this issue.

There is a big difference between using a drug recreationally and using it to treat the symptoms of an illness. Although there have been some links shown between the use of cannabis and harder drugs such as meth, cocaine and heroin, it is clear those who use marijuana medicinally do not have this issue. By treating MMJ as a medication instead of an illicit drug, the stigma of its use for this reason can be broken. By continuing to associate medical marijuana with drug abuse, the false links among addiction, criminal activity and the use of medical cannabis will continue to be spread. This is incredibly negative for the many patients who use MMJ daily to manage their conditions and who may be easily put off by what they perceive to be the danger of opening a gate to hard drugs via the legitimate use of medical marijuana as an alleviative treatment for chronic conditions.

Myth: Medical Marijuana Doesn’t Have Proven Benefits

The benefits of MMJ are obvious to anyone who has ever used it to treat an ongoing or chronic condition. MMJ, depending on the strain, can alleviate symptoms associated with numerous illnesses and conditions, including anxiety, depression, eating disorders, insomnia, post-traumatic stress disorder and multiple sclerosis. Cancer sufferers have also reported that MMJ can ease the side effects of chemotherapy, which can often be incredibly grueling. If patient testimony is anything to go by, medical marijuana has a variety of benefits and allows patients suffering from a wide range of illnesses to go out and live their best lives while unwell.

Myth: MMJ Is a Cure-all for Illnesses and Diseases

Although MMJ is an amazing medicine that can help alleviate many conditions, it has not been shown to cure any major condition. Medical marijuana serves its purpose as an alleviative drug. It treats symptoms as opposed to the root causes of illnesses, which is why it is so helpful in assisting patients who suffer from long-term and chronic conditions. Although this may be disappointing for those looking for a quick fix, it shows that MMJ can be incredibly helpful for people who have been put on a variety of pharmaceutical solutions to treat different symptoms of chronic conditions. It’s just about treating your conditions with the best medication available, one of which can be medical marijuana.

Where to Find the Best Medical Cannabis in California

There are many great medical cannabis dispensaries in California. Long-established stalwarts are competing with new and enthusiastic upstarts, vying to provide the best possible MMJ dispensary service to the state’s fast-growing medical marijuana market. Competition among dispensaries is intense, and the happy result is that the standards keep rising. It’s a wonderful state of affairs for California medical marijuana card holders!

With so many excellent dispensaries now open for business in California, we thought it would be a good idea to give you a list of six of our favorite medical cannabis dispensaries operating in the Golden State today.

Exhale Med Center

980 N. La Cienega Blvd. #102, West Hollywood, CA 90069

Located in the heart of West Hollywood, Exhale Med Center is a members-only MMJ dispensary that is adored by its customers. It is very much the hub of a friendly community of medical cannabis aficionados who live in the greater Los Angeles area.

People come from all over the city — and beyond — to purchase some of the best MMJ in the world, learn from the friendly Exhale staff, attend lectures and talks, browse and soak in the positive atmosphere, and avail of the massage, acupuncture and yoga that’s on offer in this awesome, boundary-pushing dispensary. A visit to Exhale Med Center will be educational and eye-opening, and the medical cannabis on offer is absolutely some of the best you’ll find anywhere in the state.

Grass Roots

1077 Post St., San Francisco, CA 94109

Grass Roots has been one of California’s most trusted dispensaries for more than a decade. This San Francisco favorite is elegantly decorated. Entering the store feels like traveling back in time to a beautiful, old Victorian-era apothecary shop. The staff is famously helpful and knowledgeable. The selection of strains, variations, products and accessories on offer is very impressive. The staff is famously helpful and knowledgeable. The selection of strains, variations, products and accessories on offer is very impressive.

Grass Roots lab tests all their products to guarantee quality. They display highly accurate percentages of the different cannabinoids in each strain they sell. They also provide a home delivery service for any customer in the San Francisco Bay area. Grass Roots is a sophisticated, classy medical cannabis dispensary that is leading the way in terms of product quality and customer service.

Kushmart

1343 Hill St., Los Angeles, CA 90015

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Kushmart has possibly the tastiest edibles available anywhere in the state.

Kushmart is located smack-dab in the center of downtown Los Angeles. It has a huge variety of strains, concentrates, cartridges, and holistic products, as well as possibly the tastiest edibles available anywhere in the state! There are lots of cool special offers to avail of such as happy hours, free treats and free flower for war veterans. It provides for everyone. It is wheelchair accessible and has free parking. Kushmart is a weed dispensary with a big heart.

The Apothecarium

2029 Market Street, San Francisco, CA 94114

Situated in San Francisco’s historic Castro district, The Apothecarium offers a large range of strains, flowers, edibles, topicals and concentrates at very reasonable prices. The staff are always up to date with the most cutting-edge industry information, so a trip to The Apothecarium can be highly educational and interesting.

Architectural Digest magazine christened The Apothecarium the Best Designed Marijuana Shop in America, so take a trip to this famous San Francisco MMJ dispensary, and steep yourself in fine weed, sophisticated knowledge and some world-renowned interior design.

GMC

7559 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90046

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GMC’s edibles menu is inventive and delicious.

Melrose Avenue’s GMC dispensary sells top-quality flower, edibles, and extracts right in the middle of one of America’s most iconic shopping districts. The prices are capped so they stay very reasonable year-round. GMC’s edibles menu is inventive and delicious — certainly one of the best in the state. Organic treats abound, so waistlines beware. GMC is a high-end MMJ dispensary with first-class customer service and a friendly atmosphere.

Mary Jane’s Collective

4901 Melrose Ave, Los Angeles, CA 90029

Another Melrose Avenue dispensary with a great reputation, Mary Jane’s Collective has been selling top-quality medical marijuana for more than 10 years. They have a menu boasting more than 100 famous weed strains and inventive MMJ products. They specialize in high-end products and are best known for their signature Blue Dream, Emperor and Super Jack strains. They stock a variety of designer vape cartridges as well as a wide variety of marijuana-laced brownies, mints, chocolate, sweets, chewing gum and cookies. There are always a bunch of special offers on with daily free joints and big

There are always a bunch of special offers on with daily free joints and big discounts for senior citizens, war veterans and patients with disabilities. Mary Jane’s Collective staff pride themselves on providing their customers with a good education in MMJ and its benefits. The customer service is second to none.

So that was our list of six of the best places to find medical cannabis in California. Please don’t hesitate to comment and let us know of any great dispensaries that we may have missed!

How Can I Get a Medical Weed Card in California?

Ever since the passing of Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Care Act, in 1996, Californians have had the right to legally possess and use medical marijuana. People across the state suffering from all manner of maladies — from chronic pain to epilepsy to multiple sclerosis — now had access to the plant, which, for centuries, has been used for its magnificent healing powers. There was only one catch: Those who wanted to consume the plant had to have a California weed card (also known as a medical marijuana license).

Although Californians recently voted to legalize the recreational use of marijuana, until the new legislation is brought through completely (and this will probably take about another year or so), you must have a medical weed card to consume marijuana in the state of California. If you don’t adhere to this law, you’re leaving yourself vulnerable to arrest, an entirely avoidable outcome if you take the correct steps.

The process of getting your cannabis card could not be simpler and can be done from the comfort of your own home — an important point to make for those who are homebound due to their ailment or injury.

Before you fill out your medical weed card application, you must consider what kind of pricing plan you want to go with. MMJ Recs offers three plans:

Plan One: $49

This plan gets you a medical marijuana recommendation, which will enable you to acquire medical marijuana. This plan does not come with an ID card.

Plan Two: $74

This plan comes with a medical marijuana recommendation as well as an ID card. We recommend getting the ID card as it makes acquiring MMJ much easier and can help you should you come into a spot of trouble with the police. If you’re consuming the plant and get questioned by the cops, you’ll have the least amount of hassle if you have your ID card on you. This plan is our most popular one.

Plan Three: $149

This plan comes with a medical marijuana recommendation, an ID card and a grower’s permit, which will enable you to grow a small number of plants at home. This is a great option for the horticulturally gifted. The exact number of plants you can grow is decided by your own municipality’s MMJ laws.

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In order to acquire a California medical weed card, you must have a recommendation from a state licensed physician.

Once you have chosen the plan that suits your needs, you’ll then be asked to fill out a short, non-invasive questionnaire on the website. This questionnaire will ask you simple questions regarding you and your ailment and won’t take you very long to complete.

After you complete your questionnaire, you will then be connected, via our HIPAA-compliant telemedicine platform, to one of our state licensed doctors. In order to acquire a California weed card, you must have a recommendation from a state licensed physician. When connected to one of our doctors, you will be given a full medical evaluation over video call from the comfort of your own home. The virtual nature of our medical evaluations gives our patients total flexibility when it comes to where and when they conduct their appointment. You could even do it from work via your smartphone.

This virtual doctor’s visit will be a straightforward assessment where you’ll be asked about your medical history and your current ailments. Additionally, you’ll be talked through the various benefits and risks associated with medical marijuana use. This consultation will last for around 20 minutes.

All our medical evaluations are completed to the highest standard and are in full compliance with the California Medical Association guidelines on medical marijuana cards as well as the state of California’s telehealth laws.

If our doctor thinks you’re suitable to start a medical marijuana treatment plan, then you’ll be emailed your legal medical marijuana recommendation straight away. This can then be printed and brought to a California dispensary and used immediately. The original embossed recommendation will then be sent via discreet post to you the next day. Once this arrives, you can use it to apply for your state issued ID card from the California Department of Public Health, though this is no longer a mandatory part of the process.

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Medical marijuana has long been hailed a super-plant.

As you can see, the process for getting your California medical weed card couldn’t be much simpler — but it could improve your life immeasurably. Medical marijuana has long been hailed a super-plant and has a proven track record of easing pain, ameliorating depression and anxiety, and in some cases even slowing and reversing the progress of some cancers in the body.

Now that you have your 420 card sorted, it’s time you considered a few more things like what is the best way for you to consume MMJ, what type of MMJ is best suited to treating your specific type of pain and even what delicious edible should you make next.

The Finer Details of California Medical Marijuana Requirements

In 1996, the state of California passed the Compassionate Use Act (or Proposition 215), which legalized the possession and use of medical marijuana for those in possession of a California medical marijuana card, which is issued to those suffering from the more than 50 qualifying conditions laid out by the state government. Just last year, California saw yet another expansion of the state’s marijuana laws with the passing of Proposition 64, making the consumption of recreational marijuana also legal under state law.

Although this new proposition won’t come into full effect until early 2018, patients who hold a California medical marijuana card are asking what this new law will mean for their rights and access to their medication. Other members of the public who previously may have considered qualifying for a California medical marijuana card are also wondering what this new law will mean for their rights and whether it would still be beneficial to register as a medical marijuana patient. The following article aims to tackle these questions along with the finer details of application and qualification of a California medical marijuana card.

What Rights Have Changed

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With a California medical marijuana card, there are some limitations to Proposition 64 MMJ users can get around.

Proposition 64 enables members of the public who are 21 years of age or older to both possess and consume medical marijuana. However, there are still some limitations in terms of accessibility, the volume of possession and restrictions to areas of consumption that California medical marijuana card holders can still get around.

Because of the massive overhaul required by the new legislation, adult-use shops will most likely not have access to a license to legally sell and distribute marijuana until at least 2018. Although it will now be legal for members of the public to possess and consume cannabis, it will still be illegal to buy and sell it. Similarly, there will also be restrictions on how much cannabis members of the public can possess and grow at any one time. As it stands, the legislation states that the average citizen can now possess up to 1 ounce of marijuana flowers or 8 grams of concentrate while walking around in public without fear of arrest. Recreational users will also be permitted to grow up to six plants in their home. Consumption of cannabis will continue to be prohibited in public spaces, which means that if members of the public wish to partake, they’ll have to do so in a private setting.

What Are the Benefits of Applying for a Medical Marijuana Card?

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People with a California medical marijuana card will be able to access fast-track lines at dispensaries.

Those in possession of a California medical marijuana card will continue to have access to the licensed medical marijuana dispensaries that are already in operation. Once the legislation is set for the legal distribution of cannabis, the same dispensaries have pledged to create fast-track lines for those in possession of a California medical marijuana card to ensure that continued quick and easy access to their medication is possible.

420 card holders will also have less strict regulations on how much marijuana that they can grow at home: 100 square feet will still be permitted, as opposed to the just six plants allowed for the public. Consumption of medical marijuana will also continue to be allowed in most areas that tobacco smoking is, so long as the patient is in possession of the proper documentation.

Proposition 64 also created two new taxes: one levied on cultivation and the other on the retail price that California medical marijuana card holders will be exempt from paying. This means that patients who use medical marijuana will be able to rely on their medication staying at a steady price and not be subjected to volatile changes in the market price of the now commercialized drug.

Qualifying for a California Medical Marijuana Card

To qualify for a California medical marijuana card, you’ll first need to speak to a licensed physician. This can be your primary doctor; a specialized 420 doctor at an evaluation clinic; or, for quicker, more streamlined access, you can use online services such as the one that MMJ Recs provides. During the evaluation, you’ll need to provide a history of your medical records along with the reasons why you believe that access to medical marijuana would be beneficial to you and your treatment plan. Common qualifying conditions include depression, anxiety, AIDS, migraines, cancer, insomnia, glaucoma and chronic pain. For a full list of the qualifying conditions, follow this link here.

Once you’ve been assessed and approved by a licensed physician of your choosing, then you’re recommendation letter and California medical marijuana card should arrive in the mail, complete with your full name, date of birth, patient ID, expiration date (you’ll need to apply for a renewal of your card annually), your doctor’s signature and an embossed seal. With this card, you’ll be given access to all the rights that were stated above. Just make sure that you keep it on you at all times to avoid any confrontation from police officers.

Medical marijuana is a life-changing drug and one that has helped countless people manage their conditions or assisted them on their road to recovery. So, after reading this article, if you feel like your life would be improved by access to MMJ, then know that you’re just a few clicks away from receiving a California medical marijuana card of your own.

Why More People Are Getting a California Medical Marijuana Prescription

California medical marijuana use became legal in 1990 after the Compassionate Use Act (also known as Proposition 215) was passed. This act allows citizens the right to access medical marijuana as a form of treatment for a variety of debilitating conditions as well as gives doctors the opportunity to prescribe an alternative treatment regime for their patients. Since this act has passed, more and more people are seeking out medical marijuana as a form of treatment for a variety of ailments including AIDS, depression, anxiety, anorexia, migraines, cancer, glaucoma, insomnia and chronic pain. Below are just some of the reasons why people are turning to California medical marijuana as a means of treatment for their medical conditions.

More Research and a Better Understanding of MMJ

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Legalization means more research into the benefits of California medical marijuana.

Doctors and research facilities are now able to assess the efficacy of the drug properly through in-depth investigations, randomized trials and the collation of different data sets from public records. From this research, they’re constantly uncovering innovative ways to harness the positive effects of MMJ to help better treat patients.

This has opened up many doors for people suffering from debilitating illnesses and reduced much of the stigma attached to the controversial medicine. California medical marijuana usage and dosage can now be finely tuned to suit an individual’s needs with tailor-made treatment programs that will ensure the best level of care for afflicted patients.

With backing from the medical community, society’s trust and acceptance of the drug is growing rapidly and is becoming seen as a sensible treatment option for a variety of ailments that would otherwise leave patients taking too many prescriptions and experiencing the unpleasant side-effects of traditional medicines.

Finely Tuned Medical Marijuana Strains to Suit Specific Needs

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Indica medical marijuana strains are known for their sedative effects.

Different strains of California medical marijuana can be cultivated to manipulate the levels of the compound THC, which is the main cannabinoid responsible for the many positive psychoactive effects felt by consuming MMJ. In this same way, growers can also alter the potency of the medical marijuana and the different effects that dosing with it may have. Sativa, for example, is a strain of marijuana that’s known to be more upbeat than indica, which is better known for its sedative effects. Being able to manipulate the genetics of the raw material in this way means that patients can be very selective in the kind of effects they wish they receive from their MMJ, which means they can avoid many of the “negative” side-effects they might associate with the drug.

Different, Inconspicuous Dosing Techniques

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Smoking isn’t the only way to get high on California medical marijuana.

More information on dosing techniques is another major contributor in leading many to consider using medical marijuana as a means of medication. For many, the idea of smoking isn’t all that appealing. Although social acceptance of the drug has definitely grown over the past few decades, lighting up in public can make many patients feel uncomfortable. Thankfully, there are a variety of ways you can consume your California medical marijuana.

Tinctures

Tinctures are a concentrated, alcohol-based cannabis extract that you dose with by placing one or two drops of the extract underneath your tongue. This form of consumption was actually the most common in the U.S. during the 1920s before Prohibition outlawed the drug completely.

Topical Lotions

Topical lotions are made by decarboxylating (a process that activates the cannabinoids present through heat) your California medical marijuana and extracting the active cannabinoids to create a concentrated cannabis oil. This oil can then be mixed in with regular body lotions or butters and applied directly to the skin for topical pain relief.

Edibles

The world of edibles has moved on a great deal from the stereotypical weed brownies that repopularized the drug in the 1960s and ’70s. Edibles also rely on decarboxylation of the medical marijuana. This can be done simply in the oven with baked goods, or more commonly, a cannabis oil is created and added to recipes to create anything from cakes and cookies to savory sauces and soups. This form of consumption makes dosing in public seem completely inconspicuous and helps put patients at ease.

Easier to Access California Medical Marijuana

If you believe that you have an illness or condition that would be eased by the use of MMJ, then access to your drug of choice could not be easier. After the passing of the Compassionate Use Act, dedicated medical marijuana sites such as MMJ Recs created a quick and easy platform in which to apply for your 420 card. They even provide access to specialized medical marijuana physicians who help to guide you through your new treatment regime and approve your access to the drug.

How Long Until Medical Marijuana Is Legalized Throughout the US?

Marijuana laws in the United States have made great strides in recent years. Since California first made medical marijuana legal back in 1996, 28 other states and Washington, D.C., have followed suit. Although more states have also legalized medicinal marijuana use in certain respects, limitations are still in place that often restrict psychoactive strains and require a physician to prescribe the drug versus simply recommend it.

Nevertheless, the outlook on marijuana throughout the U.S. is clearly shifting in its favor. Not only is medical marijuana perfectly legal in more than half of the states, but also recreational use is permitted in eight of those states with California, Maine, Massachusetts and Nevada all electing to legalize recreational marijuana in November 2016. So how long until the rest of the country follows in their footsteps?

This is a question that isn’t easy to answer. Several key factors play a huge role in predicting which states will be next in casting a positive judgment on the use of medical marijuana. Given the results of the 2016 general election, along with the subsequent picks for certain positions within government, a wrench (or two) have certainly been thrown into the mix.

For example, although the general public has voted to legalize the use of marijuana on a state-by-state basis, cannabis use is still illegal under federal law. Despite there being a total of 44 states in which some form of cannabis law exists, the federal government regulates drugs through the Controlled Substances Act, which does not recognize a difference between medical and recreational use.

Medical marijuana laws have come a long way in recent years.

Under federal law, cannabis is treated no differently than other substances such as heroin and cocaine. Furthermore, Jeff Sessions, Alabama senator turned attorney general, is known to have a bitter disdain for any kind of marijuana use. Sessions once “joked” to an African-American colleague that he had no issue with the KKK, “until [he] found out they smoked pot,” and was quoted as saying, “Good people don’t smoke marijuana.”

So, perhaps it wouldn’t be wise to hold your breath for a change in federal law. However, as the federal government does not have the ability to direct state and local police, and with only 80,000 out of 1.2 million law enforcement agents operating at a federal level, tackling pre-existing marijuana laws would be rather difficult. Although states looking to legalize medical marijuana may face an uphill battle, it’s unlikely that they’ll stop trying.

So, which states are the most likely to legalize the use of medical marijuana next? Several states passed legislation in 2016 in the herb’s favor, and there were 13 more states that put forward legislation, including those outlined below. Although roadblocks may have been met, it’s clear that there are some states that will be pushing for medical marijuana in the coming years.

In fact, lawmakers in numerous states have already introduced medical marijuana bills in the 2017 session. Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina and Texas all have a reasonably good chance to legalize medicinal marijuana within 2017 or soon thereafter.

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Kentucky, Missouri, North Carolina and Texas all have a reasonably good chance to legalize medicinal marijuana within 2017 or soon thereafter.

Kentucky has already implemented a highly limited law regarding cannabidiol (CBD) strains of medical marijuana, allowing patients with intractable epilepsy and a written recommendation from their physician to obtain CBD oil. Gov. Matt Bevin has also acknowledged medical evidence associated with marijuana. Furthermore, a 2013 Kentucky health poll found that 78 percent of state residents support legalizing the drug for medicinal purposes.

Missouri put forward the New Approach Missouri Bill in the 2016 election. Although regrettably falling short by 23 signatures to make the ballot, this bill would have given voters the opportunity to decide upon the use of medical marijuana. On Jan 5, 2017, Republican Rep. Jim Neely introduced House Bill 437, which would allow terminally ill patients access to marijuana. Additional support is highlighted through a 2016 public poll, which found that 62 percent of Missouri voters support medical marijuana.

It may surprise you to find Texas making this discussion, too. The historically conservative state still currently holds some of the strictest marijuana laws in the country. But in 2015, lawmakers legalized low-THC cannabis oil for patients suffering from intractable epilepsy. State Sen. José Rodriguez has since proposed a constitutional amendment authorizing the possession and sale of marijuana for medicinal use. Polling also found 71 percent of Texans support expanding medical marijuana treatment.

Although not as likely as other states, the possibility for North Carolina’s medical marijuana laws to be reassessed is certainly viable. Several bills introduced by legislators have suggested new policies will come eventually, and a CBD-only bill was approved in 2014 for those suffering from intractable epilepsy. With a 74 percent approval rate, polling found an overwhelming majority of residents are in favor of legalizing medical marijuana.

As is apparent from numerous state laws regarding the use of medical marijuana, progress is happening. Although it is unlikely to be legalized at a federal level anytime soon, more states are becoming increasingly liberal in their outlook toward the drug. Further state legalizations or not, cannabis is assured to continue its immense growth across the U.S. going forward into 2017 and beyond.

Is California Medical Marijuana Big Business?

Over the last couple of decades, the marijuana business has changed dramatically in the great state of California. What started out as shady drug traffickers hopping the border with loads of medical-grade marijuana has morphed. The days of stoned dealers in shady apartments in sketchy areas of the city are seemingly gone.

Nowadays, you have high class medical marijuana dispensaries where all you need is your medical cannabis card in California to get some of the best weed you’d ever need. In a way it’s a great thing. In other ways, it’s a decidedly capitalist system taking the money from hard working folks in the streets and putting it back in the pockets of big businessmen.

With out-of-state investors all over, the game has changed, for better or for worse. Still, one thing has remained the same: marijuana is big, big business. As long as people still consume weed, whether they use a weed card or a back alley dealer, there will be money in the industry.

The Big Business of California Medical Marijuana

Instead of simply harping on about the cash going from the streets to the corporations, we wanted to offer some stone cold facts about weed in our great state. Here are a few facts about the money in California medical marijuana:

  • The Big Bucks: On an annual basis, the California medical marijuana industry produces over $2.7 billion in sales every year.
  • The Majority: While Colorado tends to get a lot of marijuana press these days, California still has more stoners than anyone else. The California medical marijuana industry accounts for over half of all legal marijuana sales in the United States.
  • Doubling Down On Doobies: California will vote on recreational marijuana this fall. If the bill passes, most experts predict the California medical marijuana industry will double by 2020. No more weed cards – just a lot of weed, if the bill passes.
  • Taxing Benefits: Many suspect the legalization of recreational weed could be great for tax revenues. Some quick math shows that a small area of high-tech growhouses in Humboldt County could nearly double budgets for city governments.
  • New Jobs: Part of the new recreational marijuana bill includes provisions for hiring local workers. Many provisions require at least half of the workers in the production of legal cannabis to be local residents. Many mayors see the bill as a way to bring new jobs to the struggling economy.

Get Your Weed Card Today

Despite California medical marijuana being such a big business, there’s fair opposition to the coming bill in November. Instead of waiting for your recreational weed to be legalized, you can get your hands on a medical cannabis card today. Head over to MMJRecs and see how to do just that in ten minutes or less!

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