How Much Does It Cost To Get A Medical Card In California In 2021?

Even though California has legalized recreational marijuana, there are still big advantages to having a California medical marijuana card. Medical marijuana is used to treat a diverse range of conditions, and being an MMJ cardholder in California brings real benefits.

The California MMJ program is one of the most well-run and patient-friendly in the US. California dispensaries stock a wide array of high-quality medical marijuana products and customer service is usually excellent. Having a California MMJ card is a great investment and well worth the cost.

So, how easy is it to get a medical card in California? How do you apply for an MMJ card in California? What are the qualifying conditions for medical marijuana in California? And how much does it cost to get an MMJ card in California in 2021? Let’s answer all these questions and more.

How Easy Is It To Get A Medical Card In California?

California was an early adopter of medical marijuana, and its MMJ program has been influential to other states as they introduced their own programs. Getting a medical marijuana card in California is a straightforward process if you have a qualifying medical condition.

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A California MMJ Card?

The qualifying conditions for a California MMJ card are:

  • Cancer
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Side effects of radiation therapy
  • Glaucoma
  • Arthritis
  • Anxiety
  • Chronic pain
  • Migraine headaches
  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Any chronic medical condition that causes serious harm to your mental or physical health
view of california city at sunset
Image by Roberto Nickson on Pexels: How easy is it to get a California MMJ card?

How Do You Get A Medical Card In California In 2021?

The best way to get a California medical marijuana card is to register on the MMJRecs online clinic. You will then have a telemedicine consultation with one of their California medical marijuana doctors to evaluate whether you qualify for a California MMJ card.

If you are eligible, your doctor will email you a doctor’s certification for MMJ instantly and your original embossed certificate will be posted to you the next day. You’ll then submit a valid proof of identity, proof of residency, and your certificate to the California Department of Public Health.

How Much Does It Cost To Get A Medical Card In California In 2021?

A California medical marijuana card costs $50 in 2021. You pay this directly to the state of California during the application process. Your card will then be posted to you and will arrive in 7–10 business days.

How Long Is A California Medical Marijuana Card Valid For?

A California MMJ card is valid for one year and must be renewed by repeating the original application process.

Do You Still Need A Medical Card In California In 2021?

You do not need a California MMJ card to buy marijuana products in California in 2021. This is because the Golden State has legalized recreational marijuana. However, having a California MMJ card has benefits and is a better option than buying recreational marijuana.

Some medical marijuana dispensaries will sell MMJ products to patients who have a doctor’s certificate but do not have an official MMIC (Medical Marijuana Identification Card).

Why Is An MMJ Card Beneficial Even Though Recreational Marijuana Is Legal?

Using a California MMJ card instead of buying recreational marijuana is better for several reasons:

  • Recreational marijuana is only available to people over the age of 21, while minors can access medical marijuana with the help of a caregiver.
  • Medical marijuana is not subject to state sales tax, so it is cheaper than recreational marijuana.
  • Medical dispensaries can sell lotions and tinctures with up to 2,000 mg of cannabinoids, while in recreational dispensaries the limit is 1,000 mg.
  • Home cultivation limits are much higher for California MMJ cardholders.
marijuana leaf
Image by Wild0ne on Pixabay: How much does a California MMJ card cost in 2021?

Can A Minor Get A Medical Card In California?

People over the age of 18 can get a California medical marijuana card. Recreational marijuana is only available to over 21s. Minors can use medical marijuana treatment in California, but they must be assisted by a caregiver who is over the age of 18.

What Products Are Available In California Dispensaries?

California has recreational and medical marijuana dispensaries. Only medical card holders can purchase MMJ products in medical marijuana dispensaries.

California medical marijuana dispensaries sell a wide range of products, including:

  • MMJ flower
  • Pre-rolls
  • Edibles
  • Beverages
  • MMJ concentrates
  • Tinctures
  • Vapes
  • Topicals
  • Lotions

Featured image by Julian Myles on Unsplash

Do You Still Need A Medical Card In California 2021?

Recreational marijuana has been legal in California for several years now. There are tons of dispensaries at your disposal, and you can even grow your own product. So, do you still need a medical card in California in 2021? The answer is yes! There are still tons of benefits to owning a medical marijuana (MMJ) card, so here’s more info about why you should consider getting one (or renewing your existing one).

How many plants can you grow in California legally with a medical card?

One of the main benefits of an MMJ card is the fact that you can grow more product than you can if you’re just a recreational user. If you’re an MMJ patient, you can cultivate and grow up to six mature cannabis plants, 12 immature plants, and/or a greater amount consistent with what you need to treat your medical condition. This can be done in any 100-square-foot section of your property. Recreational users are only permitted to grow a maximum of six plants (regardless of their maturity level).

There’s also more freedom in growing cannabis plants with an MMJ card. You can grow any specific plants or strains that work well to treat your symptoms, which means you’re not dependent on dispensaries to grow the product that you require. Plus, the best part is that growing your own plants can help you keep your costs as low as possible.

MMJRecs - medical marijuana dispensary
Image by Add Weed on Unsplash: There are tons of legal dispensaries at your disposal if you live in California.

How many legal dispensaries are in California?

The state of California is a great place to live if you require MMJ or recreational cannabis. Currently, there are more than 1,440 legal dispensaries for you to take advantage of all around the state. In fact, there’s a dispensary for every 38.7 million people, making California the state with the eighth highest number of legal dispensaries to serve the population.

Is getting a medical card worth it?

Aside from the number of plants you can grow and the large number of dispensaries at your disposal, getting an MMJ card is also a great idea if you live in the Golden State for other reasons. Here are a few more to convince you:

It can save you money

As mentioned above, you can grow your own plants in order to save money you would otherwise spend at dispensaries with higher prices. But there’s also the fact that patients with MMJ cards have sales taxes waived on their products. Although there might be a retail excise tax and a local tax, you’ll still be saving major dough as a cardholder.

It gives you access to better products

MMJ dispensaries often offer a wider variety of products (such as tinctures, edibles, etc.) than the ones you might find at a recreational dispensary. They can also offer higher-grade strains that can be more helpful in treating your physical or emotional symptoms. More potent products likely mean you’ll get more relief from the MMJ form of cannabis. If you decide to grow your own product, you’ll also have better access to the specific plants and strains that will be the most helpful to you.

You’ll have less restrictions

With an MMJ card, you’re permitted to buy marijuana if you’re 18 years of age or older. Without a card, you have to wait until you’re 21 to purchase cannabis. There are also fewer restrictions regarding how much cannabis you can carry at a time. Recreational users are only allowed to carry one ounce of flower (or eight grams of cannabis concentrates) at any one time. Edibles are also restricted at 10mg of individual doses at a time. With an MMJ card, you’re permitted to buy and carry as much marijuana as you need to help treat your medical condition.

You can grow more product

We already noted this above, but it’s still worth paying attention to. Being able to grow as much cannabis as you need is a huge benefit to owning an MMJ card.

man applying for MMJ card online
Image by Free-Photos on Pixabay: You can easily apply for an MMJ card in California by going online.

How easy is it to get a medical card in California?

It’s a pretty simple process to get an MMJ card in 2021. First, you must have a medical condition that can qualify you for a card. This can be anything from glaucoma and anxiety to post-traumatic stress disorder and cancer. You’ll need to get a medical professional to verify that you would benefit from using cannabis products. If you don’t have a doctor who can do this for you, you can always use the services of MMJRecs to connect you with someone who can help.

In order to get your card, you’ll need to submit an application to the county you live in. You will need a copy of the medical recommendation, proof of identity (such as your driver’s license or photo ID), and proof of residency (such as a rental or mortgage statement, utility bill, or DMV vehicle registration). You might have to pay a fee depending on the county you live in, but this amount will never total more than $100. The county will then have 30 days to verify your application and five days to issue your official Medical Marijuana Identification Card (MMIC).

Overall, the process to get an MMJ card is relatively easy and can be helpful in saving you money and giving you access to better products. There’s no better time than 2021 to get your MMJ card in California!

Featured image by Free-Photos on Pixabay

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!

How to Make Sure You’re Not Confused for a Recreational Marijuana User

thanks to the introduction of Proposition 64. California has long been a pioneer in the usage of marijuana, from medical marijuana legalization in 1996 until today, so this move came as little surprise to anyone. As the Sunshine State continues to present itself as a beacon of progression in these tumultuous times, some MMJ card carriers are worried about getting confused for recreational marijuana users.

Though most recreational users are absolutely respectful in their consumption of the plant, there are some long-standing prejudices against those who consume cannabis for non-medical reasons. Antiquated stereotypes of the anti-social pot smoker have unfortunately prevailed throughout America, even in the face of fast moving legalization of marijuana use across the country. Unfortunately, there is little that recreational users can do to dispel this stereotype, apart from being their usual respectful selves. However, medical marijuana users can do one very important thing to strongly identify themselves as such.

The only way for you to make sure you’re not confused for a recreational marijuana user is to get an official California medical marijuana card. This card is not only your passport to being afforded exclusive rights and privileges associated with MMJ card ownership, but it will also show dispensary staff, doctors, and police that you’re not a recreational marijuana user, and that your need to consume the plant is more important than simply to have a good time.

A California medical marijuana card is small and compact, meaning it’s handy to be carried wherever you go – we recommend that you always keep it in your wallet. There is no point in keeping your MMJ card at home as you’ll get no use out of it there. If you get stopped by the police and have an unlawful amount of marijuana on you for a recreational user, you’ll need to have your MMJ card ready to present to the officer to prove your innocence. Likewise, when you’re in the dispensary, you won’t be afforded the perks of having a cannabis card if you don’t have the card in question with you. As recreational marijuana use has just been legalized in California, budtenders and police officers will allow no leeway when it comes to excusing you for not carrying your MMJ card.

Don’t get caught out without an MMJ card – jump online today to acquire one!

Now that you realise how important it is to acquire an official California medical marijuana card, here’s the step-by-step process you take to get one. Thankfully, getting an MMJ card is really easy and can be done online from the comfort of your own home. Being able to get one remotely is very important to some MMJ card carriers, as they can find themselves homebound due to their illness.

Once you have opened the MMJ Recs webpage and chosen what plan you want to go with, you’ll be asked to complete a short and uninvasive questionnaire about your ailment. It should only take you a few minutes to fill out this questionnaire.

After you fill out the questionnaire, you’ll be connected to a state-licensed doctor through our HIPAA telemedicine platform. All of the doctors completing online consultations for us are state-licensed, as these are the only people who can give a California medical marijuana card recommendation. Once you’re connected, you’ll begin your online consultation with the physician. The doctor will give you a full medical evaluation in order to determine your suitability for the MMJ card program. This evaluation will consist of a series of questions about your medical history, your ailment, and your need to get an MMJ card. The consultation is quick and invasive and should last no longer than 20 minutes.

If the MMJ Recs doctor thinks that you’re a suitable candidate for a California medical marijuana card, they’ll inform you there and then and you’ll be emailed your MMJ recommendation straight away. This recommendation can be used immediately at a Californian medical marijuana dispensary. The original embossed recommendation will be posted to you within two working days. When this arrives you can use it to apply for your state-issued MMJ card from the California Department of Public Health.

Your card affords you important benefits that you just won’t get as a merely recreational user.

Not only will owning an MMJ card differentiate you from recreational users, it will also allow you to avail of certain perks and privileges that are only afforded to MMJ card carriers. Though everyone can now buy marijuana in the state of California, medical marijuana card carriers will be exempt from paying retail sales tax at the point of purchase. This can add up to a massive saving for a consistent, long term medical marijuana user. As well as being exempt from the dreaded sales tax, you’ll be able to be in possession of much higher quantities of marijuana that your recreational counterparts. Under the new law, recreational marijuana users will only be allowed to possess up to 1oz. of the plant, whereby MMJ card carriers can be in possession of up to 8oz. These are only some of the many benefits of always having your medical marijuana card close to hand.

Now you know that the only way to make sure you’re not confused for a recreational marijuana user is to carry an official California medical marijuana card. If you have a need for medical marijuana, but don’t yet have an MMJ card, get in touch with us today and we’ll start you off on your medical marijuana journey.

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.

MMJ Sales Tax: Why Having an MMJ Card Could Save You Thousands of Dollars in 2018

There are many benefits to having a medical marijuana card in California. Now that 2018 has arrived, recreational marijuana use is now legal in the Golden State. However, even though you can obtain cannabis legally without an MMJ card, there are actually many advantages to owning a cannabis card – everything from saving money to being able to grow more plants. If you want to avoid that pesky MMJ sales tax, make sure you get your cannabis card in 2018.

If you’re interested in saving thousands of dollars every year (and who isn’t?), having a medical marijuana card in California could help you do just that. If you’ve never had a cannabis card, it’s a fairly easy process to get one. First, you apply for a card, which will usually cost you around $66 (or $33 if you are on Medi-Cal). Sometimes this fee can vary depending on the county you live in, but there is a cap, so you’ll never pay over $100 (or $50 for Medi-Cal enrollees) for the entire application. Once you’ve applied, you need to find a doctor who can prescribe medical marijuana – there are also sites where you can do online assessments and wouldn’t even need to visit a doctor’s office in person. These visits usually cost somewhere between $45 and $100. Once you’ve completed the process, it’s only between $25-$40 to renew your card every year after that. Although these costs can add up, in the end, you’ll still be seeing major savings by getting an MMJ card rather than buying for recreational use.

MMJ - Cannabis plant

There are so many benefits to having an MMJ card in California!

Don’t pay sales tax

The number one way to save money on your marijuana usage is to avoid paying the sales tax on your cannabis products. Individuals paying for recreational marijuana products have to pay a standard 15% tax on all orders. To avoid the MMJ sales tax, you can get a cannabis card and skip paying the tax. Let’s say you spend around $250 for one order (on average Californians pay around $250 per ounce for high-quality cannabis or about $200 for one ounce of mid-quality product). If you don’t have an MMJ card, you would face paying an added cost of $37.50 in taxes. With your cannabis card, you could completely avoid the MMJ sales tax, while possibly paying less for your actual product as well. Usually, 1/8th of marijuana, or 3.5 grams, would cost around $90 for recreational users, while MMJ cardholders would probably pay only around $50. If you calculate your savings on your actual product plus skipping the MMJ sales tax, you could see major savings right away by using your cannabis card.

Have access to more dispensaries

Since marijuana has now been legalized in California, there will likely be many more dispensaries popping up throughout the state. There are already over 3,000 dispensaries in the state that provide medical marijuana to consumers. While recreational users are limited to regular dispensaries, anyone holding a medical marijuana card in California has access to many more dispensaries that sell MMJ. Access to more dispensaries means you’ll be able to shop around for the products that best fit your budget. You can find the cheapest products in the variety or strain you need for your treatment. Instead of being stuck with just a few options, your medical marijuana shopping can be much easier with access to a wider selection of products. More access definitely means you’ll find more opportunities to save money.

MMJ - medical marijuana plants

Interested in growing your own marijuana plants? Read on…

Grow your own plants

Another way to save money on your medical marijuana is to grow your own plants. Recreational users are now permitted to grow plants since marijuana has been legalized, but there are still restrictions on what they’re allowed to grow. If you don’t have an MMJ card, you are only allowed to own six mature marijuana plants at any one time. With a cannabis card, you’ll actually be permitted to grow more plants in any 100 square-foot section. By growing your own product, you can save money by growing a wider selection or different varieties. You can also avoid any annoying markups that dispensaries include in their sales. Along with avoiding the MMJ sales tax, this can result in a lot more savings for your wallet.

Get deals or bonuses from dispensaries

With an MMJ card, there is also the opportunity for you to access deals and bonuses from some dispensaries. Do your research and see if any of the medical marijuana dispensaries in your area offer bonuses for frequent shopping trips. If you’re a loyal member to a rewards program, many dispensaries offer deals, coupons (like a percentage off your first purchase), or monthly store credit bonuses. Many dispensaries also provide their customers with benefits if they refer other MMJ card holders to the store. It’s easy to rack up savings if you keep your eye out for ways to maximize your savings during each shopping trip. If you’re a frequent shopper, you can see your savings add up quickly.

If you want to make sure that your marijuana costs stay low, you definitely need to take advantage of all of the benefits of having an MMJ card. Skip the MMJ sales tax, and you’ll immediately be able to see the savings. If you regularly purchase medical marijuana products, you could end up saving thousands of dollars in 2018 by having a cannabis card.

California Vs. Colorado: Which Is The Best MMJ State?

When it comes to the continuing legalization of marijuana, in both its medical and recreational forms, two states are leading the charge, and have been for some time. They are California and Colorado, two major game-changers when it comes to medical marijuana, who adopted the beneficial legalization policies very early, and set a precedence that 27 other states have chosen to follow in the years leading up to 2018. What the future will bring for MMJ is unclear, but the ideal is to have all 50 states on board, with medical marijuana fully legalized across the whole of the United States. The remaining 21 states who have yet to sign MMJ into legislation would do well to look to California and Colorado as shining examples. But how do the two MMJ titans stack up against each other?

Let’s take a look at California first. The West Coast state has the honour of being the first state to legalize medical marijuana in legislation, during a critical vote on Proposition 215, also known as the Compassionate Use Act, which took place all the way back in 1996. Since that time, governments in California have been working to redefine and stabilize the legalization, resulting in one of the most liberal MMJ states in the country, a distinction California wears with pride. When contrasted with some of the more restrictive MMJ programs of other states, like New York (which, despite having a liberal-leaning reputation, surprisingly adopted an extremely harsh MMJ legislature), California’s progressive stance stands out even more.

California is leading the charge when it comes to marijuana legalization.

There are MMJ clinics and dispensaries all around the state, serving a large number of people suffering from a diverse number of illnesses. The wide range of qualifying conditions outlined in Proposition 215, most notably “chronic pain,” which refers to a wide number of patients’ grievances, has allowed people all over the state to benefit from medical marijuana’s therapeutic effects. As MMJ has been proven to reduce pain in many areas, resulting from many different conditions, the qualifying condition of “chronic pain” is an extremely important one, and is a caveat that many other states would do well to implement in their own legislature, both present and future.

On November 9, 2016, the day after a tumultuous presidential election, California became the eighth state to legalize recreational marijuana. However, the law only came into being on January 1, 2018, and as the state quickly discovered, 14 months was not enough lead in time to fully implement the legalization of a widespread, previously underground industry. Cities and counties up and down the state were not ready to sell recreational marijuana by January 1, despite significant progress being made in the rollout. For now, and for the foreseeable future, a medical marijuana card is still required to avail of marijuana in California, primarily because it’s not available anywhere else as it stands.

In light of the lengthy recreational legalization process, and as a nod to the state’s significant and well-established MMJ community, the Californian government introduced a measure whereby MMJ patients don’t pay any sales tax whatsoever on their medicine. This is a significant incentive and a show of commitment to the long-running MMJ program set up in 1996, and proves that the government are focused on incorporating recreational marijuana harmoniously alongside medical marijuana.

Colorado was hot on the heels of California when it came to legalizing MMJ, passing its own bill, Amendment 20, in 2000. Both Colorado and California decriminalized marijuana way back in 1975, so have always been at the forefront of marijuana laws in the U.S. In 2012, Colorado continued that trend by becoming the first state to legalize recreational marijuana, a revolutionary move that paved the way for marijuana legislation across the country, and also made America’s various MMJ programs more robust by legitimizing MMJ in the eyes of many citizens.

Colorado follows closely in California’s footsteps with its progressive MMJ policies.

Like California, Colorado medical marijuana is taxed differently to recreational marijuana, so it is still extremely beneficial to own a Colorado medical marijuana card. Also, the selection offered to medical marijuana patients is far superior than the recreational spectrum, and will be tailor-made for a patient’s specific condition, making them the optimum choice for marijuana taken medicinally. There is also the option of edibles for MMJ patients, which is not afforded to recreational users. For both states, the option of a medical marijuana card, even in the face of recreational legalization, is still the optimum choice for patients suffering from marijuana-treatable conditions.  MMJ cards can be acquired over the internet, via telemedicine, and don’t take long to arrive at your door.

When it comes to differentiating the two pro-marijuana states, there’s little difference when it comes to their MMJ programs. Both have tax rebates stemming from the legalization of recreational marijuana, and both have a range of qualifying conditions that allow a wide variety of patients from across the state to avail of the many benefits of MMJ. No doubt both California and Colorado will continue to bear the torch for medical marijuana in the years to come.

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.

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.

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.

Why an MMJ Card Will Probably Always Be Necessary in the US

Medical marijuana has a long and fascinating history in the United States of America. It was first legalized in California in 1996, and since then, 29 states across the country have embraced the legalization of it by residents owning an MMJ card. It’s been a tough road, but if the trend continues, more and more states across the country will vote the medicine though in due course; many of the twenty nine swinging to legalization in the last few years.

The process by which a patient can avail of medical marijuana differs in each state, but one thing that unites all medical marijuana procedure is the crucial MMJ card; you have to procure one if you want to avail of the medicine.

These MMJ cards can be obtained from a registered healthcare professional like your GP, or even online, from professional health outlets on the internet. It’s quite a straightforward process in most states to sign up for the MMJ card, and it doesn’t take too long to start using medical marijuana legally.

But interestingly, running parallel to the country-wide debate about MMJ legality is a debate about recreational marijuana legality. Indeed, Colorado, Alaska, Maine, Massachusetts, Nevada, Oregon, Washington and California have all legalized recreational MJ as well as medical MJ; the question now becomes: If marijuana is legal, do patients have to bother with an MMJ card at all?

MMJ Laws and Medical Marijuana Cards

The good thing about an MMJ card is that it can be obtained from a registered healthcare professional and even online.

Like every controversial topic, the answer isn’t straightforward. In Colorado for example, the answer is no and yes. You aren’t required to have an MMJ card to buy marijuana in the state of Colorado; anyone over the age of 21 is allowed to purchase the drug for recreational use (which of course, can include medical by default) in doses of 1/4 ounces maximum.

However, without an MMJ card, you can only purchase marijuana from recreational stores and not the licensed dispensaries. So the onus is on you to ‘self-medicate’ as it were, and forgo the insight and advice that you might avail of at medical dispensaries.

California MMJ Laws

In California, the issue as it stands in mid-2017 is even more thorny. Cali legalized recreational marijuana last November 8th, on the same night that Donald Trump was voted President-elect. Some thought that they could throw their MMJ cards out of the window and immediately start availing of recreational marijuana, but things didn’t prove to be so simple.

Though the recreational bill passed, it’s going to take the guts of a year to set up, with the first marijuana being projected to be sold legally in early 2018. So until that time, it’s MMJ cards all the way; though when the law does kick in down in California, the same logic as Colorado applies. It’s much better to have an MMJ card and avail of the medical practicalities that one affords, rather than dish out recreational doses to yourself.

What Cannabis Cards Are Used For

An MMJ card is strictly for state-use only, and is exclusively available to those residing in the state in question. All you need is a qualifying condition as described by each state’s respective MMJ bill, proof of residence in the state, and a doctor who can sign your forms and validate you.

If you suffer from a serious condition, it is absolutely worth availing of an MMJ card, even if you live in a state where recreational marijuana is legal. This is one of the big reasons why an MMJ card will probably always be necessary in the U.S.; the fact that it’s used to treat such a large range of conditions – some which require large doses and some which require separate carers to procure or even home-grow medical marijuana for their patients.

MMJ Recs - Weed

Medical marijuana cards will always be useful for those with qualifying conditions like anxiety, cancer, glaucoma and so much more.

This spectrum of ailments goes all the way from the vague and mild of ‘chronic pain’ (or in California’s exceptionally lax case, ‘any condition for which marijuana provides relief’) to the specific and severe of Parkinson’s or cancer.

When you’re dealing with that amount of ailments, you should absolutely consult with a doctor before procuring any medicine and get licensed up with a legitimate MMJ card. That way you know you’re benefitting the most from the medicine, rather than self-medicating with recreational stock.

It’s also useful to know what form to take MMJ in; smoking, oil and edible forms can all be prescribed and covered under an MMJ card. Again, your personal doctor is the best person to advise you.

So ultimately, for the eight states and counting that have legalized recreational marijuana, the question is not really ‘Will an MMJ card always be necessary?’ but something more like, ‘Am I better off with an MMJ card?’ The answer is almost always yes.

So if you live in a legalized state and suffer from a condition that you suspect MMJ can help with, then talk to your doctor as soon as you can about registering for a legitimate and simple-to-procure medical marijuana card.

What Rules Do I Need to Know When Buying Medical Marijuana in California?

In 2016, California passed Proposition 64, or The Adult Use of Marijuana Act. This act legalized owning small quantities of legal weed, but that doesn’t mean you can rush right out and buy it. The legalization doesn’t take place until 2018, so unless you have a California medical marijuana card, it’s still illegal for you to buy weed, but oddly enough, not to possess it.

Luckily, getting your hands on that card is a lot easier than you might think, and once you have it, you’ll be able to legally buy marijuana at dispensaries across the great state of California. Here’s everything you need to know about legally buying medical marijuana in California.

Thanks to the internet and more medical professionals offering their services, you can now get an MMJ card online.

How Do I Get a California MMJ Card?

California was the first state to legalize the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes, and the practice dates back to 1975. A lot has changed since then, and getting your hands on a medical marijuana card is a lot easier than you think.

What you need to get a medical weed card is essentially a note from a doctor. Since marijuana is still illegal under federal law, this doctor’s letter isn’t a prescription, but rather a recommendation. Marijuana is used to treat literally thousands of ailments, so finding one that can help treat you is simple.

The best news is that you can now even get this all done online, saving you the time and hassle of going through the process of visiting a specialized weed doctor! Technically, you don’t need the card, and all you need is a letter given to you by your weed doctor. But the card fits right in your wallet, so it’s worth getting and it saves you the hassle of carrying around the letter (which would inevitably become damaged). With this card, you’ll be able to legally buy weed at dispensaries all across California.

What Are the Restrictions to Buying Cannabis with a Medical Weed Card? 

In California, you need to be 18 years old and own a medical marijuana card to legally buy weed. That is, unless you have a registered carer who is legally able to buy it for you. Without a medical marijuana card, you’ll need to be 21 years of age when you’ll be able to legally buy weed.

It’s also important to remember that you need to be an official resident of California to get your medical marijuana card. You’ll need either a birth certificate or a California ID, with proof of residency. Without this, you won’t be able to legally buy weed in California.

Where Can I Legally Buy MMJ in California?

Instead of feeling weird or scared to buy medical marijuana in a secret place, you can now purchase it at dispensaries across the state of California.

Gone are the days when you’d have to resort to finding shady dealers on street corners, never knowing what kind of weed you were going to get. You can now legally buy weed with your cannabis card at thousands of dispensaries across California.

A simple Google search will tell you where the closest dispensary to you is. You can even read reviews about them online to make up your mind if there are a couple in your location.

How Much Medical Marijuana in California Can I Legally Buy?

Without a medical marijuana card, you’ll only be allowed to carry one ounce of marijuana on yourself, or purchase it from a dispensary when it becomes legal. With a weed card, you’re entitled to have 8 ounces of marijuana on you at any time and can buy weed from your local dispensary in quantities up to 8 ounces.

How Many Marijuana Plants in California Can I Have with an MMJ Card?

If you are growing medical marijuana in California, the best place to do it is in your back yard.

You can grow 6 marijuana plants with your registered cannabis card. Without a card, you’ll only be able to grow one plant. It’s important to remember that this doesn’t mean you can start growing weed in your front lawn. All weed plants will need to be out of public sight.

We’d recommend growing them in your back yard, and if you don’t have the option of doing this, then use a tarp to hide them from the general public. As an extra bonus, it will also stop them from being stolen.

The great thing about California is that it’s one of the most fertile places on earth. You won’t need special equipment or expensive lights to get started. Literally, just a couple seeds, soil and regular watering and you’ll have some beautiful marijuana plants in no time!

Where Can I Legally Consume My Medical Marijuana in California?

If you’re a California native, you’ll be used to smelling faint aromas of marijuana in public spaces. This is just part of our culture. However, this is technically illegal, and with or without a medical marijuana card you’re only supposed to be able to smoke weed in your own private residence. 

While state authorities don’t enforce this with an iron fist, we recommend being safe rather than sorry when it comes to your public consumption. While there won’t be prison time, there may be some pretty sizable fines.

Just use your own judgment and don’t do anything that puts you or any members of the public in danger. Especially don’t smoke near children – this is where fines can quickly become far more severe and possibly even lead to jail time!

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!