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.
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.
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.