Does Missouri Have Recreational MMJ Dispensaries?

Missouri voted to legalize medical marijuana in 2018. The state issued its first MMJ business licenses in late 2019, but the Missouri MMJ program was a little slow to get off the ground. Missouri medical marijuana businesses, both dispensaries and growers, had to start from zero. There was a lot of organizing and preparation to be done to make the Show-Me State’s MMJ program operational.

However, the legalization of medical marijuana in Missouri is already proving to be hugely beneficial to people who suffer from a wide variety of medical conditions. MMJ legalization is bringing in a lot of revenue for local businesses, as well as creating many new employment opportunities for local Missourians.

With legal MMJ proving to be so beneficial for the state of Missouri, a lot of people are now wondering: what is the situation with recreational MMJ in Missouri? Does Missouri have recreational MMJ dispensaries? Read on to find out.

MMJ Dispensaries In MO

Are Missouri dispensaries open yet? This is a question we get asked a lot. Thankfully for MMJ patients in the Show-Me State, the answer to this much-asked question is a resounding yes! There are now almost 200 open MMJ dispensaries in Missouri.

Medical marijuana dispensaries are located all across Missouri, serving medical card holders throughout the state. The majority of Missouri dispensaries operate in the major population hubs of St. Louis, Kansas City, Springfield, and Columbia. Missouri MMJ dispensaries are projected to sell $200 million of medical marijuana products in 2021.

st louis arch missouri
mage by Erdenebayar on Pixabay: Does Missouri have recreational MMJ dispensaries?

Does Missouri Have Recreational Dispensaries?

Dispensaries for medical marijuana are currently open throughout Missouri, but what about recreational dispensaries – are there recreational dispensaries in Missouri? Unfortunately, the answer is no – Missouri does not have legal recreational marijuana, and therefore has no recreational dispensaries.

Will Missouri Legalization Of Recreational Marijuana Happen?

Moves are being made toward the legalization of recreational marijuana in Missouri. A group called Fair Access Missouri has filed a series of potential petitions to legalize recreational MMJ in the state. It is hoped that a vote will happen in 2022.

What Services Do Missouri MMJ Dispensaries Provide?

Missouri medical marijuana dispensaries sell medical marijuana products to MO MMJ card holders. They also provide education and information to patients about MMJ treatment and new products.

The MMJ products available at Missouri dispensaries are:

  • Cannabis flower
  • Pre-rolls
  • MMJ edibles
  • Tinctures
  • Vape cartridges
  • Topical creams, gels, and rubs

Who Can Access Missouri Medical Marijuana Dispensaries?

Only Missouri MMJ cardholders can access medical marijuana dispensaries in the state. Unfortunately, Missouri does not practice reciprocity, which means that out-of-state MMJ cardholders cannot purchase MMJ at Missouri dispensaries.

How Do You Get A Missouri Medical Marijuana Card?

You get a Missouri medical marijuana card by submitting a Physician Certification Form to the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Citizens.

The application needs to be completed by both the applicant and a licensed Missouri physician. You can have a consultation with a Missouri physician using the MMJ Recs online clinic. Once your suitability for MMJ has been determined, the physician will complete the relevant sections of an application form and forward it to you by email.

What Are The Qualifying Conditions For A Missouri Medical Marijuana Card?

The following medical conditions qualify a person for a Missouri medical marijuana card:

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Autism
  • Cancer
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Epilepsy
  • Glaucoma
  • Hepatitis C
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Huntington’s disease
  • IBS
  • Intractable migraines
  • Any chronic medical condition that causes severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms
  • Human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome
  • A chronic medical condition that is normally treated with a prescription medication that could lead to physical or psychological dependence, when a physician determines that MMJ could be effective as a safer alternative to the prescription medication
  • Any terminal illness                            
  • Any other chronic, debilitating medical condition that a physician decides would benefit from MMJ treatment
  • Lou Gehrig’s disease
  • Multiple Sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • PTSD or other debilitating psychiatric disorders
  • Tourette syndrome
  • Sickle cell anemia
  • Seizures
people in missouri city
mage by stefib230 on Pixabay: Who can access Missouri medical marijuana dispensaries?

How Much Does A Missouri MMJ Card Cost?

A Missouri medical marijuana card costs $25. This fee must be paid every year when the MMJ card comes up for renewal.

How Long Does It Take To Get A Missouri MMJ Card?

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Citizens will process your medical marijuana card application within 30 days. The postal service can take up to 14 days to deliver your MMJ card to you, so you are certain to receive your Missouri medical cannabis card within six weeks at the most.

Featured image by Tuce on Unsplash

Which States Have The Highest Percentage Of Medical Marijuana Users In The U.S.?

Is MMJ use common in the U.S.? The answer is an emphatic yes! Medical marijuana is bringing life-enhancing symptom relief to people who suffer from a wide variety of medical conditions, including insomnia, anxiety, migraines, chronic pain, muscle spasms, cancer symptoms, and glaucoma. The popularity of MMJ is increasing steadily, with new MMJ states coming on board regularly. So which states have the highest percentage of medical marijuana users in the U.S.?

Which states consume the most MMJ is an interesting topic, because the answers provide an interesting insight into how cultural mores and attitudes, as well as legislative and business practices, differ state by state. Finding out which state has the highest percentage of medical marijuana users in the U.S. is a valuable learning experience that can teach us a lot about life in America in 2020.

What Is Marijuana?

Marijuana is a psychoactive drug derived from the cannabis plant. It consists of the dried fruit, flowers, leaves, and stalks of the cannabis plant. Marijuana has been taken for thousands of years for medicinal, recreational, and spiritual purposes. The drug has mind-altering properties as well as physically relaxing and energizing properties. Many forms of marijuana are available that have different effects, generally dictated by the amounts and ratios of the most active compounds, THC and CBD, present in the strain.

MMJRecs - MMJ in hand

Image by StayRegular on Pixabay: MMJ use is common in the U.S.

A Brief History Of The Legal Status Of Marijuana In The U.S.

How popular is MMJ use in America? The answer to this question has varied greatly over time – mainly because legal status, and therefore availability, has changed over time.

The cannabis plant is native to central Asia and the Indian subcontinent and it has been used in and around that part of the world for at least 5,500 years. Marijuana was introduced to the western world by an Irish doctor called William Brooke O’Shaunessey, who brought it to Britain from Bengal in 1842.

Marijuana was used commonly in the United States for medicinal purposes until 1911, when states began to make it illegal. The 1937 Marijuana Tax Act essentially prohibited marijuana use at the federal level. In 1973, states began to tentatively decriminalize the use of marijuana while maintaining its illegal status. After this, more and more states began to decriminalize the drug. But it wasn’t until 1996 that the first state legalized marijuana for medical use, and not until 2012 that the first state finally made marijuana fully legal for all purposes again.

Which States Legalized MMJ First?

California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. The first state to fully legalize recreational marijuana, in 2012, was Washington State, closely followed in the same year by Colorado.

Medical Marijuana Qualifying Conditions

As of 2020, 33 states and the District of Columbia have fully legalized medical marijuana, and 11 states and the District of Columbia have legalized recreational marijuana. In medical marijuana states, the qualifying conditions and available product ranges vary state by state. They range from the highly liberal – such as Oklahoma, which allows MMJ usage for any medical condition for which a doctor deems it beneficial – to the more restricted, such as Delaware and Alaska.

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Image by Voltamax on Pixabay: MMJ qualifying conditions vary state by state.

Which States Have The Highest Numbers Of MMJ Users?

How popular is MMJ use in America? This is a question that depends greatly on which state you are talking about. California has the highest number of medical marijuana users in the U.S. by a long way, with approximately one million users. Michigan comes in second place with over a quarter of a million users. Oklahoma, which only recently legalized MMJ, deserves an honorable mention because it has a very high per capita usage, which is growing all the time thanks to its liberal, well-implemented and competitive medical marijuana program.

Which States Will Legalize Marijuana Next?

Several states seem to be near to fully legalizing marijuana in the next few years. The most likely to fully legalize next are Florida, Arizona, Arkansas, and Missouri. The states that seem most likely to legalize medical marijuana in the near future are Wyoming and Kentucky.

Is There Any Progress Towards the Legalization Of MMJ On A Federal Level?

Legalization on a federal level is a matter of when, not if. It’s not a huge political issue at the moment, and probably won’t ever be again, because states have made their own marijuana laws, and so legalization on a federal level is really not essential anymore. However, the disparity between out-of-date federal law and the reality that well over half of all states have legalized medical marijuana (and an increasing amount of states also have legal recreational marijuana) means that legalization on a federal level is certainly on the horizon.

How To Apply For A Medical Marijuana Letter

The best way to apply for a medical marijuana letter is to arrange an online consultation with an MMJ doctor in your state on MMJRecs.com.

Featured image by Joshua Hoehne on Unsplash

Can A State Recriminalize Recreational Marijuana?

The laws surrounding both recreational and medical marijuana (MMJ) are constantly changing. Just about every major election sees alterations to which states currently allow their citizens to use marijuana recreationally and/or for medicinal purposes. Because of this perpetual flux, many people are often left wondering, “Can a state recriminalize recreational marijuana?” The answer is (potentially) yes. At this time, cannabis is still illegal on a federal level, which means there’s always the possibility that currently “legalized” states can revert to criminalizing marijuana usage. Keep reading for more information about the laws surrounding recreational marijuana.

What are the current marijuana laws?

Marijuana (or cannabis) is a mixture of dried flowers of the Cannabis sativa plant. It can create psychoactive or mind-altering effects because of a chemical called THC and can be consumed in a variety of different ways (such as cigarettes, water pipes, vaporizers, and edibles). When using marijuana products, people can experience feelings of euphoria and relaxation.

There are currently 11 states in the U.S. where recreational marijuana is legal:

  • Washington
  • Alaska
  • California
  • Oregon
  • Colorado
  • Nevada
  • Illinois
  • Michigan
  • Vermont
  • Maine
  • Massachusetts

Currently, most states still have certain restrictions on using and growing marijuana even though it’s legal. For example, recreational users are permitted to carry one ounce of flower or eight grams of cannabis at a time. There are still some acts that can result in criminal charges (including some selling activities or unlicensed growing operations), depending on the state. As for MMJ usage, there are 33 states that have made medical marijuana usage legal. MMJ can be used in the treatment of a large variety of conditions – everything from post-traumatic stress disorder and eating disorders to glaucoma and nausea.

MMJRecs - marijuana legalization

Image by Greta Scholderle Moller on Unsplash: There’s always a possibility that states could recriminalize recreational marijuana.

Can my state make recreational marijuana illegal again?

Because of the changing laws, you might be wondering if the state you live in could potentially revert to making recreational marijuana illegal again. There is always the chance that laws could be passed to make marijuana illegal if lawmakers think it’s in the public’s best interest or if voters decide to vote out these laws. In 2018, the governor of Colorado (one of the first states to make recreational cannabis legal in the US) said the state would always be open to considering reversing the law if it was deemed necessary.

So if you’re pondering, “Can recreational marijuana be made illegal again in my state?” there’s always the chance this could happen. However, because of the general public’s support of passing these laws in the first place, it would be somewhat unlikely for a state to completely reverse its policy regarding recreational marijuana use.

Should I get an MMJ card instead of using recreationally?

If you have the question “Will recreational marijuana always be legal in my state?”, it makes sense that you’re concerned you might not always have access to legal cannabis in the future. If that fear is there, you might want to consider getting an MMJ card. If you have physical or emotional symptoms that could be alleviated with the use of MMJ products, you could be eligible for an MMJ card (if it’s legal in your state).

There are lots of benefits to having an MMJ card versus just using marijuana recreationally, including:

  • The option of possessing larger amounts of product
  • Getting to skip sales tax on MMJ products in some states
  • Having fewer restrictions for growing your own MMJ

These benefits are great if you’re going to be traveling or if you can’t get to a licensed dispensary very easily. It’s also helpful if you need to try multiple strains or different forms in order to most effectively treat your medical condition. There’s also an added advantage of having more rights with an MMJ letter. If you’re always carrying your MMJ card with you when you’re in possession of MMJ products, it’s likely that you won’t face any serious issues with law enforcement, since you can show your card as proof of your rights.

MMJ Recs - weighing MMJ

Image by Add Weed on Unsplash: There are many benefits to owning an MMJ card when it comes to buying cannabis.

How do you apply for an MMJ card?

Having to constantly worry “Will I always have access to recreational marijuana in my state?” can lead to a lot of stress. To avoid any possible future changes in the law, if you’re eligible, apply for an MMJ card so that you’ll still have continuous access to marijuana products. Look for specific regulations surrounding MMJ usage in your state and then head to MMJRecs to get evaluated virtually by a medical professional. If your medical condition allows you to qualify, you can receive an official medical marijuana recommendation, ID card, and grower’s permit for one reasonable flat rate from MMJRecs. It’s unlikely that medical marijuana laws will be rolled back, so having access to these products means you’re more likely to be protected going forward.

There’s always a chance that your individual state could go back and recriminalize recreational marijuana. If this happens, don’t worry – you still have options! Consider applying for an MMJ card so you’ll continue to have access to cannabis products that can help treat a variety of physical or emotional issues. Just make sure to keep paying attention to the laws in your state so that your recreational or MMJ use will always fall within the legal realm.

Featured image by Roberto Valdivia on Unsplash

When Will Marijuana Be Legalized In Oklahoma?

One of the most pressing debates of our time surrounds the legalization of marijuana, and while many states are making progress, some still haven’t taken the full leap. Oklahoma recently allowed for medical marijuana – but when, if ever, could we see marijuana legalized in Oklahoma fully, and how would this affect MMJ?

MMJ Laws in Oklahoma

Let’s start with the basics. Is MMJ legal in Oklahoma? The answer is yes – since last year, medical marijuana has been legal in Oklahoma, so long as you have an MMJ card. However, recreational marijuana is absolutely not legal! We’re going to take a look at when complete legalization might happen, how this has impacted other states that have taken the plunge, and what it could mean for MMJ card holders.

Since the legalization of medical marijuana in Oklahoma last year, the reception seems to have been pretty positive, with 151,000 residents having applied for MMJ cards and more than 170 dispensaries licensed. This actually means that Oklahoma has more MMJ cards per capita than any other state.

However, despite the relatively warm reception medical marijuana has received, Oklahoma still seems pretty strongly opposed to recreational marijuana as a whole. In fact, a recent SoonerPoll survey found that 59% of Oklahoma residents would oppose expanding legalization to include recreational use. That said, there are still considerable policy changes being implemented to safeguard medical users – such as the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act, which means that an employer cannot deny work to, discipline, or fire an employee based on the grounds that they are a medical marijuana patient. Nor can businesses fire a patient for a positive marijuana test, unless it has safety implications (such as the operation of heavy equipment).

MMJ Recs - marijuana plant
Will we ever see marijuana legalized in Oklahoma for recreational use?

What Are The Pros/Cons Of Legal Marijuana In Oklahoma?

There is much debate over whether both medical and recreational marijuana should be legalized in each state, but looking at complete legalization, what are some of the pros and cons that Oklahoma could face?

One of the biggest arguments given for complete legalization is that it will take the marijuana trade out of the hands of criminals. This will lessen the flow of money to organized crime and hopefully reduce violence. Additionally, it means that the money that would have gone to criminals can instead be levied as a tax to help benefit the state and, of course, fund small businesses (like the 170+ dispensaries now in Oklahoma for medical marijuana). Additionally, legalization means less burden on the state, since the number of arrests and court fillings will fall, along with the associated costs. This was clearly seen in Colorado, where marijuana arrests decreased by roughly 52% between 2012 and 2017.

On the other hand, legalization could make marijuana use more prevalent and have a knock-on effect for other crimes – DUIs, for example. This was also found in Colorado, where marijuana-related DUIs jumped from 12% to 15% of all DUIs between 2014 to 2017. Additionally, while having marijuana legalized in Oklahoma would reduce the bureaucracy of unwarranted court proceedings, it would open up a whole new issue of regulation. The overall debate is undoubtably far more complex than this, but is often focused around recreational use. The use of medical marijuana in Oklahoma is far more stable, but could this be changed by complete legalization? 

How Could Full Legalization Affect MMJ?

Complete legalization will of course make marijuana more ubiquitous in the state, but the real impact on MMJ card holders would be minimal. This is because the restrictions and options for card holders would probably remain the same, giving you the same benefits under complete legalization as you have now. Some of these include being able to use reputable dispensaries to acquire the best products for your condition as well as not having to pay tax on medical marijuana, which you’d likely have to do for recreational marijuana. Furthermore, the age restrictions would vary, with an MMJ card allowing anyone over to 18 access the products they need – not so likely with recreational marijuana.

How can you get an MMJ card in Oklahoma?

Whether we see marijuana legalized in Oklahoma entirely or not, the best option for most people will still be an MMJ card due to savings, higher-quality products, and fewer restrictions. In Oklahoma, you’ve been able to apply for an MMJ card since August of last year, and can do so if you suffer from a qualifying condition. These include cancer, Crohn’s disease, multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and many more, so first check whether you fit into one of these categories.

If you meet the qualifying conditions, an MMJ card can be procured from your doctor. However, many people opt to get their card online, since it allows you to complete the whole process without the hassle of travel, which can be difficult for many people seeking MMJ. Online applications also allow for instant recommendations once the evaluation is completed by qualified professionals.

MMJ Recs - marijuana on desk
MMJ laws in Oklahoma will stand strong, no matter what happens with recreational legalization.

Overall, medically legal marijuana in Oklahoma has had a pretty positive reception, and with new legislation giving greater protections to MMJ card holders every month, it seems likely that its medical use will only become more common. That said, the state still seems adamantly against the complete legalization of marijuana. Luckily, those who need it can still access it by applying for an MMJ card and using a registered dispensary. Regardless of whether Oklahoma goes for complete legalization, this is still the best option and is unlikely to change.

Is Recreational Marijuana Legal In Oklahoma?

These days the legality of marijuana varies from state to state. Medical marijuana (MMJ) is now legal in Oklahoma – but is recreational marijuana legal in Oklahoma? Currently, no – the use of recreational marijuana is still prohibited in the state. But there are constant changes to these laws, surrounding both recreational and MMJ use, so here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know.

Medical Marijuana Laws in Oklahoma

MMJ in Oklahoma was officially legalized back in August 2018. Since that time, more than 151,000 Oklahoma residents have applied for MMJ cards from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority (OMMA). This number means that about 3.5% of the state’s population now has MMJ licenses – with more MMJ patients per capita than any other state in the U.S. In order to get a valid MMJ card, you must have a qualifying condition that OMMA recognizes to demonstrate you have a need to use MMJ products. These common conditions can include (but are not limited to):

  • Cancer (or a similar illness that can possibly be terminal)
  • Parkinson’s
  • Glaucoma
  • Epilepsy or other seizure disorders
  • HIV/AIDS
  • Crohn’s disease
  • Multiple sclerosis

You also might experience symptoms from a variety of conditions that could be alleviated with the use of MMJ. These can include things like chronic pain, nausea, muscle spasms, or inflammation. In order to see if your condition qualifies, you should check with your physician or connect with OMMA before submitting your application for an MMJ card.

MMJ Recs - recreational marijuana
Is marijuana legal in Oklahoma? That depends on the type of use.

MMJ laws in Oklahoma cover what a person with an MMJ card is able to legally do. After you’ve been issued an MMJ card, you are permitted to have:

  • Up to 8 ounces of marijuana in your residence
  • Up to 3 ounces of marijuana with you outside of your home
  • Up to 1 ounce of concentrated marijuana
  • Up to 72 ounces of edible marijuana (also known as edibles)
  • Up to 6 mature plants
  • Up to 6 seedling plants.

These laws, therefore, permit you to ingest marijuana products, as well as to grow and cultivate your own plants. However, it is important to note that MMJ cardholders are not allowed to purchase products from any other kind of dealer or another MMJ licensee. MMJ users are only legally allowed to purchase from state-licensed dispensaries.

Recreational Marijuana in Oklahoma

If you’re wondering, “Is marijuana legal in Oklahoma?” the answer is no in terms of recreational use. Both the possession and sale of marijuana is illegal in Oklahoma at this time. Under the Oklahoma Statutes Title 63 §2-101: Uniform Controlled Dangerous Substances Act, possession of marijuana without an MMJ card comes with a misdemeanor charge of up to one year in prison or a fine of $1,000. Subsequent offenses count as a felony with a penalty of 2–10 years in prison with fines up to $25,000. If you’re caught with marijuana within 1,000 feet of a school or in the presence of a child under the age of 12, you could face double penalties (or triple penalties for subsequent offenses).

For selling recreational marijuana, the charge is a felony with a prison sentence between 2–10 years and/or a fine of up to $5,000. Subsequent offenses result in double penalties. There’s a much more serious charge if you’re involved with trafficking marijuana. If you’re caught trafficking between 25 and 1,000 pounds of marijuana, the fine could be between $25,000 and $100,000. Dealing with over 1,000 pounds of marijuana results in a fine between $100,000 and $500,000. Other factors are taken into consideration when you’re charged with one of these crimes, including the amount and location of the sale and whether you already have a criminal history. For serious offenders, the maximum sentence could be life in prison for the selling and distribution of marijuana. There are also driving under the influence (DUI) charges to watch out for that can result if you’re operating a vehicle impaired after using marijuana (whether it’s MMJ or recreational).

MMJ Recs - medical marijuana container
Be sure you’re up to speed with all the medical marijuana laws in Oklahoma.

Oklahoma and MMJ now go hand-in-hand with the increasing popularity of owning an MMJ card. To make sure you’re completely covered, apply for your MMJ card today. You can head to the  omma.ok.gov website, where you can get started on your application. There is a $100 application fee (or a discounted fee of $20 if you use Medicaid [SoonerCare] or Medicare). Fill out the application with your personal info (date of birth, address, etc.), and have your medical professional fill out the Adult Patient Physician Recommendation Form. If you don’t have a doctor you trust, MMJRecs can help connect you to one virtually – so you never have to leave your house to get your medical certification. You’ll also need to show proof of Oklahoma residency (like with a copy of your driver’s license, ID card, utility bill, etc.) and proof of identity (which can also be your driver’s license or ID card or from your U.S. passport). Your application is complete once you’ve submitted a clear, color, full-face digital photograph of yourself. OMMA will then review your application. If you’ve met all of their requirements, you’ll receive your MMJ card in the mail within 14 days. Your MMJ card will then be valid for the next two years; once it expires, you’ll need to renew your license by submitting a new application (and another fee) at that time.

Although recreational marijuana is not legal in Oklahoma, if you have a qualifying condition, you should look into obtaining an MMJ card. That way you can legally grow and possess marijuana products without breaking any laws!

The Four Most MMJ Friendly States In America

As it stands in 2018, medical marijuana sits at a distinctive crossroads in American society. Over half of the country has embraced it; 29 states have legalized the drug for medicinal purposes, with the 30th state almost sure to follow this year. Across the remaining 20 states, however, medical marijuana remains a contentious issue. Some are dead set on never leaglazing it at all. The problem is that a medical marijuana initiative would not be a federal law; each state has to make their own laws when it comes to MMJ, hence the wildly varying results and surprising outcomes.

Take New York for instance. Many thought that due to its liberal leanings, New York would be a flagship state for the legalization of MMJ. On the contrary, NY’s initial attempt at medical marijuana was one of the most conservative in the country, coming a full 18 years after California first legalized MMJ in the U.S. in 1996. There have since been concerted efforts to overturn some of the more restrictive legislature, with varying degrees of success. What it does prove is that MMJ law is a tricky subject to get a handle on for many state governments, and it could be a while before we see a U.S. with 50 MMJ friendly states. That doesn’t mean there aren’t areas of the country that are fully pro-medical marijuana; there certainly are. If you’re wondering where exactly they are, then luckily you have to look no further than this handy article!

MMJ Recs - Golden Gate Bridge

Colorado is one of the most progressive MMJ friendly states in the country.

1. California

California places number one on this list of MMJ friendly states, as it was the first to take the leap and legalize medical marijuana way back in 1996. The Compassionate Use Act, or Proposition 215, was a revolutionary piece of legislature that paved the way for future states to lay their own groundwork. In the 22 years since it pioneered MMJ law, California’s enthusiasm for the treatment has not waned. Recently, the state passed a law that aimed to legalize recreational marijuana from the beginning of 2018. While some thought that the introduction of this legislature might make medical marijuana obsolete in California, in fact, the exact opposite turned out to be true. The government reaffirmed its commitment to its MMJ program by introducing a sales tax rebate for all medical marijuana patients or holders of a medical marijuana card. As recreational marijuana is slowly introduced into the Sunshine State, it looks as though MMJ will remain as strong as ever.

2. Colorado

Colorado was hot on California’s heels, and was one of the first states to legalize medical marijuana in the country; their legislature passed in 2000. Most marijuana advocates will recognise Colorado as the pioneer of recreational marijuana legalization, however. The state took that previously unheard-of initiative back in 2012. It makes sense that a state that has been committed to medical marijuana since the early days was also keen to legalize recreational marijuana, and like California, their initiatives go hand-in-hand. When it comes to MMJ, however, the Colorado market is startlingly robust, based on over seventeen years of experience. The MMJ industry is worth around $450 million to the state, so it’s no surprise that they’re keeping it in tip-top shape.

3. Washington

Colorado is often thought of as the first state to legalize recreational marijuana and is often seen as the poster state for the cause. However, Washington was equally pioneering, and legalized at exactly the same time as Colorado in 2012, paving the way for recreational marijuana laws to be loosened across the country. In fact, Washington is AHEAD of Colorado when it comes to medical marijuana. The state passed Initiative 692 in November 1998, just two short years after California trailblazed the initiative. The list of Washington’s qualifying conditions is also pretty extensive, making medical marijuana available to all sorts of patients who may be able to benefit from the medicine. Through the years Washington has seen extensive amendments to their medical marijuana bill, and in 2018, it proudly stands as one of the most inclusive and progressive MMJ friendly states in the country.

MMJ Recs - Maine Coastline

Maine has been committed to advancing its MMJ policies.

4. Maine

Maine might seem like an odd entry on this list, but it’s certainly doing its part to progress the MMJ cause. Medical marijuana became legal in 1999 (so even before Colorado), but under very strict regulations. This rules were relaxed significantly in 2005 with the passing of Question 5, which aimed to explicitly establish a Maine Medical Marijuana Act. Since then, the state has gone from strength to strength when it comes to MMJ; the most recent example of this advocation came just at the beginning of this year, when the state’s health care body approved progressive new legislature. These new remits will see an increase in the number of dispensary licenses across the state, while also loosening requirements under which medical marijuana can be used.

The above MMJ friendly states are shining examples of progressive medical marijuana treatment, but they are by no means the only states doing great work to advocate the cause. Hopefully their leadership on this important cause can inspire other states to investigate legalizing MMJ in their own territories.

Now That Recreational Marijuana Is Legalized, What Does That Mean For MMJ Patients?

Marijuana in America is a tale of two strains. On the one hand, there is medical marijuana, or MMJ for short, which has been gaining traction as a progressive new health care option for the last two decades. On the other hand, there’s recreational marijuana, which has recently seen an upsurge in support, and has been legalized in nine states and Washington D.C. The question on many users’ minds, especially MMJ patients, is do they hurt or help each other? And while it might be still too early in the game to say definitively, we can make some educated guesses based on the states that have incorporated both so far.

Recreational marijuana is set to have its biggest year in 2018. It started out on the wrong foot, when President Trump’s Department of Justice, headed up by Attorney General Jeff Sessions, announced that it was repealing a key Obama-era memo that prevented federal meddling in each individual state’s marijuana laws. Marijuana is still illegal at the federal level, meaning that the feds can still come down hard on the drug, even in states where it’s legal to use it recreationally.

MMJRecs - Street Signs

Many MMJ users might be wondering how newly introduced recreational marijuana laws affect them.

However, as with much of our current administration, the rescinding seemed to amount to posturing and nothing more. There is little evidence so far that the government will do anything to combat marijuana on a federal level; it seems content to leave it well enough alone in states that have already legalized the drug. If you think it seems contradictory that the drug can be prosecuted on a federal level while legal on a state level, don’t worry; the majority of the Justice Department might just think so too. Federal prosectors around the country released vague statements soon after the rescinding, stating that there would be no new crackdown in recreationally legal states.

This is great news for California, the state that opened the world’s largest legal marijuana market to date on January 1st. California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana way back in 1996. Since that time, it’s always had a remarkably liberal policy towards marijuana in general, and cemented that status on November 9th, 2016, when it took the plunge and made recreational marijuana fully legal too. The state gave itself fourteen months to get the legislation together and prepare its citizens for a full move to legality, culminating in the January 1st, 2018 deadline.

Though California was certainly not the first state to legalize marijuana recreationally, it is definitely the most important yet. The state constitutes the world’s sixth largest economy, and of course, is the largest state in the U.S. Some four hundred businesses were approved to licence, and many cities all over the state have passed laws allowing local businesses to sell marijuana. Despite this, there have been some teething problems with the new legislature, and it’s with these discrepancies that we can measure the impact of recreational marijuana against medical marijuana.

Essentially, despite all the good will in the world, California is not ready to implement such a large recreational program of marijuana. Medical marijuana has been legal for 22 years, and although it’s largely been smooth sailing, there are still some lingering issues. It’s a tall ask for a state to bring together a previously black market industry (which, despite being a black market, is undoubtedly huge), and signs are that it’s not as straightforward as some in government would have hoped. For a start, every city in the state has to come up with its own distinct rules on what exactly can be sold and where, and to what degree. This makes for a confusing situation, as there’s no one rule to bind them all.

MMJRecs - Downtown Los Angeles

Marijuana laws for both medical and recreational use still differ from state to state.

In terms of MMJ patients who might be worried that their medical marijuana ID card is invalid because recreational marijuana is legalized, there’s a simple answer: don’t be. MMJ, procured from licenced dispensaries, is still the safest and most effective way to alleviate the symptoms it has been prescribed to you for. Your doctor will know which strain is best suited to your particular ailment. It’s not a good idea to attempt to self-medicate, nor is it a sure thing that all MMJ strains will be legally or immediately available in a recreational capacity.

As if to underline the importance of MMJ, the government of California has introduced a sales tax break to medical marijuana patients, indicating its continued commitment to the MMJ cause and legislature. If we take what’s currently happening in California as a microcosm for the whole of the U.S. we see that MMJ and recreational marijuana will undoubtedly continue to co-exist simultaneously, and even benefit from each other as they do. While the future is a little cloudy, especially when it comes to the number of states that have legalized medical but not recreational marijuana, there is no doubt that both strains will continue to exist harmoniously in the U.S. for a long time to come.

Why 2018 Is Already The Best Year For MMJ Patients

Medical marijuana has had a long and difficult road to get to where it finds itself in 2018. Although MMJ has many proven health benefits, and can ease symptoms of a wide variety of illnesses and afflictions, the progressive drug therapy has seen itself radically criminalized in some circles, and continues to be a point of contention for many conservative governors, senators, and councilmen/women.  However, the outlier medicine has made fantastic strides over the last decade or so, which means that 2018 is looking to be the year the pendulum swings fully in favor of MMJ and its assorted infrastructure.

The tide started to turn way back in 1996, when California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana. This was a big deal 22 years ago, and although it wasn’t the first state to complete the circle and legalize recreational marijuana (that particular accolade goes to Colorado and Washington simultaneously), the Golden State has continued to be a frontrunner in marijuana advocation and legislation throughout the past two decades. The state legalized recreational marijuana the day after a tumultuous presidential election, and can (in theory) start selling the drug this year. More on that later.

MMJRecs - Marijuana Plant

Will 2018 be a turning point for medical marijuana in the U.S.? We think so.

Currently, 29 states (and Washington D.C.) have legalized medical marijuana, so we’re well past the halfway threshold in terms of cumulative state legislation. Signs are strong that the 30th state won’t be too far off, and several more look set to follow throughout 2018, meaning that this year could potentially see the biggest turnover of states to pro-green status since California ruled in MMJ’s favor 22 years ago. However, because medical marijuana doesn’t constitute a federal initiative, the way these 29-and-counting states are approaching MMJ is wildly different, and can have consequences for patients depending on their location.

Evidence of these interstate discrepancies can be found in the case of New York. The East Coast state has long been considered a liberal bastion, and can usually stand toe-to-toe with the large liberal stronghold on the West Coast that is California. However, when it comes to medical marijuana, New York seemed to stumble; this is largely due to the governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo, being highly against marijuana in general, and seeing it as a “gateway drug,” even in a medicinal capacity. This didn’t stop MMJ being legalized in New York in 2014, but it was introduced as one of the most restrictive and conservative programs anywhere in the country, which surprised many people. One obvious example of this restrictiveness is that patients could not consume the drug in its leaf form, which has been regarded as the most potent form, and the most likely to help ease symptoms.

Fortunately, in 2018, patients could see the situation change for the better, courtesy of NY’s neighbours, New Jersey. Intense advocation has already seen the qualifying condition “chronic pain” added to the list, which has opened up MMJ care to  whole host of patients who could previously not access it. 2018 will more than likely see recreational marijuana legalized in New Jersey, as well as Massachusetts and even Connecticut, surrounding New York with liberal marijuana laws. Under that kind of pressure, Cuomo and the conservative elements of New York are sure to crack, paving the way for recreational marijuana, and helping the cause of medical marijuana in the process.

MMJRecs - Marijuana Buds

The legalization of recreational marijuana is in fact helping the cause of medical marijuana in several ways.

You might wonder why medical marijuana has a place at all if recreational marijuana is taking the country by storm. In fact, the opposite is proving to be true; the legalization of recreational marijuana only serves to heighten the importance, and provide advantages to, the cause of MMJ. Take California as an example. Recreational marijuana was due to start being legally sold in the state as of January 1st, 2018. However, due to intense concerns about expanding a previously black market-based operation into the full light of legality, it has yet to occur, and looks like it won’t for some time.

What has occurred is a sales tax break for patients using medical marijuana, which is fantastic news for those who are committed to using the drug to treat their ailments. Also, the specialist care that doctors provide to patients when it comes to selecting the correct strain of marijuana for their conditions is still paramount; self-medicating with recreational marijuana is a very poor idea indeed.

So, the advancement of medical marijuana and recreational marijuana laws go hand in hand; instead of one eclipsing the other, they in fact work in tandem. This has already been proven at the start of the year in California, and as 2018 goes on and both causes are furthered simultaneously, the future looks bright for medical marijuana. Even though it’s only March, it’s easy to see why many people are considering this year the best year yet for MMJ; and with many months still to go, it could shine brighter yet.

Is America the Most Progressive Medical Marijuana Country in the World?

As Americans, we like to think that our country is the most forward-thinking nation out there. We like the idea of allowing our citizens to have more freedoms than they might be awarded in other countries. But is the U.S. the most progressive country when it comes to the usage of medical marijuana?

As more states in the U.S. are legalizing recreational marijuana, the whole country is looking to see how the regulations of cannabis (both medicinal or not) are being enforced and utilized. Because the U.S. is at the forefront of this, many outside countries are paying close attention to see how the laws are implemented. The use of MMJ cards was first established in California in 1996. Several states followed suit, including Hawaii and Colorado. Currently, the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes is legal in 29 states (as well as the U.S. territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and Washington D.C.). Although medical marijuana use is legal in many states, the actual regulations can vary greatly from state to state.

So, how does the U.S. compare to other countries? Here’s some info on medical marijuana policies around the world.

MMJRecs - Smoking

How does the U.S. compare with other countries when it comes to recreational and medical marijuana laws?

Colombia

Colombia has legalized MMJ usage, and citizens are permitted to possess up to 22 grams at a time. They also have a very relaxed law that states that one person can grow up to 20 marijuana plants if it’s for personal consumption. This number is a lot higher than most countries, like the U.S., which only permits six plants to be grown at one time for recreational use.

The Czech Republic

The Czech Republic is fairly new to the MMJ game with legislation only being passed in 2013. There have been regulations instated to decriminalize marijuana usage, with Czech citizens being allowed to grow up to five plants at a time. Also, individuals can possess up to 15 grams of marijuana and up to five grams of hashish. The nation even hosts a big festival named Cannafest, which celebrates marijuana.

Italy

Medical marijuana has been permitted in Italy for quite some time, and the country has progressed to become one of the most unrestricted marijuana areas in the world. Italians voted for the decriminalization of possession of drugs (so individuals with small quantities of five grams or less are no longer subject to criminal charges). Citizens are also permitted to grow a reasonable amount of marijuana plants, as long as they are not used for trafficking purposes.

Jamaica

Although medical marijuana is legal in Jamaica, recreational use is still against the law. However, the country has recently relaxed its laws on possession and has decriminalized it for medical use and for the purpose of Rastafarian religious ceremonies (where cannabis or “ganja” is used as a sacred herb that allows the soul to rise).

The Netherlands

The Netherlands (especially Amsterdam) has gotten the reputation of being a major marijuana-friendly region. There are even “coffee shops” that allow consumers to take part in marijuana sales. In 2017, the Dutch government even legalized the production of cannabis. Additionally, MMJ products can be purchased without a prescription.

Portugal

Portugal has decriminalized marijuana since 2001, when they decided that the possession of any drug found in small quantities would not be considered illegal. Portugal is very progressive in the fact that they believe drug use should be deemed a health issue, not a criminal one. Instead of arresting their citizens for drug possession, those found with drugs are sent to medical panels (with a psychologist, social worker, and legal adviser) who all work to come up with an appropriate treatment plan for that individual.

Spain

Spain actually has relatively relaxed laws since medical marijuana can be purchased without a prescription. Consumption by adults in private locations is legal, which means citizens can grow marijuana plants for personal consumption (as long as they’re kept hidden from public view). However, the selling and trading of cannabis products is still illegal.

Uruguay

In 2013, Uruguay made history by becoming the first (and only) country in the world to fully legalize marijuana (including the possession, selling, transportation, and growing of cannabis). The marijuana market is still strictly regulated since citizens are only allowed to grow up to six marijuana plants at their residence, and each individual can only buy a maximum of 10 grams per week. However, the main upside is that prices of marijuana products are cheaper than in other countries. Plus, MMJ products can be purchased without a prescription.

MMJRecs - Pot in Jars

MMJ laws differ greatly between countries, but luckily the U.S. can still be considered among the most progressive.

Once you learn about how other countries are controlling the usage of marijuana products, you’ll find that the U.S. is right up there in terms of being forward-thinking. Although different states have a variety of laws regarding consumption of recreational marijuana, those with MMJ cards in the U.S. face less restrictions with your cannabis. Although recreational users are limited to one ounce of flower (or eight grams of cannabis concentrates) at one time, MMJ cardholders can purchase and possess as much cannabis as the treatment of their medical condition requires. These limitations also apply to edibles; recreational consumers can have a maximum of 10mg doses at a time, while those with a medical marijuana card don’t have this restriction.

So, while there are many countries working towards positive changes with both recreational and medical marijuana, America is one of the most progressive countries out there – striving for laws that permit MMJ users to purchase and possess the cannabis products that will be the most obtainable and effective for them. And maybe the U.S. can take some ideas of what has worked in other progressive countries to help move us even further along.

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.

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

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

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

MMJ Recs - Californian Highway

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

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

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

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

MMJ Recs - San Francisco Skyline

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

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

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

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

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

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

1. Saves you money

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

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

2. Continuity of care

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

MMJ - medical marijuana

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

3. Lower age limit

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

4. More freedom

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

5. Access to a larger number of dispensaries

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

MMJ - marijuana and medicine

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

6. Less restrictions

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

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

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.

Which State Will be the 30th to Join the MMJ Revolution?

The medical marijuana revolution has gained some serious traction in the last few years. It started with a slow trickle all the way back in 1996, but as of the end of 2017, 29 states have legalized MMJ, with the majority of those laws coming into effect within the last decade. The trend seems to be very much in favour of legalization, with recreational use also coming up fast behind. But the question many advocates across the country are asking is: who will be next in line to pass the crucial legislation?

West Virginia was the most recent place to make the leap, and was the only state to join the cause in 2017. Because each state has their own laws, and because the process of introducing medical marijuana is a hot topic in most places, with plenty of debate and strong positions on both sides, it takes a long time to see the process through to completion. Fortunately, the majority of states now have turned the tide in favour of medical marijuana, so the rest should follow sooner or later. That’s the good news.

MMJ Recs - American Flag

29 states down; 21 to go.

The bad news is that it’s taken over 20 years to get to 29 states, and among the remaining 21 are some hard-line conservative areas that are against marijuana legalization of any kind, let alone decriminalization. So while the figures and statistics might look encouraging, and 29 states in the bag is certainly an encouraging number, it should be remembered that for West Virginia’s lone passing of their MMJ bill, there were 13 states who postponed or denied the legislation in 2017. These were Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Virginia.

Included in that number are a few unsurprising states, who traditionally take a conservative stance against the more liberal leanings of MMJ pioneers like California and Colorado. But there were also some surprises in there; Utah, with its proximity to both the aforementioned states, is surrounded by relaxed MMJ laws, and was thought to be a frontrunner in the race for the next state to sign up. Nebraska also looked all set to be a serious competitor in that race, much to the surprise of the rest of the country, as it’s traditionally seen as a Republican stronghold. However, their bill fell through in May of this year, when it was no longer viable for the 2017 session; though it will carry over to 2018.

The good part of all this failed legislature is that people are at least talking about MMJ laws in states all across the country. These bills are up for debate, with residents and governments taking their meanings and implications seriously. Those who advocate for medical marijuana will no doubt see the legislature pushed through again, hopefully next time with a different, more positive result. But among all the stalling was one state who technically put an MMJ bill through this year, and will more than likely see some form of the medicine go statewide in 2018: Iowa.

Technically, the state passed the bill in May 2017, making medical marijuana legal in Iowa. But the MMJ laws have yet to be implemented, and the state is still trying to figure out the exact specifics of the law, such as what forms of MMJ will be allowed, and who exactly will be allowed to produce and dispense the drug. Despite this delay, plans are being implemented for widespread dispersal, with the state selecting the first official state medical marijuana manufacturer at the end of November. However, this is with a view to solely legalize the oil variant of MMJ, a form of medical marijuana that has been proven to be less effective than smoking.

MMJ Recs - Iowa Sign

Iowa might be the next state to board the medical marijuana train.

Hot on Iowa’s heels are two other states that could potentially be the 30th state to legalise MMJ. They are Wisconsin and North Carolina. Both states have pending MMJ legislation with their governments that will carry over into 2018. Studies show that 74% of North Carolina citizens support the legalization of MMJ, a strong, significant majority that might help to convince politicians and push the bill over the edge.

So whether it’s North Carolina, Wisconsin, or Iowa, or indeed any of the other states who are close to passing an MMJ bill, it’s clear the MMJ revolution will certainly not end with only 29 states on the board. There will be a thirtieth, and a thirty-first beyond that, and so on and so forth. The real question is whether the country can unite all 50 states under the medical marijuana banner, and if that mammoth task can be managed, how liberal each legislature will be. Whatever the outcome, it’s clear the medical marijuana tide is turning and turning fast; and that can only be good news for the millions of patients across the country who can benefit from its multi-faceted properties.