Top 9 Benefits of Getting a Medical Marijuana Card
- In many U.S. states cannabis users have the option of getting a medical marijuana card or shopping without one.
- There are several benefits to having a medical marijuana card.
- Medical marijuana cards offer increased legal protections, reduced costs, higher limits, safer products, and more.
Several U.S. states are now home to legal recreational and/or medical marijuana dispensaries. In states with both recreational and medical programs, adults 21 years of age and older are no longer required to consult with a medical marijuana doctor or to have a medical marijuana card in order to legally purchase and possess marijuana.
On top of that, another couple dozen or so states do not have recreational dispensaries but do offer medical marijuana cards for patients suffering from qualifying medical conditions. Although some of those states limit the types of products — such as low-THC CBD oil — several states offer legitimate medical marijuana programs.
Does it make sense to get a medical marijuana card in any of these states? Actually, there are several benefits to going through the process and paying the fees to get your medical marijuana card. Let’s go over them.
1. It’s good to be legal
This first benefit is the most obvious. There’s no such thing as a “get out of jail free” card. Having a medical marijuana card might keep you out of prison and save you tons of money.
Many marijuana users live in a state where the possession of marijuana is illegal outside of the medical marijuana program. In some of those states, marijuana is decriminalized. That means rather than going to jail for possession of small amounts of marijuana for personal use, police will write the offender a ticket. The ticket can be in the hundreds of dollars in some states.
In states where marijuana is not decriminalized, however, anyone caught with pot who is not a medical marijuana cardholder risks being arrested, accruing substantial fines and legal fees, losing their driver’s license or job, and possibly even going to prison for anywhere from weeks to years.
Having that medical marijuana card lets cannabis lovers sleep easy at night knowing they’re not at risk of losing their freedom.
2. Legal age is 18 instead of 21 for most medical marijuana programs.
If you’re not 21 or older, then even if you live in a state with a recreational program, you’re taking a risk by being in possession of pot. On the other hand, patients 18 to 20 are eligible to shop at dispensaries in all states with medical marijuana programs.
3. Enjoy a much wider selection of strains and products
It’s not hard to buy weed outside of a marijuana dispensary in most areas. However, very few “dealers” will offer the wide array of marijuana strains and cannabis-infused products that are available at most modern dispensaries.
For example, if you’re looking for a strain with a 5 to 2 ratio of CBD to THC, a dealer is likely to either not have it, or sell you something that’s not that. Certain dealers might carry some wax or hash or other cannabis concentrates, but legal medical marijuana dispensaries often carry oils, capsules, edibles, hash, wax, shatter, rosin, budder, crumble, vape cartridges, tinctures, patches, inhalers, topicals, and more. Click on links to learn more about medical marijuana products and delivery methods.
4. Dispensaries offer lab-tested products
When you buy cannabis products on the street you have no way of knowing what you’re getting. On the other hand, all products sold at medical marijuana dispensaries must undergo strict lab testing to assure potency and safety.
Let’s face it. Most illegal growers and product manufacturers care more about profits than they do about the health of their customers. Many of them will use toxic chemical pesticides and fungicides and who knows what else to grow their inventory.
And who knows what’s in that vape cartridge that your friend is selling that “fell of the back of the truck.” People have literally died from using counterfeit vape cartridges that look like they were made by reputable brand names but were actually counterfeits. It’s very easy to buy empty vape cartridge components and fill them with whatever you want.
5. Grow your own at home
Some states allow medical marijuana cardholders to grow their own marijuana at home. Not only can this save patients a ton of money, it’s also quite satisfying to watch your babies grow up.
6. The more the merrier
In many states that offer both recreational and medical marijuana, card-carrying patients have higher purchase and possession limits than non-cardholders.
7. Pay less for more
Also, in some states that offer both medical and recreational marijuana, medical patients are exempt from some or all of the sales tax tacked on at the registers. Moreover, some dispensaries offer lower prices to medical patients.
8. Reduce the burden of law enforcement and help the economy
There’s no way to be sure that that bag you’re buying wasn’t grown by a violent cartel. By buying black market weed you might be supporting criminals.
Also, by buying legal weed you’re helping to reduce law enforcement costs. And by buying your herb from licensed producers and dispensaries you’re also helping your state’s marijuana program and local economies thrive.
9. Save the planet
Most illicit marijuana is grown in the wild rather than in strict accordance with local laws. Illegal growers often have no qualms about using highly toxic pesticides and herbicides. Some are so toxic that a teaspoon can kill a full-grown bear. These chemicals end up seeping into groundwater and rivers causing devastating harm to the environment and humans alike.
We’ll finish off by saying that in some places, due to the taxes that many states add to the price of legal weed, black market marijuana might be a little cheaper than dispensary bud. However, considering all of the benefits above, it is definitely worth paying a bit more for the good stuff knowing that you’re getting a safer, higher quality product while doing good for the economy, the environment, and the cannabis community as a whole.