On January 1st 2018, recreational marijuana finally became legal in California! This means that anyone over the age of 21 can walk into a recreational dispensary and legally buy weed. So is it still worth applying for a medical marijuana card or renewing your existing card? The simple answer is yes! Buying weed with a medical card from a medical dispensary has many advantages over buying recreational marijuana.
1. It’s much cheaper to buy weed with a medical card
Sales tax and other local taxes will apply when you purchase recreational marijuana. This means that on average you'll save over 25% when you buy your weed from a medical dispensary. In some Californian cities where additional taxes are applied you'll save even more! When you factor in these savings, most medical cannabis users will quickly offset the cost of their medical card. You could easily end up saving hundreds of dollars over the course of a year.
2. Getting access to medical weed is much more convenient than recreational marijuana
The issuing of licenses for recreational dispensaries is happening very slowly. There are currently only about 100 in operation around Oakland, San Jose, San Diego and Berkeley. On the other hand, there are well over 1000 medical dispensaries to choose from.
3. Medical marijuana gives you access to stronger weed and a greater variety of strains
Medical cannabis strains are specifically bred to treat all kinds of conditions including insomnia, fatigue, anxiety and depression. This means that buying from a medical dispensary gives you an incredible range to choose from in terms of strains, strength, THC and CBD ratios and the type of high you'll get. A medical card also allows you to buy much stronger THC oils and waxes than those available from a recreational dispensary. In our experience, the staff at medical dispensaries are incredibly knowledgeable and can help you pick the exact type of weed you're looking for.
4. A medical card gives you extra legal protection and you can grow and carry more weed
With a medical card you can legally grow up to 100 square feet of medical cannabis and carry up to 8 oz. In contrast, the new Californian recreational laws only allow you to carry 1 oz of weed. A medical card also gives you extra legal protection if you’re stopped by law enforcement when driving or flying with weed in your possession. Carrying a medical card is worth it for this extra peace of mind alone!
5. Medical cannabis is available to people aged 18 and above
The new cannabis laws in California restrict the sale of recreational marijuana to people over the age of 21. However, with a medical card you can legally purchase weed from a medical dispensary as soon as you turn 18.
How do you get a medical marijuana card?
Getting a medical marijuana card takes as little as 10 minutes and can be done completely online or over the phone! The lawmakers responsible for Proposition 215 intentionally wrote it to make sure that pretty much any adult can easily access the medical benefits of cannabis.
The service we recommend for getting your medical card is OnlineMedicalCard.com. They are the most popular medical marijuana clinic in California and have a team of super friendly doctors that will chat with you and approve your medical card in a couple of minutes. These guys are really compassionate and genuinely believe that cannabis can improve lives. If you need any more proof, their doctors have done over 250,000 evaluations since 2001!
How does the application process work?
Once you head over to their website, the application process is incredibly easy:
- Create an online account (if you'd rather apply by phone you can easily do that as well).
- Fill in a standard online medical form.
- Talk to a doctor via video chat. The doctor is there to explain how medical cannabis might help you and can answer any questions you have.
- Immediately receive a doctor's recommendation letter (as a PDF) that you can take into any medical marijuana dispensary to buy weed whenever you like!
The doctor's letter is all you legally need to buy medical cannabis but you can also pay a little more and they'll give you a wallet sized ID card that's much more convenient to carry around.
The legalization of recreational cannabis in California is a fantastic step along the road to recognizing the benefits of weed and seeing it fully legalized around the world. However, for the foreseeable future if you live in an area of the United States where medical marijuana is legal, we recommend that you hang on to your medical card because it will save you money and get you access to much better weed.