Cannabis, also known as marijuana, is a plant that has been used for medicinal and recreational purposes for centuries. In recent years, there has been a significant shift in the legal landscape surrounding cannabis, including in Maryland. While the state has officially legalized recreational marijuana, there are still many benefits of having a medical marijuana card in Maryland.
This article will explore the advantages of having a medical marijuana card versus purchasing recreationally in Maryland. Whether it’s lower cost, higher potency products, access to exclusive medical dispensaries, or greater legal protection, having a medical cannabis card can offer numerous advantages for individuals seeking the therapeutic benefits of cannabis. Despite the legalization of the recreational use of marijuana, maintaining or obtaining a medical marijuana card can provide patients with various benefits that recreational users may not have access to. Understanding the differences between medical and recreational use when purchasing products is essential.
What differentiates the Medical and Recreational Use of Marijuana?
In Maryland, there are distinct differences between medical and recreational use of cannabis. Medical use requires authorization from a healthcare provider and approval from the state, while recreational use is available to individuals over the age of 21.
One of the key differences is the process of obtaining cannabis. Medical use involves obtaining a medical marijuana card, which requires a recommendation from a healthcare provider and approval from the state’s medical cannabis program. Recreational use, on the other hand, only requires proof of age.
Now, let’s dive into the significant benefits of having your medical marijuana (MMJ) card in Maryland.
Lower Cost and Affordable Pricing
One significant benefit of having a medical cannabis card in Maryland is that you pay lower taxes compared to purchasing recreationally. Medical cannabis cards can save you money all year round and get you lower prices on cannabis products than those who purchase under the recreational marijuana guidelines. With recreational cannabis now legal in Maryland, it will bring about significant sales tax rates for recreational consumers. An additional 10% excise tax will be on all recreational marijuana sales. By maintaining or obtaining a medical marijuana card, you can avoid the added taxes that come with recreational marijuana purchases.
Medical marijuana card holders can also benefit from exclusive discounts and promotional prices than recreational marijuana users. This can result in substantial annual savings, as the cost of cannabis products and the associated taxes can add up over time. By having a medical cannabis card in Maryland, individuals can save potentially hundreds to thousands of dollars annually.
Overall, the tax exemption and lower cost are significant advantages of having a medical cannabis card in Maryland. It helps patients access the medication they need at a more affordable price, making it easier to manage their medical conditions effectively.
Availability of Products
Maryland offers a wide range of cannabis products for both medical cannabis patients and recreational users. However, the two have some significant differences in availability and selection.
Medical marijuana patients can access a broader selection of cannabis products than recreational users. They can choose from various strains, including high-potency products specifically designed to address their medical conditions. Maryland’s dispensaries are well-stocked with a diverse range of products tailored to meet the specific needs of medical marijuana patients.
Higher Potency Products
Patients with a medical card in Maryland also have access to marijuana products with higher potency than recreational users. For individuals purchasing recreationally, dispensaries must adhere to lower potency products, whereas medical cardholders can purchase higher potency THC products for their debilitating medical conditions and symptoms.
On the other hand, recreational users may have limited options when it comes to product selection. Dispensaries need to comply with lower potency regulations for recreational cannabis products. This means that certain high-potency products available to medical marijuana patients may not be accessible to recreational users.
Ability to Possess and Purchase Greater Amounts
Additionally, purchase limits differ between medical and recreational users. Medical marijuana patients can possess and purchase larger quantities of cannabis compared to recreational users. Medical marijuana patients in Maryland can possess and purchase up to 4 oz. of medical marijuana (120 grams of cannabis). In contrast, recreational users can only purchase and possess up to 1.5 oz (42 grams of cannabis). Medical marijuana patients can purchase up to 36 grams of concentrate, whereas recreational users can only purchase up to 12 grams. With a medical card, you can purchase and possess more marijuana than someone buying recreationally.
In conclusion, while medical marijuana patients and recreational users can access cannabis products in Maryland, medical marijuana patients enjoy a more comprehensive selection of strains and higher potency products. They also have the advantage of higher purchase limits to better meet their medical needs.
Priority Access and Reduced Wait Time; Shorter Lines
If you have a medical marijuana card in Maryland, you can buy cannabis products from any of the 100-plus medical dispensaries throughout the state. Even with cannabis use now legal for recreational purposes, medical patients will have exclusive access to a wide variety of medical cannabis products, strains, discounts, and professional support.
In Maryland, dispensaries and healthcare providers concentrate mainly on serving medical patients. This focus means that resources and products are directed toward meeting the requirements of those with qualifying medical conditions. On the flip side, this can create certain challenges for non-medical users, including longer wait times and the possibility of supply shortages due to increased demand. As per the regulations, dispensaries must ensure a consistent supply of medical cannabis for their medical patients, even if there are inventory issues. To facilitate this, dispensaries set specific hours exclusively for medical patients and have even implemented a fast lane to speed up their checkout process.
Another significant benefit of having your medical marijuana card in Maryland is that you don’t have to wait in long recreational lines. With recreational marijuana legalized, dispensaries will have separate lines for recreational users and medical marijuana patients. Medical patients are prioritized, and dispensaries will have expedited lines for those with an active medical marijuana card, saving you time!
Greater Protection from the Law
A medical cannabis card in Maryland offers more significant legal protection from various implications. When you have a medical cannabis card, you have been approved through the state and by a licensed physician that meets the criteria of the state’s medical program. As discussed, having your medical cannabis card comes with the ability to possess larger quantities of marijuana and provides fewer restrictions in comparison to recreational users.
Access For Younger Individuals
Recreational cannabis use remains illegal for anyone under the age of 21 years old. However, some younger people may need to use medical cannabis for conditions like epilepsy, Crohn’s disease, cancer, or other debilitating conditions can obtain a medical cannabis card. Patients under the age of 21 may be eligible for Maryland’s medical marijuana program if they meet all the requirements set forth by the state. Thus, while recreational usage is restricted, Maryland offers avenues for underage patients to reap the potential medical benefits of cannabis, demonstrating its commitment to patient care.
Summary of Benefits
In summary, the legal, economic, and health benefits of having a medical marijuana card in Maryland are numerous and clear. This includes lower costs, tax exemptions, access to a broader range of medical marijuana products, priority access at dispensaries, and legal protection. Additionally, it extends marijuana accessibility to patients under 21 years old, proving Maryland’s commitment to offering multiple pathways for individuals needing cannabis’ therapeutic benefits. Despite legalization for recreational use, the benefits of obtaining and maintaining a medical marijuana card are significant, making it a highly beneficial option for those seeking to use cannabis for therapeutic purposes.
Contact Us Today
If you are interested in obtaining or renewing your medical cannabis card in Maryland, contact Greenway Consults today. We will connect you with a medical marijuana doctor that will evaluate your medical history and make a recommendation based on the medical marijuana program’s regulations.