Thursday August 15, 2019

By Nicholas Demski

Does Having a Medical Marijuana Card Save You Money? 420 Culture

Have you ever looked down from a peak of a mountain at a fresh layer of powder with your boots firmly strapped into their skis? With one shove of your feet, gravity lends its perpetual hug and draws you down the mountain. Your skis kick up curtains of snow as you carve between evergreens. The curtains collide with the branches and release their white blankets. Halfway down the mountain, you face your first challenge: a sharp turn before a rock. You’ll make it, but it would have been significantly easier if only you had invested in ski poles. Ski poles aren’t necessary to ski, but there are significant benefits to them that shouldn’t be overlooked. The same can be said for medical cannabis cards. Though legalized cannabis has been gaining momentum recently, there is still considerable reason to invest in a medical cannabis card.

Why Should I Get a Medical Cannabis Card?

Depending on the state you live in, there are a variety of financial benefits to getting your medical cannabis card. Sure, it’s an upfront investment that can set you back a couple of hundred dollars, but it can quickly pay for itself with the benefits it may bring you. The specifics of how much you can benefit will vary according to your state’s and locality’s mandates on cannabis taxation. If you live in Sacramento, for example, a state-issued medical cannabis card costs $100. However, with your card, you won’t have to pay the 8.25% tax that Sacramento charges to recreational consumers. So, if you consume an ounce of cannabis each month at $200 an ounce, you’ll save $198 in the first year. That pays for the card and gives you a return of $98.

medical marijuana
While a medical card is an upfront investment, it can quickly pay for itself with the benefits it brings you. photo credit

Of course, you’ll need to factor in your specifics to decide if a medical card is right for you. Here’s a formula that works well in any situation assuming consumption of an ounce per month:

Formula to Determine if a MMJ Card is Right for You:

  • (Cost of Card) + (Cost of Medical Oz x 12) = A
  • (Cost of Rec. Oz x 12) + (Tax/ounce x 12) = B

If A is less than B, and you’re fiscally-minded, why not get a card if you can?

Who Should Get Their Medical Cannabis Card?

Any person getting a medical cannabis card should have a medical need for it. If you don’t have a medical need but want the financial benefits of one, you may try, but it could more hassle than what it’s worth. For example, in Michigan, you’ll need to show a bonafide relationship with a doctor for an ongoing issue in a specific range of ailments. Only then can another doctor offer you a medical recommendation for cannabis. 

Another group of people – who significantly overlap with the first group-that should attain their medical cannabis card, is the group of people that need massive amounts of cannabis. Not everyone consumes an ounce a month, but some people consume far more. For states that have purchase limits on legalized cannabis, a medical card can often be a way around those limits. Medical patients in Colorado are allowed to purchase up to two ounces per day. Meanwhile, tourists and other non-medical customers are limited to half of that. Patients in California, on the other hand, are allowed to purchase up to eight ounces in one day. Compare that to their non-medical counterparts who are limited to the same ounce per day as in Colorado.

dispensary
At medical dispensaries patients have a higher purchase limit and lower prices. photo credit

For people who need tinctures or loads of concentrates to treat their ailments, it is most advisable to obtain a medical card. Where a medical dispensary may be able to sell 2,000 mg tinctures, a non-medical dispensary may only be allowed to sell 100 mg tinctures. Other than being a medical consumer, or someone who consumes a large quantity, the fiscally sound should consider getting their medical cannabis card as well. For example, if you’re in Colorado, getting your medical cannabis card will instantly shield you from a 15% excise tax and an additional 10% retail marijuana tax. Other states have tax breaks for medical patients as well in an effort to make it more accessible to patients in need.

Whether you’re medically, temperamentally, or fiscally driven, having a medical cannabis card can make a big difference in your life. Just because legalized cannabis is on the way, doesn’t mean the same access for non-medical consumers. Once you’ve considered your options by researching your situation and using the information above, you should be able to decide if a medical cannabis card is right for you.

How to Get Your Medical Cannabis Card

To figure out how to get a medical cannabis card in your state, go to our How to Get Your Medical Marijuana Card page, pick your state, and follow the directions, fill out the forms, and expect to get your card soon. PotGuide currently has information for the following states with more coming soon!

So, is it worth it to invest in a set of ski poles if you’re going skiing? Many would argue it’s wise, and the same argument can be made for obtaining a medical cannabis card. It’s not always necessary, but you should not overlook its significant benefits.


Was it easy to get your medical cannabis card in your state? Share your experience with others below!

Photo Credit: Pictures of Money (license)


Nicholas Demski Nicholas Demski

Nicholas is a freelance writer and featured contributor for Plurality Press, Content Pros, INC., and has been featured in Reader's Digest. His poetry has been printed in The Broad River Review, Whiskey Island, and Artifact Nouveau. He encourages you to follow him on Instagram @TheSingleDadNomad, Twitter @NicholasDemski, and blogs about his life on www.TheSingleDadNomad.com.


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