Do I still Need a MMJ Card Now It’s Recreational?

Medical marijuana was made legal in California in November 1996. 20 years later, cannabis became legal for recreational purposes in California.

So, now that marijuana is legal for recreational purposes in California, you might be thinking to yourself, “Why should I register for a medical marijuana card?” Well, here are a few good reasons.

1.You Suffer From a Condition that Merits Medical Marijuana …

… The following conditions can qualify you for a medical marijuana card in California:

This is not a comprehensive list, which you can see on our California State Guide page.

stroke, traumatic brain injury and medical marijuana

2. The Freedom

Getting a California medical marijuana card means that you can carry up to 8 ounces of cannabis flower on your persons (although technically, it’s “as much as the patient requires”, but we’d advise being cautious!). Recreational users can buy up to a maximum of 1 ounce of cannabis flower or 8 grams of concentrate at a dispensary. There are also a greater number of laws protecting medical cannabis patients in California, with greater precedence and case history in state law. As the recreational market is stuck in a legal quagmire at the moment, it may be safer to have a MMJ recommendation and card when it comes to being hassled by the law.

3. Price: Quality Ratio

Whilst the state of California has started to implement lab testing of all products as standard, it is arguable that those dispensaries that are geared towards medical users are likely to be more stringent in their testing requirements and what products get in the dispensary. Ensuring that your meds are as pathogen-free (i.e. no mould, bacteria etc.) as possible is of utmost of importance for medical marijuana users. Whether recreational users will have the same quality of marijuana flower or concentrate remains to be seen.

Moreover, those with a valid MMJ card will save themselves at least some money on the Sales and Use portion of the tax, meaning they’ll likely get better-quality cannabis for a slightly lower price, at least in some parts of California. The Sales and Use tax usually ranges from 7.25% to 10% of the total price of cannabis. Medical patients are not exempt from excise and local taxes on cannabis.

Whilst the amounts saved are not huge for the casual (likely recreational), they can be quite modest when added up over the course of the year and if you’re in regular need of cannabis. This is on top of all the special weekday and happy hour deals that dispensaries put on for medical marijuana patients. Rest assured, there are plenty of reasons why recreational users may look on with envy at medical marijuana users! (Of course, they should be thankful they’re not sick enough to require one for the moment, though they may well do when they’re older and starting to get rickety knees!)

Technically, you don’t need a MMJ card to buy marijuana legally in California. However, getting one can save you some money, potentially some legal headaches and can get you more accurate advice on your medical needs and requirements.


Written by
Dipak Hemraj
Dipak Hemraj

Dipak Hemraj is a published author, grower, product maker, and Leafwell’s resident cannabis expert. From botany & horticulture to culture & economics, he wishes to help educate the public on why cannabis is medicine (or a “pharmacy in a plant”) and how it can be used to treat a plethora of health problems. Dipak wants to unlock the power of the plant, and see if there are specific cannabinoid-terpene-flavonoid profiles suitable for different conditions.

Leafwell medical marijuana card

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