Medical Cards in California

By Benji Garcia-Reyes

It’s 2018 and in California, any adult 21 years and older with a valid identification now has access to cannabis recreationally. However, the differences between recreational access and medical access are significant and include limited access to some products, limits in quantities, and price differences. The following are only a few reasons why everyone who is eligible should still get and always renew a California Prop. 215 Doctor’s recommendation:

Protection – The best reason to get and or renew a California medical marijuana recommendation is for legal protection. It allows patients to carry a larger personal amount than recreational users are allowed. According to Prop.64 “adults can legally possess/carry as much as 1-ounce of weed of the flower/bud or eight grams of concentrate such as oil, hash, and/or dabs,” but medical patients are allowed to carry no more than eight (8) ounces of dried marijuana at any given time, and no more than six (6) mature or twelve (12) immature plants at any given time.

Grown your Own – Patients can grow up to 6 mature plants OR 12 immature plants AND up to 8 ounces of processed cannabis flowers. Disciplined and dedicated patients can save on their much-needed but potentially costly medication. Like with the personal amount, patients can grow more (depending on their local laws and landlord permission.)

Discount – Patients with a medical marijuana card won’t have to pay retail sales tax on their purchases of medical cannabis, medical cannabis concentrate, edible medical cannabis products, and topical cannabis. The tax percentage ranges, but it can be up to 15%.

Variety and Quality – With some dispensaries limiting some recreational users on menu access— for example, not being able to purchase edibles or concentrates—a medical marihuana recommendation can give you full access to City-approved products of the best quality.