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Possible Benefits of Having a Medical Marijuana Card in an Adult Use State

With each state's laws varying to some degree, medical cardholders and applicants are advised to review state and local regulations.

This story originally appeared on The Fresh Toast

State medical marijuana programs tend to suffer as adult use laws are passed. While much of the purchasing shifts to what is commonly called the recreational market, the medical sector still serves its purpose. In fact, medical cardholders can continue to find benefits in being part of the program, depending on a state’s laws.

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Considering the following benefits, patients may find use in the medical cards well after adult use laws pass in a state.

RELATED: Yes, Medical Cannabis Works. So Why Deny the Anecdotal Evidence?

Priority Over Adult Use

Having a medical marijuana license may also provide a patient with increased priority.

Unlike an adult use consumer, medical cannabis patients should not have to wait to obtain their medicine. That is the stance of states like Illinois and Nevada, which allow patients to avoid lines that can sometimes wrap around dispensaries, taking hours to get through. When in such states, patients are recommended to inform a staff member for medical patient access.

Additionally, Illinois prioritizes its cannabis supply for the medical market. When the state’s adult use market opened its market on January 1, 2020, Illinois soon saw a shortage of cannabis. However, due to its laws, medical patients were spared the drought.

RELATED: Study Links Medical Marijuana to Fewer Traffic Fatalities


Individual states provide tax breaks for medical cardholders. In some cases, patients may receive relief on pricey charges applied to retail sales and additional excise taxes. In other states, medical ID holders don’t pay taxes at all.

Underage Recreational Shop Access

Qualified patients are allowed to enter and purchase products from retail stores. Without a medical card, consumers typically must wait until they are 21, or at least 18.

Keep in mind that access comes with additional parameters. An underage patient can’t enter a dispensary on their own or make a purchase without the accompaniment of their guardian or designated caregiver.

RELATED: Managing Medical Marijuana in the Workplace

Stronger Potency Products

In some cases, medical patients require more cannabis than the allowed dosage for recreational products. Doing so cuts down on the amount a patient has to buy and consume to reach the relief they seek from their medicine. With a card, certain states waive caps on purchasing as well as giving medical patients access to products the recreational market can’t buy.

With each state’s laws varying to some degree, medical cardholders and applicants are advised to review state and local regulations.