California was the first state to legalize medical marijuana in 1996. As of 2018, marijuana was officially legalized for recreational use in the state. Californians and tourists with qualifying conditions can walk into marijuana dispensaries and purchase marijuana.

As a result, most users often question the need for applying for or renewing their medical marijuana card. Here are five benefits of having a medical marijuana card even with recreational marijuana legalized in the state.

1. Save on State and Local Taxes

Being a medical marijuana patient can save you hundreds of dollars in the long run. Taxes for recreational use attract higher state and local taxes through a 15% excise levy and additional sales taxes. Having a medical marijuana card can save you up to 25% of your purchases as the taxes don’t usually apply for medical use. Over time, these savings can allow you to buy more of your favorite strain at a lower cost.

2. Better Dispensary Access

The issuing of licenses for recreational marijuana dispensaries has been pretty slow. According to data from the California Bureau of Cannabis Control, the state has 358 licensed recreational weed stores in operation. This is approximately five times less the number of medical marijuana dispensaries. With most cannabis delivery services and online stores requiring you to have an MMJ card, it may limit your options. With a California medical card, you can access any Santa Rosa dispensary for your purchase, including Sonoma Patient Group.

3. Lower Age Requirement

Recreational users in the state need to be 21 years of age before legally buying marijuana from approved marijuana dispensaries. The age requirement for getting a California cannabis medical card is 18 years. If you are between 18 and 21, getting a medical marijuana card can make it easier to access cannabinoid products to alleviate your pain.

4. Additional Legal Protection to Carry

According to the new California recreational laws, you are restricted to carry only 1 oz of marijuana. You are also restricted to growing six mature or 12 immature plants. With a medical marijuana card, you can carry up to 8 oz of cannabis. Having the MMJ card can give you peace of mind as you head out with marijuana in your possession.

5. Access to Cleaner, More Potent Strains

Most marijuana dispensaries subject medical cannabis strains to more testing and verification than buds for recreational use due to the stringent regulations on medical use. You can also access an incredible range of products varying in strength, THC and CBD ratios, and potency. A medical card allows you to buy much stronger strains than those for recreational use.

While the new California cannabis laws make it legal to buy weed for recreational use, you shouldn’t dump your medical marijuana card yet. It may only take you as little as 15 minutes to attain your approval for a physician’s recommendation. You can access much better marijuana varieties as you save money. To learn more about cannabis products and which strains are best for your medical conditions, contact Sonoma Patient Group today.