Medical marijuana is now commonly used for individuals suffering from chronic illnesses and diseases. While there continue to be clinical studies to discover more of what it can do, there’s evidence for the use of medical marijuana in childhood epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and more.
As of February 2022, 37 states allow the use of medical marijuana. Those who want to use it for their conditions are applying for a medical marijuana card. This article will discuss how you can activate and use it to gain access to medical marijuana.
What Is A Medical Marijuana Card?
According to Leafy DOC, marijuana has many potential uses, and it believes patients deserve medical cannabis. Through a doctor’s recommendation, qualified patients can get a state-issued medical marijuana card (MMJ) or grow cannabis plants for medical purposes. Medical marijuana is still federally illegal, but some states require patients to register for the Medical Marijuana Program (MMP) to get an MMJ.
Before applying for a card, it’s vital to validate your condition with MMP-registered healthcare providers, as they’re the ones who can facilitate access to the registry. States have different lists of conditions that qualify sick individuals. In some, adults with epilepsy, Parkinson’s disease, chronic pancreatitis, cancer, fibromyalgia, and other debilitating conditions can qualify.
How To Best Utilize Your MMJ Card
Remember that not all dispensaries are equal because some might not be authorized to sell marijuana products. Dispensaries participating in the medical marijuana program are licensed to operate in compliance with state laws regarding cannabis use.
If a cannabis retail shop attracts your attention, you can check online if the business has a license to operate as a cannabis dispensary. For example, the official website of the State of California includes a webpage where you can search for licensed marijuana businesses in the Department of Cannabis Control section.
After checking, here’s how you can use your card:
- Head Over To The Dispensary
The adult patient or caregiver must carry the MMJ and government-issued ID card to buy cannabis products and help verify that you’re at least 21 years old. The staff must confirm that you’re a valid medical marijuana patient. The patient ID number is on your card, listing you as registered for the medical marijuana program.
Registered caregivers will need their Medical Use of Marijuana registration card or something similar in your state if the dispensary staff requires it. Caregivers can care for multiple patients depending on their state and carry as much as a 60-day supply.
Budtenders also use the card to swipe and track how much medical marijuana buyers obtain from their shop. Some states keep track of medical marijuana possession with your phone number instead of the card. It’s how the dispensaries keep track of your weekly or monthly allotment to ensure they won’t sell you any excess medical marijuana. Your marijuana purchase is continuously tracked as long as you’re a medical marijuana patient.
- Familiarize Yourself With The Penalties For MMJ Misuse
Dispensaries engaging in the unlawful sale and transport of marijuana can earn six months in jail and a penalty of USD$500. They can also be charged with a felony offense for deliberately selling to minors without an MMJ.
At the same time, patients and caregivers who misuse their MMJ privileges, such as selling personal medical marijuana, also face punishments such as spending time in prison over a year or a USD$2,500 fine, or both.
If medical patients share or gift their medical marijuana to someone else, they can be fined up to USD$150 for the first offense. The second offense will have them paying up to USD$500 and serving up to 60 days of jail time.
Penalties will vary per state, which you must research to be informed.
- Know Where Your MMJ Is Accepted
If you’re out of state and ran out of medical cannabis, it’s best to know which states will accept your MMJ. Here are the following:
- New Hampshire
- New Mexico
- New Jersey
- Rhode Island
- Washington D.C.
- West Virginia
Remember to research the states where your MMJ is accepted. The MMJ is primarily for purchasing medical marijuana in your local state. Still, other states will allow visiting patients to buy marijuana out-of-state with a medical cannabis visitor card.
Georgia, Iowa, and New Hampshire are other states that don’t allow out-of-state patient purchases. Some states only require you to have an MMJ. Always ensure that your MMJ is updated when using it to purchase locally or out-of-state.
Benefits Of Medical Marijuana Card
Once you receive the MMJ, you can head to the nearest dispensary to buy the prescribed strain or product. The card will also allow you to purchase products in bulk or access higher doses of THC, depending on the state. Here are other perks of having an MMJ:
- Leafy DOC states that you can get medicinal marijuana in various forms, such as oils and tinctures, topicals, pills, sprays, and dried strains. You can get it from your assigned marijuana caregivers registered with the Medical Marijuana Program.
- Also, MMJ cardholders have more dispensaries to shop at in different locations. Some areas allow out-of-state patients to shop at their medical dispensaries with the card. This benefit gives you access to more products and places to find strains if one dispensary runs out.
- The MMJ also allows higher medical possession limits for various states. Here are some examples:
- California – up to 8 oz of dried cannabis
- Delaware – 3 oz of usable marijuana every 14 days and up to 6 oz monthly
- Georgia – 20 oz of low-THC oil
- Louisiana – 30-day supply of medical marijuana
- Minnesota – maximum of a 90-day supply
- Patients or caregivers with the Medical Marijuana Program can also cultivate marijuana plants. Home cultivation is only allowed for patients and caregivers ages 21 and above. Patients under 18 must have caregivers aged 21 and over to grow marijuana plants on their behalf. In New York state, it’s allowed to grow 12 plants (a combination of six mature and six immature) per residence. Maine residents can grow as many as 3 mature, 12 immature plants and unlimited seedlings.
An MMJ isn’t mandatory, but it can offer many advantages for patients who take the time to register for the medical marijuana program. It can be easier for patients and caregivers to access particular strains that other dispensaries have. They must only abide by the laws and rules to enjoy these benefits.
A medical marijuana card can give you access to medical marijuana by first qualifying for the Medical Marijuana Program. You can look for services like Leafy DOC, which will help match you with a qualified marijuana doctor. Register for the program to receive your card. You can use the card to purchase higher quantities of marijuana and products with higher THC content, depending on your state. Adult patients with capabilities can also grow cannabis plants. But caregivers of legal age of incapacitated adult patients and patients who are minors can cultivate cannabis plants on their behalf.