This is a question that I receive pretty often, and for good reason. Is getting a medical card still worth it? Below I’m listing a few reasons why it still pays to become a medical marijuana patient, even when recreational MJ is now becoming the norm. There are a few major reasons, named: monetary and access-related reasons, but right now the biggest and most pressing issue is patient welfare. As physicians, we put patients first- and safety is one of the most important reasons to become a medical patient for people with chronic medical conditions. What do we mean by safety? This leads us to our first reason:
1. Low-Contact Interactions
Illinois is allowing patients and caretakers to avoid having to enter dispensaries and receive their medications at curbside. Recreational patients still have to enter dispensaries per usual. This important change allows those most at risk, medical patients, to avoid having to go into enclosed areas and increase their exposure risk.
2. Virtual appointments/ telemedicine
COVID changes have also permitted physicians to certify patients by telemedicine. This is a huge step-up in convenience, and also allows for more social distancing. What separates a good telemedicine company from a great one is their HIPAA compliance- and we are secure 100% from booking until you receive your letter.
3. Less $ spent on taxes
Recreational marijuana enjoys a healthy tax that is, depending on the city, almost 40% higher than medical marijuana. Medical patients pay a local sales tax of 3.75% and a reduced state sales tax of 1%. Recreational patients pay local, state and federal taxes, along with additional purchaser taxes that vary by the strength of the product. For the same $100 purchase, a medical patient would pay $104.75. A rec patient? Almost $140!
4. Skip the lines
It’s typical, across the state, to have a long wait for a recreational purchase. This is due to the sparsity of dispensaries, and the social distancing requirements that exist due to COVID. Medical patients go to the front of the line, and have access to early-morning patient-only hours. If there is a limited supply of product, medical patients get first pick.
5. Fun Benefits
Medical patients get to grow plants at home!
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