Now that recreational marijuana use is legal in California, do you still need a medical marijuana card? The answer is yes, no, and maybe. Here’s why.
Recreational Pot Won’t Be Available for Sale Until 2018
That’s right. While it’s legal to possess and smoke recreational marijuana, there are still bureaucratic hurdles at play that prevent immediate purchase.
Specifically, the Bureau of Marijuana Control has until January 1, 2018 to begin issuing for-sale marijuana business licenses. So from now until 2018, the government will be issuing licenses and there likely won’t be any recreational marijuana retailers to purchase from until after this date.
But don’t despair, you can still continue acquiring pot legally until 2018 by way of your MMJ card. A medical marijuana card is easy to get and well worth it until dispensaries are more widely available.
What Happens After 2018?
Let’s fast forward to 2018. Recreational pot dispensaries are on every street corner – do you still need your MMJ card? No. You can now legally walk into any marijuana retailer to buy edibles, buds, CBD products, and more. But do you still WANT an MMJ card – maybe.
There are advantages to having a medical marijuana card, even with recreational use fully legalized and available for sale. If California is to follow in Colorado’s legalization footsteps, then possessing an MMJ card may offer you some advantages: (via MassRoots)
- Grow more plants, or assign a caretaker to grow them for you.
- Pay less in taxes.
- Choose from a greater variety of bud.
- Bud and edibles available to medical patients can be much more potent.
- Purchase up to two ounces at once, instead of just one.
Yes, you will need a medical marijuana card from now until 2018 if you wish to enjoy marijuana legally.
No, you will not need a medical marijuana card once recreational dispensaries legally obtain their business licences and are open for business.
But maybe, you’ll still want an MMJ card even after 2018 for extra benefits like wider product variety, bigger purchases, and stronger products.