Recreational vs. Medical Cannabis – The Main Differences
As a consultant in the cannabis space, I often times get the same questions from people: Is my state legal? Can I apply for a dispensary? Can I purchase cannabis? What is the difference between recreational and medical cannabis? If there is a recreational program, why does a state still need their medical cannabis program? Well, I’ve put a list of main differences between a recreational vs. medical cannabis program and why we need both.
• Patients vs. Customers: To purchase medical cannabis as a patient, you will need to be registered as a medical cannabis patient within the state (unless the state allows for reciprocity). To purchase recreational cannabis, you will need to be 21 years or older.
• Taxes: You get taxed lower, purchasing medical cannabis as a patient rather than a customer. For example in Nevada, patients get taxed 2% while customers purchasing for recreational use get taxed 10%.
• Types of Products: In most states, the types of product a patient is allowed to purchase vs. a customer for recreational use are different. For example, patient accessible products tend to have higher percentages of THC.
• Possession Limit: Purchase limits for patients are higher vs. limits for a recreational purchase. For example, in Nevada, a patient’s purchase limit is 2.5 ounces/12 plants every 14 days. While a recreational purchaser’s limit is 1 ounce or less of marijuana or one-eighth of an ounce or less of concentrated marijuana (the separated resin, whether crude or purified, obtained from marijuana). One-eighth of an ounce of concentrate is not to exceed 1,750 milligrams of THC.
In conclusion, we look at cannabis as an alternative form of treatment, whether it is to treat symptoms you are suffering from chemotherapy as a cancer patient, or anxiety or insomnia, cannabis is medicine. The main differences with medical vs. recreational cannabis, caters to patient needs.