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Recreational Legalization Won’t Make Medical Marijuana Cards Obsolete

NuggMD logo Presented By NuggMD November 21, 2017
Doctor medical marijuana recommendation
Consulting with a physician to get a medical marijuana card can still be worthwhile for California cannabis patients. (francisblack/iStock)
Sponsored by Nugg MD, the nation’s leading telemedicine platform for cannabis, with over 100,000 patients served.

With cannabis laws changing faster than ever, it’s natural to have questions about how these changes will affect patients who have long used medical marijuana for a variety of conditions. Do you still need a medical marijuana card in 2018? Will you be able to find nearby medical marijuana doctors? How is the process for conducting a medical marijuana evaluation going to change?

An Evolving Situation

In November 2016, California voters passed Proposition 64, legalizing recreational cannabis use for adults. Anyone over the age of 21 in California can now possess up to one ounce of cannabis or eight grams of cannabis concentrate. Adults can also transport, obtain, and give cannabis away to other adults, so long as no money is exchanged.

With a market transformation due in 2018 when further changes take effect, it’s a great time to brush up on the law and services that can help you navigate this evolving ecosystem. After all, both medical and recreational consumers look to cannabis to relieve stress, not increase it.

Medical Marijuana Cards Aren’t Going Out of Style

Despite the continuing evolution of adult-use laws across the United States, a medical marijuana card can still come in handy and ensure your access to cannabis for any qualifying condition. That’s important, because the wheels of legislation turn slowly. And thanks to telemedicine services like NuggMD, the process of getting approved for a medical cannabis card near you is easier than ever.

medical cannabis card doctor consultation

Patients using cannabis as part of treatment can consult with a physician to maintain their medical marijuana card. (sturti/iStock)

California dispensaries are not allowed to make recreational sales until licenses start being issued in January 2018. This means that, depending on where you live, it could be months before recreational cannabis is easily available. Whether you get it from a family physician or a licensed doctor online, having a local medical cannabis recommendation in 2018 guarantees that patients using medical marijuana have unchanged access to the products, dosages, prices, and dispensary locations they’re accustomed to.

There are also some handy fringe benefits to keeping your card current, like the tax-exempt status of medical marijuana. Under Prop 64, recreational cannabis retailers will be taxed by the state, and that’s before considering local city or county taxes that could drive prices up further. Recreational consumers are poised to pay more than medical marijuana patients, with the possibility of even higher taxes down the line.  

Under Prop 64, adults are only allowed to possess up to one ounce of marijuana. But medical cannabis card holders are exempt from this restriction. California’s medical marijuana laws place no limit to the amount of cannabis patients can possess, though the amount has to be reasonable for their condition.

Medical marijuana patients in California also have no limit to the amount of plants they can home grow within reason, unless local governments enact their own laws. In contrast, recreational consumers can cultivate just six plants.

How to Get a California Medical Marijuana Card Near You Today

California’s Proposition 215 has long established a wide array of ailments and conditions “for which marijuana provides relief.” Since its passage in 1996, the state has made it reasonable for anyone 18 or older with proof of US residency to access medical marijuana to treat a variety of illnesses, including (but definitely not limited to) chronic pain, depression, and insomnia.

To access these treatments, patients first need to get a valid medical marijuana card, which they can do in a couple different ways. If you have a primary physician or family doctor, they can issue a medical cannabis recommendation based on your qualifying symptoms or conditions.

If you don’t have a family doctor, or don’t want to consult with them about these options, you can visit a local physician specializing in medical marijuana evaluations. While there are many doctors in the Golden State that fit this bill, it still requires a trip to the doctor’s office, which is nobody’s idea of a good time.

Telemedicine, Delivery, and More

medical marijuana telemedicine appointment

Telemedicine services like NuggMD can make it easy to consult with a physician from your home. (kupicoo/iStock)

Got better things to do than hang around a doctor’s office? Don’t worry—there’s a third option, too. Use a telemedicine service like NuggMD and you won’t even have to conduct a search for “medical marijuana evaluations near me.” Instead, you can consult with a California medical marijuana doctor online from the comfort of your home. The process takes about 10 minutes, costs less than an eighth, and there’s no risk; if you don’t get approved, you don’t pay a thing.

If you’re not leaving the house for a doctor’s appointment, why would you leave it to go to a dispensary? Marijuana delivery services like Nugg (NuggMD’s sister company) can deliver your medical (and soon recreational) cannabis products right to your door. Enter your address to get a list of local dispensaries, in-stock products, competitive prices, and reviews before placing your order. And no worries if you’re not California-based—medical marijuana patients on the east coast can take advantage of telemedicine, too, with NuggMD launching recently in New York.

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  • Mikhaila Weber

    I’d keep my card because the tax for recreational marijuana is too high. Got mine at onlinemedicalcard

    • Really


  • johnny truelove

    I live in Georgia and have been on high doses of pain medication for years. I have found out in Denver Colorado that eating a medical grade of cannabis helps me very well with my pain and nerve issues too. I will call it a medication from God that man has found good values in for several different types of issues with human health problems. We must make this available to all people that can benefit from it. The pain pills are killing me but without them I can’t function as some what normal human being. This must be addressed to the right people. I don’t want to die to soon, but these meds. have me on that track!

    • brewd dude

      Johnny Truelove, if you have not heard of Kratom you may want to Google it as it is incredible alternative pain management for opiates. It itself is not an opiate and in fact is related to the coffee plant but it’s components have an affinity for the same receptors as opiates so provide the same relief without some of the awful side effects. Many many people who don’t enjoy the side effects of opiates have successfully used kratom as well as many many opiate and heroin abusers have been able to kick the habit due to kratoms incredible ability cut withdrawal by as much as 80% and even more. Don’t take my word for it look it up yourself. The only caveat being the DEA is currently trying to eliminate it siding absolutely false claims in order to push their agenda protecting big Pharma. Just like marijuana they created ungodly amounts of propaganda that was sheer nonsense and classified it as a schedule 1 substance meaning it has no medicinal value yet if you search patents you will find the government created the synthetic version of marijuana, patented it it is still for sale and then used today under the name of sativex. Now why in the world would they patent a synthetic version of THC if it has no medicinal value? The answer to that question is that you cannot patent a plant hence the sneaky creation of the synthetic patentable version of the plant. Then classified as a schedule 1 drug so nobody can grow it or research it yet all along they turned it into a profitable synthetic medication unbeknownst to most. Well they are trying to do the same thing to kratom. Sources tell me they have already patented mitragynine, the main component that provides pain relief and now are in a rush to make it illegal as quickly as possible. I have not been able to confirm the patent information as of yet but you can rest assured that is highly likely what is happening at the moment. Best of luck with your pain management. I too have pain issues but I’m not keen on how the pain medication affects my overall ability chipper format previous levels. I was absolutely amazed when I first discovered kratom. I had had a few prior experiences where I was unable to get my regular pain medicine for up to a week due to tightened restrictions. After going through the experience of withdrawal more than once I became very motivated not to experience that again. Kratom was the result of much research. I was absolutely skeptical but thankfully I thought I’ve got nothing to lose. Little did I know it would enable me to get off all my pain medications and feel human again. If they manage to take away this very special plant with proven bogus skewed data my levels of disappointment will be extreme has the last thing on earth I want to do is go back on pain medicines which kill thousands of people yearly. I will leave you with this one example of skewed data they are currently using:
      Kratom deaths having increased by 300 percent since 2010. Alarming Right?
      What they don’t tell you is the deaths went from a total of 12 to 36. (300%)
      Also what they don’t tell you is that not a single Kratom death was from Kratom alone. Every instance involved kratom with some other drug or alcohol-related substance. So, though Kratom deaths did increase 300% it’s a meaningless figure in the big picture as opiates kill over 15,000 people a year and is increasing rapidly not to mention I’m sure those numbers are under reported as complete b******* propaganda seems to be their tactic of choice. All the best to you.

  • mjoinsd

    In San Diego, have recommendation from MD already – how do I get actual card?

    onlinemedicalcard btw – is a bogus card – NOT the one for tax exempt status. It is only a card form of your dr recommendation. You may as well bring your 8 x 11 1/2 sheet and save the money.

    • Amanda Boyd

      You don’t actually need a ‘card’. It’s the doctors paper recommendation with an embossed seal and doctors signature. No dispensary wants to see a card, they want to see the actual paper recc.

  • Rob Watson

    One more unmentioned reason to keep your medical card is for travelling. Florida is a reciprocal state, meaning you can use your legal MMJ card from another state and purchase from a Florida medical dispensary. Please, the laws here are new and changing, so please verify this and DO NOT RELY ON MY SHADY (at best) MEMORY

  • Jan

    From what i understand your doctors recommendation letter (with sealed stamp) won’t mean you are considered a patient and “tax exempt” after 2018 hits, you actually must be issued a state card (MMIC) In order for it to be acceptable at any dispensary in CA, and be considered a medical Patient w/ tax exemption, the cards are issued by your local state health department and I’m assuming that you can use your doctors recommendation to apply for it (but don’t quote me on that, I’m still trying to get those details) cost to apply is non refundable $100, if you have medi-cal or proof of state assistance then Your only charged $50 to apply. It is definitely beneficial to have one if you don’t want to feel the hit on the increase we are about to pay out.

  • W Mason

    Do you ever discuss other states’ laws, like NJ?