Why Would I Use Medical Cannabis When My State Is Legal
For Recreational Use?
There are 18 states plus the District of Columbia where recreational cannabis is legal, with more legalizing every day. One might wonder if this spells the end of the medical cannabis market. My opinion? I really hope not! There are many reasons why.
One of the biggest differentiators between medical and recreational cannabis products is the variety of purpose in its use, or at least society’s impression of them. There is a meme circulating that says “All dogs are therapy dogs, only most of them aren’t certified.” This refers to the fact that most of us come to our dogs for affection, and distraction, when we are feeling stressed and upset. They always love us, they always approve. I believe the same is true about cannabis–all of cannabis use is medical, only most of it isn’t certified. If you had a terrible week and said that you were planning to go home and have a few drinks, everyone would understand. However many people would be judgmental and disapproving if someone stated they were going to go home and get “high”, despite the fact that cannabis is much safer and less toxic than alcohol. Also, medical cannabis, unlike recreational cannabis, can be prescribed for children and the elderly in measured, safe quantities of products. This is available because the FDA has approved a CBD-based liquid medication called Epidiolex® for the treatment of two forms of severe childhood epilepsy
The control of quality is a stricter and more controlled process in medical cannabis. Products are monitored closely for pesticides, heavy metals, and mold. The medical products are purer and safer. In medical cannabis, higher levels of potency are also allowed, with fewer restrictions on THC potency, and patients are allowed higher quantity doses.
The shopping experience for medical cannabis is also quite different than the recreational process. Medical cannabis is sold in medical clinics, where patients are seen one-at-a-time, and the sellers go through much more training and vetting, as well as being obligated to keep up with continuing education. There are trained professionals available for specific questions.
The most dramatic difference, however, between medical and recreational cannabis is in the cost. Medical cannabis is subjected to lower prices and lower taxes, and this can be quite significant. In Washington State, the difference is a 37% tax on every product sold recreationally! In Illinois, the difference is 30%. Recreational cannabis is often subject to excise taxes, often known as “sin taxes” which are also seen on things like gambling, pornography, alcohol and cigarettes. Even when these taxes are collected from the producers, the costs are passed on to patients through higher prices. In many states, medical cannabis growers are allowed to grow on a larger scale. And in some states, patients are allowed to grow their own plants, significantly cutting down the prices of use.
These are many of the factors to be considered when choosing whether to become a medical vs recreational cannabis patient. Once you consider all of the factors, I am sure that you will make the decision that works best for you. Please feel free to reach out to the Be Pain Free Global team for further guidance and suggestions.
*Further Research Information Available Below.