We all know that 2018 will be a year for the books — recreational marijuana sales go into effect and change the landscape of the Los Angeles cannabis scene forever. But the million dollar question heard ‘round LA is, “Do I still need a medical card?” and the answer is entirely contingent upon your needs and desires as a cannabis user.
Taxes are going up. That’s the number one thing that we all need to accept and move forward accordingly. Recreational sales mean anyone 21+ can come into a (legal) dispensary and purchase cannabis…just in smaller doses. The total amount of cannabis allotted per person, recreationally, is 1 ounce; medical marijuana card holders can have up to 9 ounces and only need to be 18 years old. So if you’re 18-20 and want to buy your own bud, get a card. You can legally gift someone with a California ID cannabis, however, you cannot sell to them. Recreational users can also grow up to 6 plants, but you cannot consume anywhere except a private residence and without a medical card you will need to be 21+.
Do you like those mega-dosed edibles and topicals? Those will be reserved for card holders, as the maximum milligrams allowed in edibles for recreational consumers will be 100 milligrams broken down into ten 10 milligram doses. If you’re a 10mg and under edible user, that’s great for you! If you’re a heavy hitter and need 25+ per dose, recreational is not going to be your jam. The maximum concentrates allowed in possession is 8 grams. Plus! The taxes that recreational consumers will pay may be 14-16% higher than medical marijuana patients (this number may vary as policies are implemented around the city, contingent upon each neighborhood’s approval or denial of recreational sales). You’ll start seeing shops separating products into recreational and medical, so a visual disparity will let you know if just using your ID will be enough for you.
If you got your medical marijuana card prior to January 1, 2018 you are grandfathered in to that cheap, cheap doctor’s recommendation letter and those sweet, sweet top shelf edibles and huge bud quantities. As with any business that gains credibility and notice from the local government, these clinics that dispense medical marijuana recommendations will be hit with higher taxes as well — therefore, so will you. Expect your medical cards to start costing at least $100 more (just ask anyone who lives in Nevada about these steep prices!), but it will still pay off in the long run by keeping your visits to the shop less expensive and allowing you to purchase the medicine to which you’ve become accustomed.
TL;DR — a medical card will save you money on extra taxes in the long run and keep you protected as a legitimate medical patient. If you sometimes buy enough ounces of bud to fill a room up like Scrooge McDuck did before swimming in his gold coins, well, you’ll want that medical card so you have the freedom to buy pretty much as much as you want. And if you like to fly to space with those edibles, or just need a really strong dose to feel something, you’ll want that medical card. If you’re a micro-doser and/or infrequent cannabis user, that driver’s license should suffice for you.
We have some cards in the lobby guiding you to local clinics! Stop by and grab one or email us if you have any questions. We’re looking forward to serving both recreational consumers and medical marijuana patients as one of the rare, fully legal cannabis dispensaries in Los Angeles.
(CORRECTION 12/14/17: The original article stated that The Higher Path & other legal dispensaries in Los Angeles would be ready for recreational consumers come January 2nd, 2018; however, because dispensaries must wait until their temporary license has been processed by the city to begin accepting recreational consumers, we will continue to serve only medical patients until the date that our temporary license has been approved by the city of Los Angeles. We will continue to keep you updated on our recreational status, but please feel free to email email@example.com with any questions you may have!)
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