Common Differences Between Medical Vs. Recreational Marijuana

With states continuing to jump on the recreational marijuana bandwagon, you may be wondering what the difference between medical and recreational cannabis is. Let us explain. Spark a joint, light a dab and cue the reggae music, it’s time to get educated with our guide to what the F is going on: The Rec Versus Medical Edition.

Do Medical Patients and Rec Users Have Access to the Same Bud and Concentrates?

One may think that budtenders store the good stuff for medical patients in a special golden treasure chest out back, but that’s simply not the case at all. Everyone has the right to the very best cannabis this great country has to offer. The industry doesn’t hate and it definitely doesn’t discriminate. Nothing is different between the products offered, everything is grade “A” flower, edibles, and concentrates and the potency of the products don’t differ whether you’re a medical patient or recreational user.

Do Purchase Limits Differ for Medical Versus Recreational?

There’s a lot of misconceptions on this one so we’re glad to finally clear it up. The answer is that everyone can purchase up to an ounce of flower or ⅛ ounce of concentrates (oil, wax, shatter) per day. It doesn’t make a difference if you medicate or just want to get lifted, you have the exact same daily restrictions. There’s currently no official system that keeps track between dispensaries in regards to how much cannabis you purchase per day, so technically (if you wanted to) you could go to every dispensary and purchase up to an ounce and nobody would stop you. But remember, you can only carry what the law states, so if you plan to go from shop to shop, make sure that you don’t have more than the max amount permitted in your possession or you’ll risk jail time.

Are There Separate Lines at Dispensaries For Medical Patients? 

This depends on the dispensary. Many dispensaries have two lines at check in to differentiate between medical and recreational customers. These practices help the check-in process flow smoother, and help the intake staff to keep record of medical cards and any other documentation that they need to process to keep medical files up- to-date and compliant.

What’s the Deal With Taxes?

One thing that definitely differs are the tax rates. 32% of what rec users pay will include taxes with a large portion of that going to the city’s Rainy Day Fund. A lot of the recreational  taxes are built into the retail price (such as the 15% cultivation tax), so you won’t notice it all outlined on your receipt. What you will see on your receipt for rec users is 18.25% taxes and for medical users it will be 8.25% taxes. Although a 10% difference may seem harsh at first glance, remember that some people require medical cannabis for serious illnesses and medical conditions in order to improve the quality of their lives due to pain and discomfort, cancer, epilepsy, PTSD and for many other reasons. If you think about it, the high tax rates aren’t so bad and they’ll be helping Las Vegas improve the community—-and if it bothers you so much just light up a fattie and allow the stress to melt away because it’s finally legal to do that and that’s a big step in right direction. 

Do the Age Restrictions Differ?

In the state of Nevada, there is no age limit to obtain a medical marijuana card pending you are diagnosed with an approved debilitating or chronic condition by your doctor. If you happen to be under the age of 21, your designated primary caregiver will need to be established and you will need to have a “minor release” signed as part of the process to obtain your medical card. If you are a rec user, you must present a valid government ID showing that you are at least 21 years old in order to purchase from a dispensary.

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