Discover the Benefits of Having a Medical Marijuana Card in States With Recreational Cannabis

By   |  February 23, 2024 

The legalization of recreational marijuana is spreading like wildfire across the states. And it is terrific! So, it begs the question, is a medical marijuana card still useful in a recreational state?

By the end of this page, you will have the answers to these questions:

  • What are the benefits of a medical marijuana card in a recreational state?
  • Medical vs recreational marijuana: How do they compare?
  • How do I get a medical marijuana card?

Is a medical marijuana card still worth it after the availability of recreational weed? The short answer is–absolutely! At a glance, recreational marijuana seems like a convenient alternative. But, the benefits of a cannabis card are manifold, even in a recreational state. 

For instance, there is a significant price difference between medical and recreational cannabis. So, patients with a med card will save money in the long run. Additionally, medical cannabis is typically more potent than recreational products. As a result, medical marijuana, compared to recreational, works better to ease the symptoms of severe illnesses.

The benefits above are just a peek at what it means to have a cannabis card. Read on to understand why a medical marijuana card is still worth it, especially if you need MMJ to treat a medical condition.

States that have Legalized both Medical and Recreational Marijuana

As of February 2024, these 21 US states have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana.

A map showing states that have legalized both medical and recreational marijuana
  1. Alaska
  2. Arizona
  3. California
  4. Colorado
  5. Connecticut
  6. Delaware
  7. Illinois
  8. Maine
  9. Maryland
  10. Massachusetts
  11. Michigan 
  12. Missouri
  13. Montana
  14. New Jersey
  15. New Mexico
  16. New York
  17. Nevada
  18. Oregon
  19. Rhode Island
  20. Vermont
  21. Washington

Interestingly, besides legalizing recreational use, they have also maintained solid medical marijuana programs. A sign that medical marijuana is still very much sought after and beneficial.

Medical vs Recreational Weed

What is the importance of a medical marijuana card in a recreational state? Well, understanding the difference between medical and recreational weed should answer that.

Medical and recreational weed are two entirely different things, although they may look identical. First, patients use medical marijuana to treat various ailments. Conversely, people use recreational cannabis for leisure. 

Secondly, a healthcare professional usually recommends medicinal cannabis. On the other hand, anyone over 21 can buy recreational weed without a prescription. 

Moreover, patients with a medical marijuana card can access weed strains specifically engineered to serve their medical needs. The potency, ingredients, and breeds used in medical cannabis may differ from those used in recreational cannabis.

Although the two look similar, their uses and legal regulations differ notably.

Cannabis Card Benefits

Medical marijuana cards offer a multitude of benefits for those seeking cannabis products for medical reasons.

1. Access to High-Quality Cannabis Products with Greater Potency

Medical marijuana cardholders have a clear advantage when it comes to cannabis products. With a medical card, you can access an extensive range of cannabis products. Moreover, these products are tailor-made to serve your specific medical needs. 

The THC levels in medical and recreational cannabis products differ significantly. MMJ offers greater potency and more effective relief for those suffering from various conditions. Its focus on purity, efficacy, and safety sets it apart from recreational cannabis. And regulatory agencies and licensed dispensaries closely monitor these factors. So, you can buy products with greater efficacy while still being safe.

The benefit of having a medical marijuana card is unmistakable; you can enhance your medical treatment options through potent MMJ options.

2. Cost Savings and Tax Exemptions – The Price Difference Between Medical and Recreational Cannabis

Another notable benefit of getting a medical weed card is the cost savings and tax exemptions that come with it. Medical marijuana is often less expensive than recreational marijuana due to the difference in taxes.

By taking advantage of tax exemptions and discounts offered by licensed dispensaries, cardholders can save money on their cannabis purchases. And, in certain states, for example, New York, insurance may cover the costs associated with medical marijuana.

In Pennsylvania, eligible patients can receive a $50 monthly benefit to help ease the cost burden through the PA Medical Marijuana Assistance Program.

So, because of the price difference between medical and recreational weed, cardholders enjoy access to more affordable cannabis.

3. Enhanced Legal Protection

One of the benefits of having a medical marijuana card is the enhanced legal protection patients enjoy. Cardholders can buy and use cannabis without fear of legal repercussions. Additionally, a med card protects you from prosecution by law enforcement; as long as you are using cannabis within the boundaries of the law.

Medical users even enjoy more protection than recreational users on employment-related issues. While some states have legalized recreational weed, medical marijuana cardholders have an added layer of assurance.

4. Higher Possession Limits

People with a medical marijuana card can possess higher quantities of cannabis than their non-cardholding counterparts. And this is especially beneficial for those who need larger doses of cannabis to treat chronic conditions. 

Even in recreational states, the possession limits for non-cardholders remain significantly lower. As a result, it would be difficult for those with chronic conditions to get the amount of medicine they need without an MMJ card.

5. Continuous Care by Healthcare Professionals Experienced in Cannabis Treatment

Having access to medical professionals who can track and recommend the best course of cannabis treatment is a significant benefit of having a medical marijuana card. 

Even in states where medical and recreational use is legal, a medical weed card ensures that you have a doctor who can guide you on how to get the most from your treatment. 

With the expertise and guidance of a healthcare practitioner, you’ll gain from the therapeutic benefits of medicinal cannabis much better than a recreational user would.

6. Lower Age Limits for Medical Marijuana

Another benefit of a medical marijuana card is the lower age limit for medical marijuana compared to recreational users. 

In states where both medical and recreational weed are legal, the cut-off age for recreational users is 21. However, patients aged 18 and above can access medical marijuana as adults. 

Additionally, minors (qualifying patients below 18 years of age) can also gain from the therapeutic benefits of MMJ. But a doctor, often a pediatrician, must acknowledge that cannabis therapy could aid them in their recovery and symptom management.

With a medical marijuana card, patients of all ages can experience the healing benefits of cannabis in a safe and regulated manner.

7. Access to Medical Marijuana in States that Accept Out-of-State Medical Cards

One of the key benefits of having a cannabis card is having access to medical marijuana in other states. 

While not all medical marijuana states accept out-of-state cards, many have reciprocity programs. That means you can use your card to buy medical marijuana in another state with a program in place. 

This benefit is exclusive to medical users. Recreational users cannot use or possess weed in states where only medical marijuana is legal.

Still, it is vital to understand the laws and regulations of the state you plan to visit before attempting to use MMJ there. Additionally, it is essential to note that crossing state lines with marijuana, even for medical purposes, is illegal.

States that Accept Out-of-state Medical Cards in 2024

Are you curious about what states allow out-of-state medical cards? Below is an updated list:

  1. Arizona
  2. Arkansas
  3. Hawaii
  4. Maine
  5. Michigan
  6. Mississippi
  7. Missouri
  8. Nevada
  9. New Hampshire
  10. New Jersey
  11. New Mexico
  12. Oklahoma
  13. Puerto Rico
  14. Rhode Island
  15. Utah
  16. Washington D.C.

Also important, the specifics and limitations of medical marijuana reciprocity can vary from state to state. So, it’s advisable to research and confirm the current laws and regulations of the state you intend to visit.

How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card

The process of getting a medical marijuana card varies across different states. But a common theme in all medical marijuana programs is patients need the approval of a licensed cannabis doctor first. 

Generally, the practitioner must determine whether medicinal cannabis could benefit the patient’s health. And whether the patient is ailing from a qualifying condition for a medical card in their state. After the doctor’s approval, the patient receives a medical marijuana certification. 

Depending on the state’s medical marijuana program, a patient can use this certification to apply for a medical marijuana card. Or use it to buy MMJ from licensed dispensaries.

Qualifying Conditions for a Medical Marijuana Card

In most medical marijuana states, patients must have a qualifying condition before receiving a med card. Typically, these conditions are chronic and debilitating. While the exact list of qualifying conditions varies from state to state, some common ones include:

Indeed, a list of qualifying conditions may seem restrictive. However, it is necessary to remember that medical marijuana is a relatively new treatment option. And research is ongoing to determine its efficacy for various health issues.

In a move towards broader access to medicinal cannabis, some states are eliminating their list of qualifying conditions. States like Maine, New York, Oklahoma, and Virginia, allow physicians to recommend cannabis for any illness if they believe it could benefit the patient.

This new approach allows for a more personalized and patient-centered approach to cannabis medicine minus a restrictive list of qualifying conditions. It’s a small step forward. But it may pave the way for a more inclusive approach to medicinal cannabis overall.

How to Get Approved for Medical Marijuana

Getting your doctor’s approval for medical marijuana may seem like an uphill task, but it is usually straightforward. 

With the rise of telemedicine, you can now consult with your doctor from the comfort of your home. Therefore, you don’t have to take time off work or worry about transportation. Many states now allow this option, which means you can meet your doctor online and get your certification after a video call in minutes. 

And if you’re already a certified patient, you can renew your medical marijuana card in the same way. With telehealth, obtaining or renewing your medical marijuana card has never been easier or more convenient.

Are you looking to get your medical marijuana card quickly and easily? Quick Med Cards is the cheapest and fastest way to get your medical marijuana card. We are operational in the following states that allow telemedicine consultations for first-time med card applicants:

Quick Med Cards also has you covered in states that require in-person consultations. We provide our services in the following locations that call for physical appointments:

The Best Online Medical Marijuana Card Service

At Quick Med Cards, we take pride in being the provider of choice for patients getting their medical marijuana cards. Our healthcare professionals are compassionate and knowledgeable. And we ensure that each patient receives the most comprehensive care possible. Not only that, but we are often the cheapest medical marijuana card provider in every state we serve. 

However, what truly sets us apart is our relationship and trust with our patients. We understand the relief they seek and are committed to helping them achieve it quickly and easily. So, if you need a medical marijuana card, look no further than Quick Med Cards. Our process is simple:

  1. Fill out the information form and create your Quick Med Cards account.
  2. Book an appointment with a medical marijuana doctor near you.
  3. Attend your marijuana evaluation. (Either online or in-person, depending on the state you reside.)
  4. Get your medical marijuana certification.
  5. Register with your state’s medical marijuana program.
  6. Get your medical marijuana card.
  7. Buy medical cannabis products from any dispensary near you.

Key Takeaways

  • Medical marijuana is usually cheaper than recreational cannabis in most states due to lower taxes.
  • MMJ cards give patients access to more potent and high-quality cannabis products.
  • Cardholders enjoy enhanced legal protections in most recreational states.
  • Often, cardholders can buy and possess more cannabis than recreational users.
  • Medical cannabis users enjoy continuous care from healthcare professionals.
  • The age limit for medical marijuana is lower than that for recreational users.
  • Patients with MMJ cards have access to medical marijuana in states with reciprocity.


It’s easy to choose between medical and recreational marijuana when armed with enough information. Even in states with legalized recreational marijuana, the benefits of having a medical marijuana card are plentiful. 

For those with chronic conditions, 

  • the enhanced legal protection, 
  • access to high-potency cannabis products, 
  • cost savings, 
  • and higher possession limits that come with a cannabis card can make all the difference. 

Quick Med Cards is here to help you get your medical marijuana card swiftly and legally. So you can improve your overall health and wellbeing. Don’t hesitate to take advantage of the benefits of a medical marijuana card. Book an appointment with an MMJ doctor near you today!

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