Recreational Marijuana is Now Legal in Minnesota. Why Should I Get a Medical Marijuana Card?

By   |  February 23, 2024 

What is the point of getting a medical marijuana card in Minnesota? After all, recreational cannabis is legal in the 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 Minnesota?
  • What are the differences between medical and recreational marijuana in Minnesota?
  • How do I get a medical marijuana card in Minnesota?

Some of the benefits of getting a medical marijuana card in a recreational state like Minnesota include:

  • Access to cheaper marijuana
  • Higher possession limits
  • Continuous support from MMJ doctors in Minnesota

Quick Med Cards has helped thousands of patients in Minnesota get their medical cards. Their feedback on the benefits of a medical card was crucial in writing this post. We also spent hours studying the Minnesota marijuana laws to compare medical vs recreational cannabis in the state. Let’s take a closer look!

Recreational Marijuana in Minnesota Highlights

  • Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed the Cannabis Finance and Policy Bill (HF 100) on May 30, 2023. The bill legalized recreational marijuana for adults over 21 years old.
  • The new law will take effect from August 1, 2023, meaning Minnesotans aged 21 and over can legally possess, use, and grow marijuana at home.
  • The possession limits for recreational cannabis in Minnesota will be 2 pounds (0.9 kilograms) and 2 ounces (56 grams) at home and in public, respectively.
  • Additionally, recreational users will be limited to 800 milligrams of THC in gummies and other edibles, plus 8 grams of marijuana concentrate.
  • Adult-use cannabis will be subject to sales tax and a 10% cannabis tax. However, it may take a year before recreational marijuana is available from dispensaries.
  • The new law automatically expunges records of residents convicted of misdemeanor or petty misdemeanor possession. But it may take the Bureau of Criminal Apprehension until August of next year to process all cases.
  • Those with more serious convictions, for example, possession offenses that exceeded even the new limits, may apply for reduced sentences.

Understanding the Differences Between Recreational and Medical Marijuana

Before we dive into the benefits of having a medical marijuana card, let’s first explore the differences between recreational and medical marijuana. While both come from the same plant, they are used for distinct purposes and have different regulations.

Legal Age and Purchase Limits

One of the main differences between recreational and medical marijuana is the legal age and purchase limits. In Minnesota, recreational use will only be permitted for individuals over 21. However, individuals over 18 and qualifying minors are eligible for cannabis treatment.

It’s also worth noting that those with a Minnesota Med card will have higher purchasing and possession limits than recreational users. This is because medical marijuana patients often require larger quantities of cannabis to manage their symptoms.

Product Potency and Availability

Another noteworthy difference between recreational and medical marijuana is product potency and availability. Medical marijuana is often more potent than recreational marijuana and is specifically cultivated for its medicinal properties. As a result, medical marijuana patients can receive a higher concentration of the compounds beneficial for treating their specific condition.

Additionally, medical marijuana patients have access to numerous products and strains that may not be available to recreational users. This is because medical marijuana dispensaries often carry a more diverse selection of products to cater to the specific needs of their patients.

Taxes and Differences in Pricing

Recreational marijuana is often subject to additional taxes and higher pricing than medical marijuana. And it will be no different in Minnesota. Once recreational cannabis is available commercially, it will be subject to sales tax and an additional 10% cannabis tax. MMJ, on the other hand, is considered a medical treatment and is exempt from state sales tax. As a result, it is a more affordable treatment option for patients who require cannabis to manage their symptoms.

It’s important to note that the cost of medical marijuana can still be a barrier for some patients, as insurance companies do not cover the cost of medical marijuana treatments. However, many medical marijuana dispensaries offer discounts to help make treatment more accessible for those who need it.

Benefits of Having a Medical Marijuana Card in Minnesota

Now that we have explored the differences between recreational and medical marijuana, let’s dive into the benefits of having a Minnesota medical marijuana card.

Access to Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

One of the most significant benefits of having a medical marijuana card is access to medical marijuana dispensaries. Medical marijuana is already well established in Minnesota, and there are several dispensaries where med card holders can buy MMJ. However, it will take a while before recreational marijuana is available in Minnesota. Estimates suggest Minnesotans may have to wait up to a year before they can purchase recreational cannabis from licensed dispensaries.

Minnesota medical marijuana dispensaries offer a wide variety of products, including edibles, tinctures, and topicals, in addition to traditional cannabis flower. Patients can also find products with specific ratios of THC and CBD, allowing for more precise treatment options. Dispensaries often have a welcoming and supportive environment where patients can ask questions and receive guidance from experienced staff members.

Consultation with Medical Professionals

Medical marijuana patients get to benefit from consultations with medical professionals who can help them develop treatment plans to manage their conditions effectively. These consultations can include ongoing monitoring and adjustments to treatment plans to ensure patients receive the most effective treatment possible.

Medical professionals can also advise on the best consumption methods for each patient’s unique needs. For example, patients with respiratory issues may benefit from using vaporizers or edibles instead of smoking cannabis flower. Healthcare practitioners can also help patients understand potential interactions with other medications and provide guidance on dosing and frequency of use.

Lower Costs and Tax Exemptions

As aforementioned, medical marijuana patients are exempt from state sales tax and may qualify for other cost-saving programs. These savings can add up, making medical marijuana a more affordable treatment option than recreational marijuana in the long run.

In addition to tax exemptions, Minnesota is currently phasing out the $200 state registration fee for the medical marijuana card starting July 1, 2023. So, the cost of being a medical marijuana patient is considerably lower, and treatment becomes more accessible for those who need it most.

Higher Possession Limits

Medical marijuana patients can possess higher limits of cannabis products than recreational users. This is an important consideration for patients who require larger quantities of cannabis to manage their conditions effectively.

Higher possession limits can also provide peace of mind for patients who rely on medical marijuana for daily symptom management.

Qualifying Conditions for a Medical Marijuana Card

Chronic Pain and Inflammatory Conditions

Chronic pain and inflammatory conditions are among the most common conditions treated with medical marijuana. Besides improving the overall quality of life for individuals with chronic pain, cannabis is also a potent pain killer.

For individuals with chronic pain, medical marijuana can be a game-changer. Chronic pain can result from various conditions, such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, and multiple sclerosis. These conditions can cause debilitating pain that makes it difficult to perform daily tasks. Medical marijuana can help manage this pain, allowing individuals to regain control over their lives.

Medical marijuana is also a potential treatment for inflammatory conditions such as Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis. These conditions can cause severe pain, discomfort, and digestive issues. Medical marijuana may reduce inflammation in the gut, leading to a reduction in symptoms and an improvement in overall quality of life.

Mental Health Disorders

Medical marijuana has shown promise in treating several mental health disorders, for example, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder. Many patients find that medical marijuana offers a more natural and effective alternative to traditional psychiatric medications.

For individuals with post-traumatic stress disorder, medical marijuana can alleviate symptoms such as racing thoughts, insomnia, and feelings of hopelessness. Additionally, MMJ can help individuals cope better with traumatic experiences and improve their overall quality of life.

Importantly, you should not substitute traditional psychiatric medications with medical marijuana without consulting a doctor.

Neurological and Movement Disorders

Medical marijuana is also effective in managing symptoms of neurological and movement disorders, including multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, and epilepsy.

For individuals with multiple sclerosis, medical marijuana can help manage symptoms such as muscle spasms, pain, and tremors. Medical marijuana can also help manage the symptoms of Parkinson’s disease, like tremors, stiffness, and difficulty with movement. In addition, medicinal cannabis appears to be effective in reducing the frequency and severity of seizures in individuals with epilepsy.

Cancer and Terminal Illnesses

Medical marijuana for cancer also turns out to be effective in symptom management. Through cannabis treatment, cancer patients often experience relief from nausea, vomiting, and loss of appetite.

For individuals undergoing chemotherapy, medical marijuana can help manage the side effects of treatment, including nausea and vomiting. Moreover, MMJ helps improve appetite, allowing individuals to maintain a healthy weight during treatment.

For individuals with terminal illnesses, medical marijuana can mitigate symptoms such as pain, anxiety, and depression. Medicinal cannabis can also help better quality of life, allowing individuals to spend more time with loved ones and engage in activities that bring them joy.

Do You Qualify for Medical Marijuana?

You can find out more by clicking the link below.

How to Apply for a Medical Marijuana Card in Minnesota

Medical marijuana is a viable treatment for various illnesses, for instance, chronic pain, anxiety, and PTSD. If you are a Minnesota resident suffering from a qualifying condition, a medical marijuana card is worth your consideration.

Consult with a Qualified Healthcare Practitioner

The first step to obtaining a medical marijuana card is to consult with a qualified healthcare practitioner. This healthcare practitioner must be registered with the Minnesota Department of Health’s Office of Medical Cannabis. Most importantly, they must certify that you have a qualifying condition.

It is worth noting that not all healthcare practitioners are registered with the Office of Medical Cannabis. No worries. All our doctors at Quick Med Cards are registered and have experience with medical marijuana treatment.

Complete the Application Process

Once you have been certified by a healthcare practitioner, you must complete the application process. This process includes providing proof of identity and residency, plus paying the application fee. (You won’t need to pay the state application fee from July 1, 2023.)

Ensure you gather all necessary documents and information before beginning the application process to ensure a smooth and efficient registration. The application fee is currently $200, but low-income applicants qualify for reduced costs.

Obtain Your Medical Marijuana Card and Begin Treatment

After completing the application process, you will receive your medical marijuana card. With this card, you will have access to medical marijuana dispensaries and can begin treatment for your qualifying condition.

Remember, medical marijuana treatment is not a one-size-fits-all solution. So, work closely with your healthcare practitioner to determine the proper dosage and method of consumption for your specific condition.

In addition, it is necessary to follow all state laws and regulations regarding medical marijuana use. For example, do not drive under the influence of medical marijuana or share your medication with others.

Obtaining a medical marijuana card can be life-changing for those with qualifying conditions. If you believe medical marijuana may be the right treatment option, book an appointment with a qualified healthcare practitioner and begin the application process today.

Key Takeaways

  • Medical marijuana is cheaper than adult-use cannabis due to tax exemptions.
  • Medical cardholders can possess higher limits of cannabis.
  • Cardholders have access to more potent and diverse cannabis products.
  • Cardholders benefit from consultations with medical professionals for personalized treatment plans.
  • An MN medical card gives you immediate access to established medical marijuana dispensaries.
  • There is no age restriction for medical marijuana in Minnesota.


While recreational marijuana is now legal in Minnesota, there are several benefits to obtaining a medical marijuana card. Medical marijuana patients get:

  • access to a wider range of products, 
  • higher possession limits, 
  • and more knowledgeable professionals to assist them in managing their conditions. 

Additionally, medical marijuana can be a more affordable treatment option for patients, with tax exemptions and cost-saving programs available. If you have a qualifying condition, it’s worth exploring the benefits of obtaining a medical marijuana card and beginning treatment.

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