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Medical Marijuana on a Budget: Affordable Options for Patients

ByDave Stopher

Nov 14, 2023

There’s no question that an extraordinary number of people are benefiting from getting a medical marijuana card. Millions of Americans are proud MMJ cardholders, giving them legal protection when buying and possessing their medicine. They use the substance to help combat medical conditions, with weed believed to be useful for chronic pain, anxiety, depression, PTSD, and much more.

One of the issues surrounding MMJ is the high cost of getting the substance in certain states. Since it is a federally illegal substance, you can forget about it being covered by medical insurance. Below, I look into ways to cut your costs and analyze some of the cons of getting a medical marijuana card.

How to Get Bang for Your Buck with Medical Marijuana

In most states, the process of getting a medical marijuana card involves scheduling a consultation with a medical professional and completing an application. You can expect to pay anywhere from $150 to $300 for the doctor’s appointment. In general, the application fee ranges from $0 to $100 per year. 

Once you have your MMJ card, the next step is to visit a dispensary and buy what you need. The problem is that the cost of weed is very high in certain states. According to data from the Oxford Treatment Center, the national average price for high-quality marijuana flower is $326 per ounce. For medium-quality, it is $266 per ounce. In general, cannabis is cheaper on the West Coast, with high-quality weed usually available for less than $300 an ounce.

Suppose you use an ounce each month and pay $300 each time. Over a year, this equates to $3,600. Add in the consultation and application fee, and you’re looking at $4,000 a year, every year. It is no wonder, then, that the price of weed is becoming a big problem for anyone looking at getting a medical marijuana card. 

You can save money on the consultation by choosing a service like MMJCardOnline. They help you book a low-cost doctor’s consultation, and you have the option to do it online in certain states.

Although a growing number of people are tempted by the black market, shop around at licensed dispensaries in your area. Many of them have loyalty programs and regular discounts. Depending on where you live, you may never need to pay full price again!

Some people believe in vaping their cannabis on the grounds that it is a more economical way to consume the product than smoking. Thus, that ounce you buy lasts a lot longer. 

Also, if you are currently on a low income, there may be financial assistance programs in your state. Such programs may provide discounts, ensuring that weed becomes more affordable.

Exploring Other Issues with Getting a Medical Marijuana Card

It is true that there are some downsides to getting a medical marijuana card. For example, if you own a gun, you technically need to give it up once you become an MMJ cardholder. That’s because marijuana remains a federally illegal substance as per the Controlled Substances Act. The 1968 Gun Control Act states that if you use or are addicted to a prohibited substance, you are banned from owning guns or ammunition.

Also, if you have a Commercial Driver’s License (CDL), it is also against the law to have an MMJ card. If you are asked to do a urinalysis, and it finds THC-COOH metabolites in your system, you will lose your license and perhaps discover that your career as a driver is at an end. It is probable that quite a few people take this risk, but it only takes one stroke of bad luck for the house of cards to go tumbling down.

Final Thoughts on Affording MMJ

I wish that there were no downsides to having an MMJ card, but in reality, there are several. You lose your Second Amendment right and can’t have a CDL. You may also find it hard to get employed in any government job. Then there’s the small matter of paying perhaps several thousand dollars for the substance per year.

However, for those who glean the benefits of getting a medical marijuana card, the cost and associated risks are worth it and then some. For these individuals, MMJ has become life-changing, and they are happy to accept the issues and risks associated with using it.