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What is the Difference Between Recreational and Medical Marijuana?


Photo by Budding . on Unsplash
Photo by Budding . on Unsplash

When taking the first steps into the cannabis industry, many new beginners often find themselves asking many questions. What strains are right for me? How much should I ingest? And one of the biggest questions to date is; what is the difference between recreational and medical marijuana?

Medical Reccomendation

In order to purchase medical marijuana, a customer (often referred to as a patient) will need a doctor's recommendation. An individual will visit a doctor authorized to make such approvals and then receive a medical marijuana card. While this card may need to be renewed (time depending upon your state's laws), it will allow an individual to purchase marijuana in the state the card was issued.

Getting a medical marijuana card varies from state to state. For example, at the time of this writing, Oklahoma has much more lax conditions that needs to be met than Arkansas. More information for your specific state can be found by contacting the governing body that issues medical marijuana cards.

Rules and Regulations

While this rule may vary from state to state, states with both recreational and medical marijuana will often have separate programs for each niche of the industry. These rules and regulations may cover necessities such as inspections, testing, and other important requirements.

However, with more than half of US States now having legal cannabis laws on their books, each circumstance is different. For more information about the cannabis rules and regulations in your specific state, please contact the governing body over the medical and recreational marijuana programs.

Medical Cards May Allow For Personal Cannabis Cultivation

This circumstance can vary from state to state. For example, those with a medical marijuana card in Oklahoma can legally grow a set number of plants. On the other hand, any resident over the age of 21 can grow a set number of plants in Colorado. Personal cannabis cultivation has become popular among those who either prefer certain strains or boutique flower/products.

The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, the biggest difference between recreational and medical marijuana is the mountain of paperwork separating the two. There is a popular myth that medical is of higher quality than recreational. While this may be true in some individual circumstances, it is not true for the whole industry. There are good and bad actors on both sides, however, the vast majority of those in the industry work in this profession for the love of the plant and the chance to make a difference.

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