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What’s the Difference between Buying Cannabis in a Medical versus Recreational State?

The actions you need to take in a medical versus recreational state are similar. However, there are a few key differences for those who wish to consume cannabis for the sake of pure enjoyment compared to those who are using cannabis as part of their treatment plan to alleviate medical conditions and symptoms. Let’s find out what they are.

In a Medical State

Step 1: Do you qualify for medical cannabis?

First off, in many states, you need to be a resident to obtain a medical cannabis card that is valid within that state. Some states do allow out-of-state cards, but for the most part, the safer bet is purchasing within the state of your residence.

Just like any traditionally prescribed medication, you must have a reason for a doctor to recommend medical marijuana. The qualifying conditions to justify prescription vary from state to state. Crohn’s disease, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, cancer, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis are commonly approved medical conditions. In many states, however, the list of qualifying conditions runs longer. 

Step 2: Get your medical marijuana card

If you qualify for a cannabis prescription, the next step is to find a doctor who can and will prescribe medical marijuana to you. Often, if a doctor isn’t comfortable doing so, they may be able to recommend a medical professional who is involved in cannabis in some capacity. 

Step 3: Blaze to the nearest cannabis dispensary 

The majority of shops will check your medical marijuana card upon every visit regardless of whether or not they have your authorization on file. 

Step 4: Know your cannabis

Fortunately, there’s a world of information about every strain and variety of cannabis product that exists. Research the particular items you could purchase that will actually directly treat or positively influence your specific condition. Find out what delivery method and dosage is best beforehand, but also ask the staff questions. Most individuals who work at dispensaries are highly passionate about cannabis and happy to help. 

Step 5: Purchase your products

Once you have a solid understanding of what you’re putting in your body and how it can help you, take your pick from the dispensary’s menu. At the end of the day, everyone’s body is different, so pay attention to what works best for you.

In a Recreational State

If a state has legalized adult-use recreational marijuana, you have to be over 21 years of age to purchase cannabis. 

Step 1: Find a dispensary you like

Look at a number of factors such as location, customer service, and product selection. This step isn’t too unlike picking out which restaurants you like eating at.

Step 2: Get familiar with your bud

The same advice goes for recreational cannabis as you’d hear for medical — get your information right. Research your potential purchases and understand the effects the products will have on you compared to what you desire. With recreational weed, the key difference is that you’re primarily looking at potency since the goal is to get varying degrees of high and the results that come with each level. 

Step 3: Pick out your cannabis

Figure out if you want concentrates, pre-rolls, edibles, flower, or any of the other varieties of packaging and ways to use cannabis. Cannabis bath balms, anyone?

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