If you’re hoping to waltz into your local California dispensary January 1st, 2018 and buy legal cannabis in California without a medical marijuana card, think again.
1. You do need a Medical Marijuana card
Until the state of California finalizes regulations in legal cannabis, most dispensaries will continue to require a medical marijuana card from their customers to purchase legal cannabis products. While voters passed Prop 64, The Adult Use of Marijuana Act, (Yes, it’s technically called “Adult Use”, not “Recreational”) the state of California has left it to individual cities, towns, and municipalities to determine and approve the availability of legal cannabis in their jurisdiction. Depending on the locale they could approve either of two types of uses of legal cannabis; medical or adult/recreational.
Medical refers to the use of cannabis, or marijuana, in any product form such as flowers, edibles, or vapes, as therapy as proven by the patient having a Medical Marijuana Recommendation card, or a medical marijuana card. Adult or recreational use means the non-medical use of marijuana for adults over the age of 21 and doesn’t require a medical marijuana card.
2. Your dispensary might be closed
On January 1st 2018, many cannabis dispensaries will still be waiting to receive their license from the state, which means they may have to close their doors for a few days while they wait. Because the state is leaving it to individual cities and towns to decide what level of cannabis sales, if any, they’ll allow, many municipalities are still deciding whether they’ll be issuing permits for medical or adult use. Either way, it’s likely that they won’t get everything stored out by January 1st, 2018, so definitely call before you visit any dispensary in January if you want to know where to buy legal cannabis in 2018.
At the moment only a few municipalities in California have approved recreational legal cannabis sales and assuming many places only allow medical sales, having a medical marijuana card will give you the most flexibility in where to buy marijuana in 2018. Just like any other retail brand, every dispensary is different and caters to a different clientele so definitely do some research on where to buy marijuana in California 2018.
Where to buy legal cannabis in 2018:
There are many options from the Berkeley Patients Group, the nation’s oldest medical cannabis dispensary, to San Francisco’s Harvest, where they offer an off the shelf shopping experience, to Octavia Wellness that specializes in cannabis for beginners and seniors. There’s a dispensary or online retailer out there for every cannabis consumer.
3. How to get a Medical Recommendation
Depending on where you live, you could visit a Medical Marijuana Doctor in person or talk with a doctor online.
With the doctor, you will have to discuss possible qualifying conditions and any concerns you may have. It’s always best to talk with a physician before starting any new treatments, but if you live in an area without Medical Marijuana Doctors there are several online services that can help. One of the most reputable is HelloMD where New York and California residents can video chat with a doctor after submitting basic information that is kept confidential under HIPPA regulations. As part of your consultation the doctor will discuss the many benefits of cannabis including the best legal cannabis product for sleep and pain relief. Once you’ve met with the doctor they’ll email you a document to print out immediately following your consultation allowing you to legally purchase medical marijuana.