Since recreational marijuana for citizens over the age of 21 passed in Michigan, a lot of patients are wondering, why should I keep my medical marijuana card? Here in part 2 of our “Should I Keep My Medical Marijuana Card in Michigan” series, we try to highlight some of the practical reasons to keep your medical marijuana card in Michigan.
Getting Your Medicine While Travelling
One of the first practical reasons to keep your medical marijuana card in Michigan is getting your medicine while traveling. If you plan to travel outside of Michigan, you may be wondering whether you can bring your medicine with you. As of this writing, there are several states that will recognize a Michigan medical marijuana card, as well as other legal states that simply require proper identification. If you are wondering about air-travel with your medicine, you should check with the US Transportation Safety Administration (TSA) before doing so. As of now, cannabis remains a Schedule 1 substance. Therefore, TSA at most airports will either confiscate or have you ditch your medicine before boarding. Some may even refer the matter to local law enforcement. Air travelers beware.
The second of our practical reasons to keep your medical marijuana card in Michigan is dispensary access. To be perfectly clear, the dispensaries that are presently open and/or seeking licensure in Michigan are MEDICAL ONLY. What Proposal 1 accomplished for the recreational cannabis movement is huge for Michigan. Although it officially goes into effect on December 6, 2018, recreational users will have to wait a while before they can walk into a dispensary and purchase cannabis. Proposal 1 gives the State of Michigan – LARA Bureau of Medical Marijuana Regulation (BMMR) 12-months to create a licensing framework for recreational dispensaries. It gives an additional 12-months for the BMMR to begin issuing licenses for recreational dispensaries and cultivation facilities. So, recreational cannabis consumers may not have dispensary access until sometime in 2020.
Last, but certainly not least, of our practical reasons to keep your medical marijuana card in Michigan is how it affects your pocketbook. In part 1 of this series, Should I Keep My Medical Marijuana Card in Michigan – Part 1, Financial Reasons we do the simple math on the financial benefit of keeping a medical marijuana card in Michigan. Depending on how much cannabis a patient consumes, the savings could be several hundreds of dollars annually.
A topic that we did not cover in Part 1 of this series is that of Caregiver pricing. Most patients with caregivers know that the difference between dispensary pricing and caregiver pricing can be substantial. You may be wondering, since recreational use will soon be legal, can’t I still get my medicine from my caregiver without having my card? You certainly could, but you would also be engaging in a “black market” transaction that could put you and your former caregiver in legal jeopardy.