Keep a Medical Marijuana Card

Should I Keep My Medical Marijuana Card?

Medical Marijuana Doctor

9 Reasons Why You Should Keep Your MMJ Card

Since recreational marijuana for citizens over the age of 21 passed in Michigan, a lot of patients are wondering, should I keep my medical marijuana card? Here we try to give a simple breakdown of the financial benefits of keeping your medical marijuana card in Michigan.

1. Financial Benefits: Save $$ on taxes and cost of products

The new recreational law, Proposal 1, imposes a 10% excise tax on recreational marijuana sales. This is in addition to the 6% State Sales Tax. Proposal 1 also eliminates the current 3% Excise Tax on medical marijuana sales, but the 6% State Sales Tax remains in effect. Although excise taxes are the responsibility of the retailer/dispensary, the cost is passed on to the consumer in retail shop pricing. So, medical card holders will pay at least 10% less than recreational consumers in taxes plus reduced pricing of medical cannabis products.
Let’s Do the  Math: According to “” the average cost of “High Quality” cannabis in Michigan is $290/oz. Lets keep it simple, we’ll cut this price to $200 per ounce. Under Proposal 1, a medical card holder will likely spend at least 10% less at a dispensary than recreational consumers. A medical card holder’s annual savings will depend on the amount of cannabis consumed. Here is a handy chart that shows the potential annual savings for medical vs recreational.

Financial Benefits

2. Grow more Plants

As a cardholder, you may grow up to 12 plants in your home. As a caregiver, you can grow up to 12 plants in your house for each registered medical patient-(of course in separate enclosed, locked rooms). A recreational adult user may grow up to 12 plants for their own personal use if the plants are not visible to the public.

Grow more Plants

3. Medical Products are Safer, Cleaner and "MORE POTENT"

Medical products are safer, cleaner as there are more stringent testing requirements. Medical grade are allowed to be more potent- with cannabinoids present and potency on labeling- Michigan has one of the most stringent testing and safety requirements in the country. Testing also serves to inform the consumer about potency and types of cannabinoids present, in addition to assuring the absence of potentially harmful contaminants such as heavy metals, solvents, pesticides, microbes, and microbial toxins.

The threshold for microbial load is higher for medical-grade products. Recreational products are legally allowed to have about ten times the microbial load that medical products can have. This translates to products that are about ten times cleaner on the medical side. People who are concerned about their health value these stricter standards. 

Recreational products

4. Having a Card Lends Credibility and Legitimacy

The majority of our patients range from 30-70’s and are true medical users not wanting the stigma of getting “high”  Many people want to use marijuana strictly as a medicine and are looking for alternatives to their health issues. People are judged by their doctors, employers, and law enforcement for use of cannabis. By virtue of having a legitimate medical reason for use of marijuana, and being able to prove it, you can put some of that judgement to rest.

5. Availability-Larger Selection of products

Access to more Dispensaries and selection of products and cannabis strains.

6. Traveling

  • Use your med card in states that offer reciprocity
  • Protection when traveling
  • Air travel is possible.

The following states have marijuana card reciprocity :

  • Arkansas*
  • Arizona
  • Louisiana
  • Hawaii* 
  • Maine
  • Maryland*
  • New Jersey
  • New Hampshire 
  • Michigan
  • Oklahoma*
  • Rhode Island
  • Utah*
  • Washington D.C.

* States that require a temporary in-state medical card for out of state card holders)

The Encourage Effect

7. Workplace tolerance

According to Rick Thompson (MI chapter of NOrml), “ you also have advantages in employment situations, where some employers recognize how a medical necessity exists, as opposed to recreational use,” he added.
According to our dr, he says many patients tell him that their work is testing for marijuana and it is tolerated if there is a medical reason, they are med patients. Also, some workplaces require it for insurance purposes.

8. Protection under the Law

Protection under the Law More protection under the law It offers more protection from legal issues (for now). A patient is allowed to have THC in their blood because of the small payment to the state. If you get pulled over this is a line of defense. Law enforcement also must prove impairment. Cannot issue OWI or DUI without proving intoxication. Some Attorney recommends keeping medical marijuana card and protections. If you think you will need documentation for work or upcoming court appearances as your marijuana doctor while at your appointment.

9. Unemployment Benefits-Notice to Employers

According to the website, Labor and Economic Opportunity (LEO) division, which manages the unemployment insurance program providing interim financial assistance to people that lost their jobs beyond their control, noted the decision by the Michigan Supreme Court to not “disqualify a person from receiving unemployment benefits if that person tests positive for marijuana while holding a valid registry identification card issued under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act.
This reaffirms the precedence set previously by the Michigan Court of Appeals ruling related to unemployment benefits.

What does this mean?
With an active medical cannabis card, a person may continue to receive unemployment benefits.

How can unemployment benefits be denied?

  • A person can be denied unemployment benefits if they are unable to provide an active MI state registry identification card under the Michigan Medical Marijuana Act proving they have a qualifying chronic or debilitating medical condition confirmed by an approved medical provider.
  • Ingesting marijuana at the workplace and testing positive after taking a marijuana drug test.
  • Being under the influence of marijuana while on employer’s grounds.

What is the Bottom line?

If you want to continue to receive unemployment benefits and consume medical cannabis, it’s imperative that you keep your medical card active. call us with any questions. We will provide as much guidance as possible so that you fully understand. Upon request we can furnish a letter to the court as well when applicable. 

Want to know Michigan Marijuana Laws and Penalties

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