Since cannabis got legalized in California, it is possible for you to visit a dispensary and purchase recreational cannabis across the state as you are legally permitted to do so, providing that you are 21 or older. Not only can you visit a drug store for purchasing cannabis, but you can also have it delivered to you without feeling like that you are doing anything wrong. However, cannabis legalization means you will have to bear certain taxes. You can save yourself from some of the tax amounts if you have a state-authorized cannabis card.
Why Should I Get a Cannabis Card?
There are certain economic benefits of getting a cannabis card in California. Firstly, you can save yourself from having to pay the sales tax that usually applies to recreational cannabis users. The percentage of saving varies depending on the area because different locales have different tax rules. Generally, it could be 5-15%. Apart from this, there are more extreme tax projections and you can expect the taxes on cannabis to go as high as 45%. If that is the case, then you can save a lot of cash by getting a cannabis card.
Secondly, certain dispensaries and drug stores have sales and offers (e.g. RX discount, discount prescription card, etc.) that are exclusively made for medical cannabis patients. In California, you can save enough in tax over the course of the year to compensate the cost of the cannabis card.
Another advantage of having a cannabis card is that your limit for cannabis possession is significantly higher for recreational use. Generally, it is said to be higher than 28.5 grams.
How Much Will a Cannabis Card Save You?
As stated before, the percentage of savings by having a cannabis card varies from one state to another. Following is an overview of the taxes in some of the states which allow medical and recreational cannabis:
Alaska has no state sales tax, however, if you are a cannabis grower, then you will have to pay $50 an ounce when selling cannabis to dispensaries or retailers. Since marijuana costs around $300 an ounce, a 20% tax will apply.
Applying for a cannabis card costs about $25 and renewal of the card costs around $20. A doctor’s appointment cost ranges from $50 to $150. The cost of the cannabis card is about $75. In order to compensate all these costs with savings, you will need to purchase four ounces of cannabis a year.
For growers, the product tax is about $9.25 per ounce of flowers and $2.75 per ounce of leaves. A doctor’s appointment costs about $150 and the average cost of cannabis is around $250 an ounce. In order to justify the cannabis card cost, you will need to purchase over four ounces of cannabis a year.
You avoid sales tax if you are a cannabis card holder. However, you will still have to pay others taxes e.g. 15% excise tax. The average cost of cannabis is around $240 an ounce and you can expect to pay about 27% tax. In order to justify the cannabis card cost, you will need to purchase up to eight ounces of cannabis a year.
The average tax is about 20% however, you don’t have to pay sales tax if you are a medical patient. A doctor’s appointment costs around $200 and the cost of applying and renewal is about $50. The average cost of cannabis is around $340 an ounce. In order to justify the cannabis card cost, you will need to purchase up to five ounces of cannabis a year.
There is a 17% in tax for cannabis users. However, if you are a cannabis card holder, then you can save up to 8%.
However, the average cost of cannabis per ounce, doctor’s appointment, and the cost of application and renewal is very high so having a cannabis card in Oregon may not be worth it.
There is a 37% in tax for cannabis users which is the highest as compared to other states. If you are purchasing cannabis for recreational use, then you will have to pay an extra 6.5%. A doctor’s appointment costs about $200 and there is no cost of applying and renewing the cannabis card. In order to justify the cannabis card cost, you will need to purchase up to twelve ounces of cannabis a year.
Overall, there is no real ‘discount’ on medical cannabis. However, some drug stores and dispensaries provide exclusive offers, for example a discount prescription card or RX discount, to medical patients. Having a cannabis card is beneficial as it allows you to pay less tax. The percentage of savings depends on where you live.