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How to Save Money with Medical Marijuana

Posted by Canna Randa on Jul 28, 2021

Marijuana revenue is a big deal to states that have legalized recreational and medical marijuana, and Illinois is no exception. In fact, in 2020 - the first year that marijuana was legal in Illinois - the state collected $205 million in tax revenue from cannabis consumers. While that is great for the state, it is not so lovely for the pockets of marijuana users. 

Don’t worry - there is a workaround that will save you money on your cannabis products

One of the key benefits of becoming a medical marijuana (MMJ) patient is the ultra-low tax rate that Illinois cannabis patients enjoy. While some upfront costs are associated with the MMJ application, even casual cannabis users can save a substantial amount of money by becoming medical marijuana patients. 

Let’s break it down according to July 2021 prices:

If you are a recreational user who smokes one ounce of flower and one gram of concentrates every month, you can expect to spend approximately $600-$800 per month, with 28-38% of that amount being some form of tax. Recreational cannabis tax rates in Illinois are some of the highest in the country. On top of the dispensary prices for their cannabis, recreational adult-use marijuana consumers in Illinois can expect to pay:

  • Wholesale Tax - 7%
  • Illinois Sales Tax - 6.75%
  • Retail Excise Tax - 15%, 20%, or 25%

Add that all up, and recreational marijuana users are lining the tax coffers of the state. While most dispensaries, like EarthMed, list recreational prices with tax included to avoid the tax shock at the register, the amount adult-use consumers pay is still far more than a medical marijuana patient pays.

As mentioned above, medical cannabis users do, however, have the upfront costs associated with obtaining their MMJ card. Aside from the doctor visit to get authorization, would-be patients must pay a non-refundable application fee to the State of Illinois of $50 for one year, $100 for two years, or $125 for three. There are reduced application fees available for veterans and patients on disability. Their application fees are $25, $50, and $75, respectively. 

Using the same criteria of one ounce of flower and one gram of concentrates every month, a medical marijuana user in Illinois would expect to pay around $400-$500 for their earth medicine. The savings is huge because medical marijuana patients only have to pay a 1% sales tax on their cannabis-related goods purchased at a medical marijuana dispensary. Through these kinds of incredible tax savings, MMJ patients can expect their medical cannabis card to pay for itself in just a couple of months.

Another nifty perk of obtaining your medicinal marijuana card is that patients in Illinois can legally grow their own plants to use as their medicine - without having to buy from a dispensary. Approved medical cannabis patients are able to cultivate up to five marijuana plants in their homes at one time. While growing cannabis plants can be a tricky and daunting task, patients have the potential to save thousands of dollars with this perk.

Ultimately, adult-use recreational cannabis users can save serious cash by obtaining their medical marijuana cards. Apply for your MMJ license today to save some cash and build up your stash. While you are at it, join our EarthMed rewards program to accumulate points on your medical marijuana purchases and reap the rewards at a later time.

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