Benefits of Having a Medical Marijuana Card in Massachusetts (and How to Apply)

In April 2020, after the Massachusetts lockdown, there was a reported 14% increase in medical marijuana card applications. Medical dispensaries were deemed essential, while recreational shops were not. With COVID still booming, health conditions exacerbating, and stress levels shooting still through the roof, it’s no surprise that more people are turning to cannabis treatments.

Since California paved the way in 1996, the health benefits of cannabis have been captivating people and encouraging (finally!) heavy adoption of medical and recreational use of this alternative plant medicine. Medical marijuana is now legal in 35+ states — including Massachusetts — and that means more and more people wanting to apply for and understand the benefits of having a medical marijuana card.

“I can tell you from personal experience that cannabis has been a lifesaver,” says nurse Lisa Napert LPN, ACNA. Lisa experienced first-hand how cannabis helped her family members survive and thrive —from her father, who she helped apply for a medical marijuana card, to her son, who was in and out of hospitals for years.

Then, a few years later, Lisa started to develop her own health issues — migraines, chronic pain, PTSD — before being diagnosed with double breast cancer in 2016.

Enter that magical salve: medical marijuana.

“I obtained an MMJ card to get access to quality cannabis medicine,” she says. “I learned that the quality is much different, even between recreational and medical grades, that medical cannabis comes in many different forms, and that as an MMJ patient, I could grow my own medicine to care for myself at a more reasonable out-of-pocket cost.”

“Whether you are visiting a dispensary for medical or recreational use, a medical marijuana card will provide you with extra benefits,” says nurse Jodi Chapin, president of Green Network Providers. “As a cannabis nurse, advocate, and patient, I highly recommend researching if alternative plant medicine treatment is right for you.”

6 advantages of applying for a medical marijuana card

Like Lisa, many patients are seeking natural solutions to their chronic health conditions and with the rise of medical marijuana treatment, more people are turning to cannabis to treat serious and chronic medical conditions, improve their mental health, and manage anxiety and insomnia.

There are various advantages of having a medical cannabis card and being a certified medical marijuana patient. If you are planning to obtain your marijuana card, you will be able to enjoy these benefits:

1. Lower your costs (and pay no taxes!)

Because cannabis is also used for recreational purposes, it’s very costly and taxed heavily by recreational dispensaries. But many states, including Massachusetts, waive the tax for medical patients. A medical cannabis card allows recreational users to access medical dispensaries where they can purchase products at affordable rates while saving 20% to 30% tax fees.