Right now, a lot of people in Illinois are on the fence about getting a medical marijuana card, and it seems to boil down to one major factor: cost. Is it worth it to invest in an Illinois medical cannabis card if recreational marijuana is legal? Actually, yes. 

When you start to consider the nitty-gritty details about being a recreational user only, you’ll realize how much more cost-effective it is to obtain your medical cannabis card instead. From added taxes to pricey dispensary costs, getting your MMJ card in Illinois might save you a lot more money than you think. 

A More Cost-Effective Option

At first, the initial costs of registering as an Illinois medical marijuana patient might make you consider just purchasing recreationally. However, the $100 registration fee to receive your MMJ card pays off quite quickly when considering factors like added taxes and dispensary fees. Let’s get into it. 

Taxes

Medical cannabis patients in IL have to pay a 1% sales tax on all cannabis-related purchases. For recreational users, cannabis taxes aren’t nearly that straightforward— nor are they that affordable. 

Recreational cannabis consumers can expect to pay an added 6.75% in-state sale taxes at their local dispensary. But, that’s not all. On top of sales tax, there is also something called a “purchaser tax.” This number varies depending on how much THC you’re buying. That’s right: the more THC in your product, the more you’ll pay in added taxes. For example, products with over 35% THC will pay a hefty 25% purchaser tax. 

Simply put, if you’re someone who requires more potent products, unfortunately, you will have to pay more money than someone with a lower tolerance in Illinois— if you’re not a medical patient, that is.

Illinois medical cannabis card holders are not subjected to purchaser taxes whatsoever. And, as we mentioned, sales tax on medical products is just 1%. With these kinds of savings, you will pay off your MMJ card within your first few visits to the dispensary. 

Jar of medical cannabis on counter of medical dispensary. Next to the jar is a pair of tongs and scale.
Save Money With an Illinois Cannabis Medical Card

At-Home Cultivation

Dispensary prices can vary depending on the owner, product selection, and even location. If you’re a recreational consumer concerned about costs, you simply do not have the option to purchase your cannabis elsewhere or cultivate plants at home. If you’re a medical patient, however, this isn’t the case. (See the pattern here?)

Approved medical cannabis patients are allowed to cultivate up to five marijuana plants in their homes at one time. While cultivating cannabis is a tricky, often difficult task, it can be more than worth it to save yourself some serious money. Instead of paying hundreds of dollars at the dispensary for weed you don’t even know where it came from, medical patients can simply grow and smoke their own. Not only does this help your wallet, but it provides some profound peace of mind, too. 

The Ins and Outs of Getting an Illinois Medical Cannabis Card

In the long run, getting an Illinois medical cannabis card can save you significant cash. Not to mention, actually obtaining a card isn’t a complicated or intimidating process, either. 

To obtain your MMJ card in the Land of Lincoln, you must be an in-state resident and have a qualified physician diagnose you with one of the state’s qualifying medical conditions. Once you’ve received this certification, you need to fill out and sign Illinois’ medical cannabis application form

You must provide your physician’s certification, a passport-size photo, and proof of residency and identification along with the application. When you apply, you will pay your registration fee, and the cost of this depends on how long you want your card valid for. A standard one-year MMJ card costs $100. 

After this, all you have to do is wait for your application to be approved. From there, you’ll obtain your actual Illinois medical cannabis card and start saving loads of money on your medicinal marijuana. 

How Elevate is Here to Help

But, hey, if all of this still stresses you out a bit, Elevate Holistics is here to help. We work with our customers one-on-one to help you find the perfect MMJ doctor and set up efficient, safe telehealth visits. With us, practically everything is done from the comfort of your home. We’ll be the ones guiding you through each step. 

All in all, getting your MMJ card in Illinois is more than worth it. Not only are you saving yourself money every time you make a purchase, but you have access to more freedom than recreational users. Through the medical cannabis program and Elevate’s team of cannabis experts, enjoying affordable, quality MMJ is easier than you could ever imagine.