Obtaining a medical cannabis card is the first step toward legally using cannabis as a treatment for certain medical conditions. Getting a card opens the door to visiting a pharmacy or dispensary where a variety of cannabis products can be purchased. But it is not as simple as running down to the local drugstore and browsing the shelves for what you need.
Medical cannabis is actually a lot more complicated than many people realize. With that in mind, Beehive Farmacy near Logan, UT recommends that new patients learn everything they can before they make that first visit. Below are six things every first-time buyer should know beforehand.
In states like Utah, where only medical cannabis is allowed, there is no distinction between a medical cannabis dispensary and pharmacy. They are one in the same. But in states with both medical and recreational consumption, there is a distinction.
A marijuana dispensary is a retail outlet for recreational marijuana. Meanwhile, a medical cannabis pharmacy is a retail outlet for medical products. There may be differences in everything from delivery method to dosage to quality, which is why distinguishing between recreational and medical products is important.
The next thing first-time buyers should understand is that brand competition is alive and well in the cannabis industry. For example, Cookies is one of the most well-known weed brands. Beehive Farmacy sells it. But brands are not so important from a medical user’s perspective. What matters more is the dosage and delivery method. A brand name says very little about either one.
First-time buyers should understand that there is more than one way to consume medical cannabis. Utah is among the states that do not allow patients to smoke marijuana. Alternative delivery methods include vaping, dry heating, infused edibles, transdermal products, and tinctures (THC concentrates) that are placed under the tongue.
Delivery methods matter because they impact a patient’s experience. Some delivery methods trade speedier effectiveness for shorter duration while others do not work as quickly but last longer.
Most states with active medical cannabis programs mandate that pharmacies employ state licensed pharmacists who are on site whenever the doors are open. First-time buyers should understand that the pharmacist is there to help. It is the pharmacist’s responsibility to answer questions, provide guidance, and even explain any potential side effects or drug interactions.
Based on how state laws are structured, it is very possible that the products purchased at licensed pharmacies offer better quality than their recreational or illicit counterparts. Medical cannabis products tend to have to meet a certain threshold for quality and safety before they can be sold.
First-time medical cannabis buyers should be aware that they may face purchase limits. In Utah, patients are only allowed to purchase so much cannabis per month. The entire amount can be purchased in a single visit or spread across multiple visits.
In addition to purchase limits, patients face limits on the amount of medical cannabis they can possess at any one time. Possessing more than the allowed limits could result in significant penalties if a patient is caught.
There is even more to medical cannabis that space will not allow this post to tackle. Needless to say that brand-new medical cannabis patients have a lot to learn. In some states, the learning curve is rather steep. Therefore, it is in a patient’s best interests to learn as much as possible about state medical cannabis laws.