Medical vs Recreational Cannabis
The difference between medical cannabis and recreational cannabis may not be related to cannabis products, but in the cost, preferred cannabinoids and availability. With the passing of HB2- The Cannabis Adult Use Act, effective June 21, 2021, sales began April 1, 2022, this allows any person over 21 to access regulated cannabis. Currently there are over 130,000 patients in the New Mexico Medical Cannabis Program. For these patients cannabis medicine is an essential part of their daily medication regiment. As a medical card holder or in the state regulated Adult use market you may experience medicinal benefits- however below are some differences worth mentioning.
Medical Card Benefits
Non taxable medical cannabis- As a medical card holder you will not be subjected to the cannabis tax or NM Gross Recipes tax. Making your monthly costs approximately 20% less then recreational cannabis. Medical cannabis expenses including medicine and doctor recommendations can be deducted from your State income taxes.
Medical Oversight- Obtaining a medical card in NM indicates you have a medical need and your medical condition may be alleviated with the use of cannabis. Annual follow ups allow the patients an opportunity to discuss possible side effects or issues with cannabis use. Discussing cannabis dosing, methods of use and product effectiveness is most important for safe and effective benefits of any medication, not just cannabis.
Minor Access- Using cannabis as a minor is made possible if a medical doctor has recommended the use under the conditions of the Lynn and Erin Compassionate Use Act and must have a parent or legal guardian as their caregiver. Once the patient reaches 18, and would like to continue using cannabis may continue without a designated caregiver, but would need a cannabis card in order to legally access cannabis.
Higher Dosed products- As a medical patient you have access to higher dose products such as edibles. As patients are alleviating debilitating medical conditions. These patients have consulted a medical provider about cannabis use and have been educated on risks and benefits.
Protections in the workplace- Most employers have moved with the times of Cannabis and allow their employees to use cannabis as long as they have a medical need. We must note there are many employers who either follow federal regulations or have a “no tolerance” policy when it comes to cannabis. We encourage any person who may consider obtaining a cannabis card to review their employer HR policies to ensure job protections. If your employer follows state regulations- it is more than likely, a medical reason will need to be a reason to partake in cannabis
Supervised release- If you are under conditions of release, a medical card will be the only way to access cannabis in order to medicate. We do advise any persons on probation or have conditions of release to communicate with your probation officer or lawyer before considering obtaining your card.
Adult Use Cannabis ( Recreational)
End of prohibition!
The legalization of Cannabis in New Mexico for Adult Use is the regulation of its sale by the State. This law ends the prohibition of cannabis and decriminalizes its use, on a State level only. Cannabis remains a schedule one drug on the federal level and the use of cannabis may still be prohibited where federal law supersedes state law. We suggest before consuming cannabis to speak with a representative from your companies HR department to clarify your companies drug policy.
Recreational cannabis sales are taxed at approximately 20%- a combined tax of the cannabis excise tax, which is 12% and New Mexico Gross Receipt tax which range from 6.5% to 6.9%. Collected tax money does provide another revenue stream for State funded programs.