How much does Medical Marijuana cost?
There are many factors that weigh in on the cost of using medicinal cannabis to treat the pain and debilitating symptoms associated with a qualifying medical condition. The cost not only involves the singular purchase of medical marijuana for treatments, but also the method of treatment needed to relieve symptoms, the mode of consumption and equipment needed to administer treatment, and the documentation required to purchase medical marijuana from dispensaries, among others. One of the first orders of business is to obtain a Registry Card:
Registry Card & Fees
If you are a qualifying patient or caregiver, you’ll need to apply for a Registry Card that will allow you to visit local dispensaries for medical marijuana. You can apply for a one-, two-, or three-year valid identification card. And if you are on Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) or Supplemental Security Income (SSI), or are an armed services veteran, you may qualify for a reduced fee to apply1.
Regular application fees in Illinois range from2:
- $100 (One-Year)
- $200 (Two-Year)
- $300 (Three-Year)
And Reduced Application fees range from3:
- $50 (One Year)
- $100 (Two-Year)
- $125 (Three-Year)
If you are a designated caregiver for a qualifying patient in need of medicinal cannabis and need access to a licensed dispensary to purchase product, you’ll also need to have a registry identification card4.
The fees for designated caregivers range from5:
- $25 (One-Year)
- $50 (Two-Year)
- $75 (Three-Year) – This fee is for a caregiver who is caring for a patient already registered, and needs a card to purchase medical marijuana. The expiration date for both will be identical.
Medicinal Marijuana Costs
It’s no secret that the prices of marijuana vary due to a number of factors. These include the quality of the product, the quantity needed, the location where the product is sold, and local competition.
The price of marijuana is dependent on its quality; the particular strain, its potency, whether it’s produced organically or non-organically, and the seller. Prices also vary between the states where it’s legalized6. A lower grade of marijuana is also less expensive than a higher grade based on its effectiveness.
Depending on the amount of medical cannabis you need to treat your condition, prices can vary. You might also find discounts offered for bundled packages or by purchasing higher amounts of cannabis. Check with the dispensary you use.
You’re likely to benefit from greater deals and lower prices if there are more dispensaries available to choose from to purchase your cannabis. And the difference between buying from a dispensary versus off the street will also factor into the cost. Legal government non-organic cannabis sold from an authorized dispensary can cost about $15 per gram, whereas cannabis off the street can range from $8 to $20 per gram7.
Cannabis is typically harvested during the fall months with consideration to the climate. During this period, prices may be considerably less than at other times of the year.
Medicinal Marijuana Forms
Prices for medical marijuana vary widely depending on its form, and there are a number of forms to choose from depending on the method of administration. For a variety of medical conditions, medical marijuana is available in seed, concentrated and edible form, liquid, oil or wax form, tinctures, patches, and more.
Bud forms of cannabis can vary due to the quality of the plant and where it’s purchased. Prices can range from $5 to $20 for a gram, $20-$60 for an eighth (3.5 grams), or $200 to $400 for an ounce8 9.
These forms of marijuana include hash products, oils and waxes, and are typically more potent because of higher THC levels. You’ll generally pay for half-gram and gram portions in the range of $20 to $60 per gram10 11.
For patients who have an aversion to smoking, cannabis strains can be mixed with foods like ice cream, pizza, and burritos, as well as traditional brownies, cookies and baked goods. The costs for edible marijuana products are usually determined based on the prescribed dosage and can range from $2 to $512 13.
This form is made up of concentrated liquid medical marijuana, and is also preferred by patients who wish not to smoke. In this form, cannabis can be added to cooking or mixed in alcoholic drinks. Sold in one-ounce bottles with droppers, a single bottle will cost between $15 and $50 based on the potency14 15.
Other Cost Factors
Additional miscellaneous costs for equipment and accessories are part of the equation for using medical marijuana for treatment. Depending on the method prescribed for administering cannabis, patients will need to purchase either rolling papers and blunt wraps, pipes, water pipes or bongs, or vaporizers. These items can range from $1 to $3 for papers and wraps to over $600 for vaporizers. The varieties of equipment and the materials they’re made of will also factor into costs.
By purchasing your medical marijuana and equipment at legal dispensaries, you’ll find that they can offer deals and packages that can save you some money. And the larger the quantity of marijuana you buy, the better the discounts and deals you can benefit from. The goal ultimately is to create a legal, legitimate means of obtaining medical marijuana and the products you need to help you manage your symptoms in a respectable and professional environment. When you’ve done your research to seek out the best cost options to meet your needs, having access to one of the best forms of medicinal care is worth the investment for your health and peace of mind.