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4 Differences When Serving Medical Marijuana Patients vs. Recreational Customers

Medical marijuana has become an important part of the treatment plans prescribed by medical marijuana doctors in the management and treatment of certain health conditions. There have been several research articles written and published on the effectiveness of cannabis in the treatment of pain and other related conditions.

The increasing acceptance of marijuana as a medicinal substance has helped to soften the increasing addiction to the use of opioids. However, for patients who need to use medical marijuana, there is a need to obtain medical marijuana card recommendations from trusted doctors like Ohio Green Team – Medical Marijuana Doctors & Recommendations before eligibility is considered.

If you have a medical marijuana card, you have access to use medical marijuana in the prescribed dose for the specific health condition from which you suffer.

Marijuana dispensaries, on the other hand, need to be careful about their practices as they are required to treat recreational marijuana users a little bit differently compared to medical marijuana users. As a medical marijuana dispensary, knowing the difference in how to address the needs of these two classes of customers can help you to maintain your license for a long time to come.

While medical marijuana patients seek relief from pain as well as other underlying conditions causing the problem, recreational users are only interested in getting the high as well as the feeling that comes with consuming marijuana.

To ensure that you are doing things the right way, below are some of the operational protocols that you need to observe when attending to a medical marijuana patient.


When dealing with a medical marijuana patient, the staff at the dispensary is required to check that the patient is at least 18 years of age or meets the minimum age requirement that has been set by the state. In some states, a patient may be required to be no less than 21 years of age to have access to medical marijuana. Age confirmation should be done using a valid ID. The patient should also be required to present a valid medical marijuana card or a medical marijuana recommendation which confirms that they have indeed been certified okay to consume marijuana for medical purposes.

After these documents must have been added to the patient’s profile, the staff is required to verify that the recommendation is, in fact, authentic, and then proceed to select the appropriate patient type.

By assigning the correct patient type, using an advanced POS system, the dispensary will be able to apply the right tax for the transaction.

Sales Tax

One of the distinguishing aspects of buying marijuana for medical needs and for recreational needs is the tax attracted. Persons who are purchasing medical marijuana have access to a state-approved recommendation which makes them exempt from both the local and state taxes that are charged on recreational marijuana users.

However, it is important to note that patients with only a doctor’s recommendation will be charged state sales tax but not local taxes.

If the patient, during the visit to the dispensary chooses to buy other products that are non-cannabis related, then such a patient will be charged state taxes on the non-marijuana products only.

Purchase limits

One other important factor that dispensary staff needs to be aware of is the sales limit for both recreational buyers and medical marijuana buyers. Usually, medical marijuana buyers are allowed to buy much more quantity of marijuana and marijuana products compared to recreational buyers.

Marijuana dispensary staff need to be at high alert to ensure that they are not selling more than the state allocated weight of marijuana to recreational users.

It is recommended that to remain in compliance with this rule, marijuana dispensaries should put in place a strict practice.

Product label

If as a marijuana dispensary you also operate as a licensed distributor, then you will need to label products appropriately. Doing this ensures that the buyer is aware of what is being purchased as well as what to expect from it. It is also recommended that you have an informational panel on the label of products that are offered to medical marijuana patients.

As part of the compliant labeling regulations, you should also have a label that indicates that the product is “For Medical Use Only.”

To ensure that you remain compliant, getting a fast printer that can be used on-the-go is essential for your marijuana dispensary.

Taking all of these factors into consideration will help you to serve both the medical marijuana and recreational marijuana users better while remaining compliant with the rules guiding the industry you operate in.