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Eight states and the District of Columbia currently allow both recreational and medical marijuana in their jurisdictions. In those states where both recreational and medical marijuana are allowed, the medical industry is failing as more users turn to buying recreational marijuana rather than medical in order to treat their illnesses.
Medical marijuana cards do hold a few advantages over simply buying marijuana recreationally. In Oregon, for example, medical marijuana card holders are exempt from the state’s local marijuana taxes, which are levied solely on recreational marijuana. Thus the card can be viewed as a discount card, and is not essential to purchase marijuana.
Medical marijuana only dispensaries are rapidly becoming a thing of the past in states with recreational access to the drug. As medical marijuana cardholders in Oregon can get their marijuana at a medical or recreational shop, but recreational users can only get the drug at a recreational shop, more and more users are opting to get their marijuana, for whatever purpose, at a recreational dispensary. With more recreational dispensaries opening daily due to the higher demand for recreational product, medical dispensaries might soon become a thing of the past. In fact, after the legalization of recreational marijuana two years ago in Oregon, the number of registered medical marijuana cardholders in the state has dropped from 78,045 cardholders to 59,137 cardholders.