How Much is a Med Card? (and How Much Cannabis Do You Need to Buy to Offset the Cost)?

how much is a medical marijuana card
By Alexandra Arnett Updated May 22nd

Fact-checked by Deb Tharp

Many patients need a medical marijuana card. But the cost of a med card can often feel out of reach ($99-$250 on average). 

If you’re in a recreational cannabis state, you may wonder if getting a medical card is worth the price. In most recreational cannabis states, obtaining your med card grants you access to additional benefits, such as tax savings, increased possession limits, and the ability to grow cannabis at home.

In this article, we explore how much a medical marijuana card is in your state, how much your MMJ card can save you on purchases, and just how much cannabis you need to buy to offset the cost of obtaining your MMJ card.

Get Your Medical Card Online Get approved today in minutes with the nation's #1 trusted medical card provider.
No appointment needed. Only billed if approved.

How Much Does a Medical Marijuana Card Cost?

How much is a medical marijuana card

The cost to get a medical marijuana card varies widely by state. In addition to needing a medical evaluation, MMJ programs often require patients to register under the state (often with an additional fee).

The price can make it tempting to search for services offering low-cost evaluations and “cheap” medical cannabis cards. But in many cases websites offering $20 med cards – or some other too-good-to-be-true price – aren’t clear about what they actually provide. Likewise, many online med card services offer telehealth evaluations when they are not yet approved by the state. And if you aren’t careful, you could end up wasting money on a service that doesn’t provide a physician’s recommendation (or one that isn’t accepted by your state medical cannabis program).

So what sort of prices can you expect?

Medical ID Card Evaluation

Medical marijuana card evaluation costs can vary by state, doctor, and method of evaluation. Typically, adult and minor patients looking to obtain a medical marijuana evaluation have two options:

  1. In-person evaluation. An in-person evaluation can cost over $300, particularly if the doctor does not accept insurance.
  2. Online evaluation. An online evaluation can range from just $39 to over $200 for some services.

As long as the evaluation is conducted by a qualified professional, both in-person and online evaluations (in states that allow telemedicine) are 100% legitimate.

If you are comfortable meeting with a physician virtually, online evaluations come with a few perks compared to in-person evaluations. By using a platform like NuggMD, you are guaranteed to connect with a doctor who understands the potential applications of cannabis as a medicine. While this doesn’t guarantee you’ll be approved, it does mean you won’t have to spend your time convincing your doctor of the potential benefits of cannabis.

Using NuggMD or a similar cannabis telehealth service also helps save time and hassle. Patients won’t have to travel outside of their homes, giving them greater privacy than they’d receive sitting in a public waiting room. And the evaluation itself typically takes less time when done online.

Last but not least (since you’re reading an article about the cost of a med card), NuggMD also helps reduce the financial risk of obtaining a medical marijuana card. Unlike in-person evaluations, you only pay for your evaluation if you’re approved.

State Fees

Some states with a medical marijuana program require patients to register with that state’s program. The cost to obtain a card can vary from $0 (New York) to $200 (Oregon). Typically, states that require patients to register with the state program offer reduced costs to veterans, patients receiving state healthcare, SNAP, or for patients with low income. 

How Much Can You Save With a Med Card?

how much does medical marijuana cost

The best known way medical cannabis patients save money when visiting the dispensary is through reduced taxes. But that isn’t the only way to save. 

Tax Savings for MMJ Patients

Thankfully, many states with a medical marijuana program have regulations that exempt medical marijuana patients from paying taxes on their purchases. This means most medical marijuana patients automatically save an additional 10% to 20% on all their dispensary purchases compared to recreational customers. 

For example, Washington state medical marijuana patients are exempt from the state’s 47.4% recreational tax. Since the national average for a high-quality ounce of flower is around $326, that means Washington medical marijuana patients can save up to $154 per ounce every time they shop!

Other Ways a Med Card Saves Patients Money

Depending on your state, being a medical marijuana patient may carry additional benefits that, while being harder to quantify, can save you even more money. 

  • Higher possession limits. Save gas and time by making fewer trips to the dispensary.
  • Higher THC concentration limits. Many states allow medical cannabis dispensaries to carry products, such as edibles and tinctures, with a higher THC concentration.
  • Wider product selection. Spend money only on the products and strains you know work for you.
  • Home cultivation. Growing your own cannabis can yield massive savings every month. Some states only allow home cultivation for medical cannabis patients, and others allow med cardholders to grow more plants. 

And in states that do not have an adult-use cannabis program, a medical marijuana card is the only way to legally purchase and possess cannabis.

So How Much Do You Really Save?

Depending on your state’s medical marijuana program, patients can save anywhere from 10% to 50% on their medicine every dispensary trip. 

Let’s look at an example.

Let's say it costs $200 to get your medical cannabis card (including state registration and doctor's recommendation). Now let’s say your med card exempts you from the 20% state tax that recreational patients pay in your state. That means for every $200 you would have spent, you’re actually saving $40 on taxes. And in only five trips to the dispensary, you’ll have offset the entire cost of getting your medical card (not including the other benefits we mentioned earlier). If you go to the dispensary just once a month, you’ll end up saving an extra $280 annually.

And in states like Washington that offer a savings of almost 50% for medical cannabis patients, the cost of a recommendation and card is offset after purchasing around 2 ounces of high-quality flower.

So in many states, the question is not “Can I afford a medical cannabis card?”, but “Can I afford NOT to get my med card?”


By using services like NuggMD, you can get a low-cost evaluation by a state-certified practitioner everywhere our services are offered.

Get Your Medical Card Online Get approved today in minutes with the nation's #1 trusted medical card provider.
No appointment needed. Only billed if approved.

How Much Is a Medical Cannabis Card in Your State?

While we do our best to keep the state fees listed below up to date, we encourage all current and potential medical cannabis patients to check their state for the latest information.

Alabama

  • Medical cannabis products, including vaping liquid, are expected to be available some time in 2024, and we’ll offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about cannabis legislation in Alabama and join our waitlist. 
  • State Fees: application fees will not exceed $65 according to draft rules and earliest reports are that cards will cost between $40 and $50.

Alaska

  • NuggMD doctors aren’t yet able to issue medical marijuana cards in Alaska, but we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about medical cannabis in Alaska and join our waitlist. 
  • State Fees: $25 for new applications; $20 for renewals.

Arizona 

Arkansas

  • NuggMD doctors aren’t yet able to issue medical marijuana cards in Arkansas, but we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about medical cannabis in Arkansas and join our waitlist.
  • State Fees: $50 for new applications and renewals.

California

  • Get your low-cost, no-risk medical cannabis evaluation in California. You are only charged if you are approved.
  • State Fees: up to $100 depending on the county. This is an optional extra that can save patients more on taxes.

Colorado

  • NuggMD doctors aren’t yet able to issue medical marijuana cards in Colorado, but we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them.  Learn more about medical cannabis in Colorado and join our waitlist.
  • State Fees: $29.50 for new applications and renewals.

Connecticut

  • Get your low-cost, no-risk medical cannabis evaluation in Connecticut. You are only charged if you are approved.
  • As of July 1, 2023, Connecticut no longer charges a medical marijuana caregiver or patient registration fee..

Delaware

Florida

Georgia

Hawaii

  • NuggMD doctors aren’t yet able to issue medical marijuana cards in Hawaii, but we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about medical cannabis in Hawaii and join our waitlist.
  • State Fees: $38 for a one-year card; $77 for a two-year card.

Idaho

Illinois

  • Get your low-cost, no-risk medical cannabis evaluation in Illinois. You are only charged if you are approved.
  • State Fees: $50 for a one-year card; $100 for a two-year card; $125 for a three-year card.

Indiana

Iowa

Kansas

Kentucky

  • NuggMD doctors aren’t yet able to issue medical marijuana cards in Kentucky, but we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Kentucky passed legislation to create a full-scale medical marijuana market at the end of March 2023. Learn more about cannabis legislation in Kentucky and join our waitlist.
  • State fees: State fees for a medial marijuana card in Kentucky have not been set yet. Check back here for updates.

Louisiana

Maine

Maryland

Massachusetts

Michigan

Minnesota

Mississippi

  • Medical cannabis is now available in Mississippi, but they still don't allow telemedicine evaluations. We’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about cannabis legislation in Mississippi and join our waitlist. 
  • State Fees: $25 for new applications and renewals.

Missouri

Montana

Nebraska

  • Medical cannabis isn’t available in Nebraska, but we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about cannabis legislation in Nebraska and join our waitlist.

Nevada

New Hampshire

  • NuggMD doctors aren’t yet able to issue medical marijuana cards in New Hampshire, but we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about medical cannabis in New Hampshire and join our waitlist.
  • State Fees: $50 for new applications and renewals.

New Jersey

New Mexico

New York

North Carolina

  • Low THC oil is now available in North Carolina, and we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about cannabis legislation in North Carolina and join our waitlist.

North Dakota

  • NuggMD doctors aren’t yet able to issue medical marijuana cards in North Dakota, but we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about cannabis legislation in North Dakota and join our waitlist.
  • State Fees: $50 for new applications and renewals.

Ohio

Oklahoma

Oregon

  • NuggMD doctors aren’t yet able to issue medical marijuana cards in Oregon, but we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about medical cannabis in Oregon and join our waitlist. 
  • State Fees: $200 for new applications and renewals.

Pennsylvania

Rhode Island

  • NuggMD doctors aren’t yet able to issue medical marijuana cards in Rhode Island, but we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about medical cannabis in Rhode Island and join our waitlist.
  • State Fees: $50 for new applications and renewals.

South Carolina

  • Medical cannabis isn’t available in South Carolina, but we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about cannabis legislation in South Carolina and join our waitlist.

South Dakota

Tennessee

  • Medical cannabis isn’t available in Tennessee, but we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about cannabis legislation in Tennessee and join our waitlist.

Texas

  • Get your low-cost, no-risk medical cannabis evaluation in Texas. You are only charged if approved. The first state-required follow-up is available at a discounted rate when you use NuggMD.
  • State Fees: No state fees.

Utah

  • NuggMD doctors aren’t yet able to issue medical marijuana cards in Utah, but we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about cannabis legislation in Utah and join our waitlist.
  • State Fees: $15 for initial card; $5 per 30-day renewal; $15 for six-month renewal.

Vermont

Virginia

Washington

Washington D.C.

  • NuggMD doctors aren’t yet able to issue medical marijuana cards in Washington D.C., but we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about cannabis legislation in Washington D.C. and join our waitlist.
  • State Fees: $100 for new applications and renewals.

West Virginia

Wisconsin

  • Medical cannabis isn’t available in Wisconsin, but we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about cannabis legislation in Wisconsin and join our waitlist.

Wyoming

  • Medical cannabis isn’t available in Wyoming, but we’ll be the first to offer online cannabis evaluations once the state allows them. Learn more about cannabis legislation in Wyoming and join our waitlist.
Get Your Medical Card Online Get approved today in minutes with the nation's #1 trusted medical card provider.
No appointment needed. Only billed if approved.

The information in this article and any included images or charts are for educational purposes only. This information is neither a substitute for, nor does it replace, professional legal advice or medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. If you have any concerns or questions about laws, regulations, or your health, you should always consult with an attorney, physician or other licensed professional.

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