Updated on July 19, 2020. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Adult use, or recreational use, is a term that is selectively used by some state legislatures in the US to denote cannabis dispensaries. These dispensaries can sell cannabis to patrons of age 21 and above. To buy cannabis from such a dispensary, one needs to show a state-issued ID as proof of age.
Different states follow different laws when it comes to cannabis usage. For instance, California’s adult-use policy permits patrons to buy up to 28 grams of cannabis. Likewise, in the state of Colorado, adults are allowed to possess 1 oz in the form of flowers or 8 grams of concentrates or 800 milligrams of edibles containing cannabis.
Such regulations came into effect as the general population was unfamiliar with the cannabis dosage and often ended up consuming more than the required quantities of cannabis.
The adult-use market is bigger than the medical market in the US today. This can be attributed to the fact that medical cannabis firms are making more and more prescription drugs available in the adult-use market. Hence, patients are forgoing the renewal of their medical cards. This trend is despite the fact that adult-use cannabis is taxed much higher than medical cannabis. For instance, Denver taxes adult-use cannabis at a rate of 26%. However, the tax rates vary as per the county.
In the state of Colorado, adult-use cannabis needs to go through stringent testing related to potency, microbial contamination as well as pesticides.