Yeah I got my medical card maybe about a year before recreational became legal out here. Don't think it cost anything- just had a video chat with a doctor and described my insomnia and anxiety. I was even totally transparent about being an addict/alcoholic with a history of smoking too much weed and he still gave me the card (though at the time, I was only interested in CBD but that didn't last long).
Anyway, that year was great. The lines at the dispensaries were obviously much shorter and predictably largely consisted of old folks who were truly sick. I very distinctly remember going into a dispensary for the first time after recreational became legal and of course it was full of fratboys and douchebros. I looked at the girl behind the counter and we gave each other a "nice while it lasted" kind of look.