I was on the Bill Newman show this morning (WHMP AM 1400) talking briefly about the Medical Marijuana dispensary process in Massachusetts after a Boston Globe article detailed some of the ethical violations and poor management decisions that have occurred throughout the process. Everyone still asks, “What’s taking so long?”
The more important question is when dispensaries open, will patients be able to get the proper consultation and medicine they need?
The article describes the standard political games that occur when big money is involved; health professionals turned lobbyists, turned CEO’s of dispensaries. When this happens other dispensaries, that also have deep pockets, want to know why they’re not getting selected, or why the state can seemingly break ethics violations and get away with it. If you have deep pockets you have big legal teams and now there are about two dozen injunctions against the state, further slowing down the process.
Meanwhile, it is my opinion that if this is the culture of the Medical Marijuana industry currently, when the dispensaries do open will they be able to serve patients properly. Medical Marijuana, done right, is a one on one interaction that requires tweaking and constant care to create the most positive benefit. Whether dispensaries can do this remains to be seen.
As a professional in the Medical Marijuana field, I know how the underground industry of marijuana works and I would have rolled out medical marijuana in the state much differently. Essentially, voters overwhelming approved legal medical marijuana, therefore all of the people already growing medical grade marijuana should have been regulated to have their businesses and services above ground. There is no need to bring in out-of-state companies to adminster something that already exists, and is already delivering medicine to patients locally. There are hundreds of marijuana growers in the state that are otherwise law-abiding citizens, they are already providing medicine to patients, and they know their strains, know what their products do, and they care about their patients because many are friends and family.
You can’t fully regulate a pharmaceutical drug that can be readily grown inside a closet. What you do is remove the stigma of growing, and allow adults who own their own homes to grow and sell to patients in an intimate, private setting, the way it has been done for decades. The vast majority of medical marijuana users are not “diverting” marijuana to children. They are in desperate need of every gram they can get because they are managing symptoms and marijuana works for them.