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Lifestyle, Politics

Everyone Should be Able to Grow Their Own Cannabis Medicine

Ashley Priest

by Ashley Priest

September 9, 2020 04:37 pm ET Estimated Read Time: 4 Minutes
Everyone Should be Able to Grow Their Own Cannabis Medicine

When medical cannabis laws are passed, it is imperative that patients have access to growing cannabis at home. The reason for this is becoming more evident for many people as cannabis legalization is happening in more places across the nation. Many people support cannabis legalization. In fact, the support for legalization is at an all-time high. A common issue that states come across during initial legalization is the massive surge of customers that cause dispensaries to rapidly sell out of products. This has happened in many different places and plagued Canada at the beginning of its cannabis legalization rollout in 2018. People are genuinely excited to go and legally purchase cannabis. Most of them hold on to that excitement until they get in the door.

But then users are hit with the reality of paying what many of us call ‘prohibition prices in a legal market‘. Lawmakers like to turn to the side of cannabis legalization, saying that regulation helps to eradicate the illicit market. This could be true if legalization were done properly. When medical cannabis patients have to decide between paying bills and buying groceries or being able to afford medicine for the month, it becomes an issue. This is the case for many people across the country. The price of legal cannabis can actually be MORE expensive than the illegal market. For example, in Oklahoma, a typical top shelf or a high-quality ounce of cannabis will cost you somewhere between $250 to $400. Some people can consume this every week. Others may only need this amount monthly. In this case, suddenly your cost for medicine becomes higher than any of your other bills.


Medicine Shouldn’t Financially Cripple Patients 

You now find yourself in the same situation that many people on pharmaceuticals face but with one exception; insurance doesn’t help cover your medicine at all. Many states legalized cannabis on a medicinal level and treat it as such. These states have also implemented state taxes on this medicine. There are rules and regulations on how this medicine is to be marketed and distributed. However, insurance is strictly prohibited from picking up the tab as it does for popular medications that often come with worse side effects.

If lawmakers truly wanted to get rid of the illicit market, doing so is straightforward. All that needs to be done is to produce better products at a lower price than what the illicit market can, and it will disappear. Instead, there is an infection of greed where cannabis is one of, if not THE most heavily taxed legal businesses in the country. Imagine consumers paying 15 to 20% tax or more on purchases of alcohol or tobacco products. This is precisely what many cannabis patients and consumers experience. In some states, taxes on legal cannabis sales are in excess of 25%.

Huron View Dispensary Owners Learn the Hard Truth

Mother and daughter dispensary owners Christina and Tisha Montague of Huron View Dispensary in Ann Arbor Michigan, have discovered firsthand how this can be an issue. They own and operate one of the few POC female-owned cannabis dispensaries in the state. Unlike a lot of dispensaries, they are very involved with the community. They have implemented PTSD support programs for veterans and do community outreach, helping with things like bringing meals to homes of patients and building a stronger community in Ann Arbor. Christina Montague is a former public school social worker and county commission board chair for Washtenaw. Tisha Montagu was quoted telling the Detroit Press,

We care. We want to help break down the stigma of this plant that is helping so many people and changing so many lives daily. People needed to get through their day. And we want to provide it for them in a safe environment.”

As Huron View dispensary’s operation manager, Tisha has developed a relationship with many of the customers. Sometimes there would be gaps in seeing a customer. When Tisha would see them, she would typically ask how they were and where they’ve been. She started hearing a common response, “I had to choose between medicine or food.”  

Cannabis is a Medicine, Not Another Commodity to Profit From

If we’re going to consider cannabis medicine and call it a medicine, it’s high time we start treating it like the medicine it is. Why aren’t more lawmakers pushing for insurance companies to pay for cannabis medicines just like they do pharmaceutical medications? It seems this would be a multibillion-dollar business that would profit all sides more than overpricing legalization. It is time that we put patients before profits and end the greedy cycle of taxation on nature. And if this just isn’t feasible, patients and users should have the ability to grow their own medicine to alleviate the costs.

Post Your Comments

Miss Lynn says:

September 11, 2020 at 8:26 pm

To Whom It May Concern,
I am a child of the 60s Growing Up in The 70/80s. I Have Personally Been Around Cannabis All My Life. I Do Have Some Knowledge As To What Kind Of an Impact Having This Wonderful Plant Has Done For So Many Even Though It Was and Still is Illegal in Most States. Family,Friends and Myself Have in One Way or Another Benefited. I Saw Cannabis Help With Anxiety, Insomnia, Depression.


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