With the legalization of medical marijuana in several states in the US, medical marijuana dispensaries are opening up all over these states. A dispensary is a place where medical marijuana is grown, stored, and sold to patients.
These dispensaries are a booming industry and when you visit one it is more similar to your local Starbucks coffee shop rather than a pharmacy. Dispensaries are just like wellness health clinics.
They are required to follow specific guidelines as well as adhere to strict state and federal laws. According to ProCon’s website, “there are 18 medical marijuana states and Washington D.C. that have enacted laws to legalize medical marijuana where qualifying patients can obtain marijuana from a dispensary.”
Before opening up a dispensary, operators must obtain local and state licenses and are required to pay fees. In getting a license to operate, they typically have to classify the business as a non-profit organization as well.
There are different state laws and guidelines that medical marijuana dispensaries are required to observe to legally operate. Background checks are also required for operators and employees so marijuana cultivation inside dispensaries should also be supervised by its expert growers as well as the operator.
Before they give out medical marijuana to patients, they are also required to implement strict guidelines for dispensing medical marijuana. Patients should bring their medical marijuana license and/or their written recommendation from their physician.
Patients are also required to bring valid identification cards for proof of identity. Other dispensaries have licensed physicians (law changes are making this less common now) who give additional examinations and tests to the patients to prove their claim of medical necessity.
Inside the marijuana dispensaries, most marijuana plants are placed at the back secured with cameras and locked doors. Many dispensaries have display cases of brownies infused with marijuana, candies, and even bongs and pipes that patients purchase to use for medicating.
There is also medical marijuana in capsule form, just like any other medication. There are also guidelines to be followed when growing cannabis in dispensaries. Marijuana plants, just like any other plants, need water, sun, nutrients, and a suitable temperature.
Marijuana dispensaries should make sure they are growing cannabis plants well-suited for medicinal purposes and their patients’ needs.
There Are Different Styles Of Medical Marijuana Dispensaries
There are those which are open by appointment only and some are walk-in dispensaries. Once the patient enters the dispensary, they present the required documents to the information desk for validation.
In Vermont, only one patient is allowed to enter the dispensary. Others will have to wait in line outside of the dispensary.
As soon as everything is verified, the patient is assisted to the back room where different types and strains of marijuana are available for the patient’s needs.
According to Wikipedia’s Medical Cannabis in the United States article, “those seeking to acquire medical cannabis may have to resort to the black market to obtain the product if their state does not allow the existence of legal dispensaries.”
Medical marijuana dispensary operators should always remember that the marijuana they are selling is for medical purposes only. It is also their responsibility for marijuana not to be abused by patients. Most of all, operators and employees should not abuse marijuana as well.
Marijuana is still classified as a Schedule 1 Drug by Federal Law and selling and distribution of this substance are still illegal unless stated otherwise. What is important in marijuana dispensaries is that it serves the patients as a wellness or health clinic does. Medical dispensaries’ mission should be to help and provide patients with medical marijuana.
Let us know what you think.