How Do Marijuana Dispensaries Work?

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Medical marijuana is a tricky term. It is used for medicinal purposes and state laws have it set up that way, however, because the drug remains classified a class 1 narcotic under federal law doctors are prohibited from actually prescribing it and pharmacies are prohibited from supplying it. This is despite the fact that the drug has shown very positive results in treating many medical ailments for human beings. It actually used to be dealt over the counter in the early 1900s.

Doctors can instead recommend medical marijuana to people they think will benefit from using the substance, as one source notes. Not every doctor supports the use of medical pot, but many do currently. More than 20 states have some form of marijuana law now on the books that regulates its legal (in that particular state) use, however dispensaries have been raided in the past and it is a constant danger they must still face. The attitude at the federal level may finally be changing in the face of defiance from state legislatures on the matter and Obama has made it clear that small drug crimes should not be a priority for law enforcement. Most of law enforcement, in the meantime, remains largely unsupportive of medical cannabis laws.

Many states now have dispensary operations, and in most cases states allow or require the use of some type of patient ID card or other form of measure to ensure regulatory compliance in that state and to avoid misuse of drugs. Doctors often write a letter recommending the patient’s use of marijuana if they believe it will provide a good treatment.

Dispensaries, however, often sell what you might find at your local pot dealer’s house, carrying several varieties of popular strains such Sour Diesel, Train Wreck and others. Each strain has different effects or potency, depending on whether it is a sativa, indica or hybrid plant bud. Some states, like Minnesota, only offer non-smokeable products like oils that contain cannabinoids or CBD.

Dispensaries usually have a high amount of security to avoid being robbed by criminals for their stashes. They also use sophisticated equipment and technology oftentimes to verify identity and to dispense. Some even have a vending machine that can read a fingerprint and the patient ID card. States have different authorities that regulate weed, such as the Oregon Health Authority in Oregon.

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