The other night, I was flipping through the channels…oh, all right, I was watching the Bravo Network, I confess. What with The Real Housewives of Blah-Blah, Salon Makeover with Tabatha Coffey and Millionaire Matchmaker, I have survived the most horrendous winter in recent memory and still managed to keep my sanity intact.
Shows like these are the perfect antidote to what’s REALLY going on the world, i.e., Egypt, man’s inhumanity to man and beast, natural disasters, and Glenn Beck.
One night I cam across a show that I hadn’t seen before and that I will most likely not watch again due to its predictability. It’s called Million Dollar Listing. Basically, it’s three or four upscale Realtors trying to list and sell multimillion dollar homes in California’s toniest neighborhoods. Sellers don’t want to come down in price, buyers don’t want to come up—you get the picture. Just like real life but with a lot more dough involved.
This show is not the focus of this blog entry, however. No, my attention was drawn to a man, about mid-30s, who was looking to purchase a home in the Hollywood Hills. A big, expensive home. Was this man in the entertainment business? An actor, a writer, a producer? No. Was he a plastic surgeon? A high-priced attorney? No. What was this man’s occupation you ask?
He sells pot—legally. That’s right. Mr. Hollywood Hills owns a medical marijuana dispensary located in a neighborhood suburb of Los Angeles. And he was more than happy to give the Realtor a tour of his shop.
The Realtor was dumbfounded. Never before had he seen pot in such quantities, each type individually wrapped in plastic and identified as to type and which ailments it is designed to alleviate. He joked that the smell alone was getting him high.
Then there were the fancy pipes and bongs, the cookies and brownies, and a menu of sorts, featuring, unsurprisingly, astronomical prices for other foodstuffs containing weed.
I support the use of medical marijuana. It has been shown to reduce or relieve the symptoms of some illnesses, particularly cancer. Many cancer patients who have lost their appetite for food due the side effects of chemotherapy swear by it, as do those in chronic pain.
Medical marijuana should be treated like any other controlled substance, naturally. You need a doctor’s scrip to partake and it’s kept under lock and as are other controlled substances, for example, Oxycontin, otherwise known as “hillbilly heroin.”
But really, what other drug is sold under such conditions, in a cozy lounge setting, baked into cookies and brownies, with colorful pipes and bongs lining the shelves? Do they have similar lounges for Oxycontin, Adderall, Percocet or Xanax? Is there a lounge for Ambien, compete with a comfy bed and a nurse to pour you some warm milk and read you a bedtime story?
I sort of understand the reasoning behind the lounges and why they don’t allow you take it home and smoke it there (they do make exceptions for people in hospice). They don’t want you sharing it with your friends or worse, selling it to make a profit. I know that it would be just as easy to do this with pills but for some reason, it’s easier to share a drug that you smoke or bake into food.
Still, it just struck me funny that the managers of such dispensaries go out of their way to make the place as friendly and cozy as possible, like your best friend’s basement in high school. It made me wonder what one needs to do to become a licensed dispenser of medical marijuana. (No, I am not considering it, thanks for asking).
I did a little research: www.mahalo.com/how-to-sell-marijuana-legally
State Laws Vary
Currently, there are 14 states that have legalized the medicinal use of marijuana for patients with terminal and/or painful illnesses. Each state has its own regimen for the distribution of marijuana, and the legalization is only recognized on the state level. It is still considered a Federal crime to sell or buy marijuana in the United States, despite individual state policies and laws regarding
The states that currently have designed a system for patients to obtain medical marijuana are Alaska, California, Colorado, Hawaii, Maine, Michigan, Montana, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington.
Marijuana dispensaries and distributors in participating states must apply for and undergo a licensing process with their respective state. Currently, 9 of the 14 states with an established medical marijuana policy have removed criminal implications at the state level from the sale and use of marijuana, imposed conditions (namely specific medical conditions confirmed by a physicians) around the eligibility for medical marijuana use, and created state programs for the purpose of registration and licensee.
The remaining states have decriminalized medical marijuana use and distribution and are either in the process of developing a medical marijuana registration program, or opting to forgo requiring registration. Guidelines, fees and requirements vary from state to state and are typically exhibited on official state websites.
While most states that require a license don’t recognize licenses from other states, some will honor a registration from another state provided that requirements are met for obtaining a license or the approved medical conditions such as cancer, glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, cachexia or wasting syndrome, severe or debilitating chronic pain, severe nausea, seizures, epilepsy, muscle spasms, Crohn’s disease and Alzheimer’s Disease.
Dispensaries are small clinics that are designed to aid patients who suffer from painful and/or terminal illnesses by providing access to medical grade marijuana as well as food and paraphernalia. In these clinics, patients receive alternative treatment and relief through the supervised use of marijuana. In certain states, dispensaries must be not-for-profit outfits, and require patients or customers to furnish a state identification card to gain access. In order to qualify for a registration or a license, an individual must provide proof of residency in the state in which (s)he wishes to grow, sell or buy marijuana.
If you are interested in working with terminally ill patients, as well as patients with chronic pain as a marijuana grower or dispenser, your best bet would be working in a collective dispensary clinic. Right now, just California, Colorado, Hawaii, Vermont and Maine distribute marijuana through collective dispensaries.
Dispensaries typically obtain medical marijuana from local growers who are also impacted by state medical marijuana laws with respect to quantities and licensing. While the sale of marijuana is not permitted outside of the dispensary, employees of a dispensary become an integral part of the medical marijuana process. Becoming politically or socially active in the medical marijuana community may result in a network of equally minded individuals and potential job offers.