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McDonnell Says Dispensaries Could Replace Home Grows Of Medical Marijuana

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Nug of the Month: Aug 2008
Mark McDonnell, from the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, believes that dispensaries in Oregon would remove the need for individuals to grow their own medical marijuana, according to an April 29 article in the Portland Tribune by Peter Korn. This is not a new idea; in January, Klamath County Sheriff Tim Evinger stated that medical marijuana should be purchased from a pharmacy and controlled "...just like any controlled substance that is prescribed". However, many are not happy with the potential loss of personal cultivation of cannabis proposed by law enforcement officials.

Madeline Martinez, Executive Director of Oregon NORML and one of the co-chief petitioners for the Oregon Cannabis Tax Act, expressed her concern: "I want to grow organic, and I don't want anybody taking that away from me." Allen St. Pierre, Executive Director of NORML, has described private cultivation as the "single most important" aspect of any legalization effort: "Allowing for the legal, personal cultivation of cannabis provides consumers with the option to grow their own product should commercially available sources offer cannabis that fails to meet the consumers' needs because it is excessively expensive, too heavily taxed, or of inferior quality."

There are also concerns about pricing under Initiative 28, which Korn described as creating "...the first state in the country with legal, for-profit marijuana growers." While dispensaries will be required to be nonprofit organizations, licensed "producers" will not be required to be nonprofit under I-28. Stormy Ray, who helped pass the Oregon Medical Marijuana Act in 1998, was quoted by Korn, "The same people we call the black market right now will be running those dispensaries." She claims that medical marijuana can be grown for $40 per ounce when compassion, not profit, is the incentive.

Dispensaries in other states, such as California and Colorado, could indicate future potential dispensary pricing in Oregon: Green Life, a Westminster, California dispensary, boasts that it has the "lowest priced medical marijuana" at $18/gram cap (approximately $500 an ounce); and in Colorado, Boulder County Caregivers lists their prices between $375 - 420 per ounce. Russ Bellville, host of the NORML SHOW LIVE and The NORML Stash Blog, wonders why marijuana, "the flowers of a locally-grown bush," should cost more than one of the world's most expensive flowers saffron, which has a "suggested $129.95 retail" price per ounce. He is not convinced that prices in Oregon dispensaries will be much different than other dispensaries: "With 70 Colorado dispensaries and over 700 California dispensaries, how much longer before that competition factor kicks in?"

John Sajo, Executive Director of Voter Power, disputes claims that prices will be inflated: "We face a barrage of criticism that we will be exploiting patients and selling medicine at top dollar, but we've done everything we can to structure the system to avoid that."

Share your comments: Do you feel that dispensaries will improve access to safe and affordable medicine for medical marijuana patients, or will patients suffer from inflated dispensary prices and low-quality medicine?

NewsHawk: Ganjarden: 420 MAGAZINE
Source: Examiner.com
Author: Jennifer Alexander
Contact: Examiner.com
Copyright: 2010 Clarity Digital Group LLC d/b/a Examiner.com
Website: McDonnell says dispensaries could replace home grows of medical marijuana
I believe patients will suffer if we must pay dispensary prices.
Grow your own and keep more of your money!!!! There is no need to pay dispensary prices.
I don't understand how a "non profit" can have ounces that are $400 and over. It doesn't cost me $400 to grow an ounce.


Member of the Month: May 2009, Oct 2010, Sept 2017
I'm not against people making a (reasonable) profit. One more reason to legalize. Let the growers/dispensaries sell for whatever they can get - to the recreational smoker. Set up a standard "actual non-profit" price and that would be the price for cardholders buying for medicinal reasons.

Yes, it would require some kind of oversight both on the card-holders (and the doctors/etc. that help them get their card) and to the sellers, it would have to require some extremely harsh penalties for any misuse of the system such as a card-holder purchasing high-quality cannabis at $100 (whatever) an ounce and then selling it to his friends for $200, and there'd still be some level of corruption.

But it was the best I could come up with in the 45 seconds I spent typing this, lol. And it's probably not worse than McDonnell's idea.

Me, I'd prefer home-grown with the possibility for medical users to sample many different strains until they found the best one(s) to suit their individual needs. And that means visits to the dispensaries.