May 8, 2012 – What is the highest price you have ever seen in a medical marijuana dispensary, or collective, or whatever you call them in your area? I have seen prices in West Hollywood that were $75 per eighth. I don’t know about you, but I find this outlandish. Even $60 per eighth is too much in my opinion. I live in Oregon, where there is no doubt more mmj than most people would ever imagine, and anything over $10 per gram raises eyebrows and skepticism. That’s not to say that people don’t pay more than that, because they do, but it has to be very special circumstances.
I think the biggest reason that Oregon prices are lower than California’s for medical marijuana is because Oregon is built on a system where growers can only be reimbursed for the direct costs of the garden. This results in compassion instead of profit, which isn’t always the case in the medical marijuana industry. That’s not even always the case in Oregon; there are greedy collective owners here just as there are in California and beyond.
There’s not many things that make me more upset than a profiteer that is just pretending to have compassion for the purpose of profit. It sets our movement back, and reflects extremely poorly on medical marijuana patients that desperately need safe access. No one should be in the ‘business of selling compassion.’ Providing safe access is one thing. Profiting at the expense of patients is another thing.
There seems to be an evolutionary process that many dispensaries and collectives unfortunately follow. When the place opens up they have the best deals on the best medicine. Safe access is increased in the area, and the suffering patients benefit as result. But then as that money starts coming in, the greed takes over, and the dispensaries or collectives start pursuing a ‘profit first, patients second’ mentality. Signs of this include but are certainly not limited to high prices and poor quality. It is usually accompanied by excuses and promises that things will go back once the ‘temporary’ bump in the road is overcome…
I want to state that not all dispensaries and collectives are bad. In fact, greedy dispensary and collective owners are the exception rather than the norm. It’s up the medical marijuana consumers to help weed out the bad ones by not providing them your dollars. Ask other medical marijuana patients what they are paying, and for what quality. Band together to find the people that are genuine and compassionate and frequent their establishments. If we all did this, eventually all of the greedy places would be forced to close.
Are you happy with your dispensary or collective? Have you found that ‘farmers market’ style establishments are better than traditional dispensaries? What about delivery? Do you just sidestep the whole process and grow your own? If so, what advice do you have for people that are going to dispensaries? I look forward to your responses.