Washington D.C. medical marijuana patients have three dispensaries to legally purchase medical marijuana from. That’s three dispensaries for roughly 2,500 patients, which is up from 800 last summer. That imbalance of patient to safe access point has led to a medical marijuana shortage in Washington D.C.. Per the Washington Post:
Operators of Washington’s three medical marijuana dispensaries have struggled to meet the rising demand, frequently limiting the amount patients can purchase and occasionally turning them away.
On Wednesday, “we opened without any product to sell or without a delivery expected that day,” said Vanessa West, manager of the Metropolitan Wellness Center in Southeast Washington. “It was a total bummer. We closed early.”
West has heard from some impatient patients that the shortage has pushed them back to the pot dealers they relied on before the District launched its tightly regulated medical marijuana network in 2013.
There are ten licenses currently issued to grow medical marijuana in Washington D.C. to supply the dispensaries. Only three of those growers have brought crops to the dispensaries so far, so there is room for a lot more growth on the supply side. Now that medical marijuana patients can grow recreational plants, I’d imagine that will affect things quite a bit. Although, there are no doubt quite a few patients that don’t want to, or can’t, cultivate marijuana themselves, so safe access points are still vital.