Cannabis Pharmacies Are a Good Deal for Patients

State-legal marijuana comes in two forms: medicinal and recreational. More than two-thirds of the states have approved medical cannabis. Nearly 20 have gone one step further to decriminalize recreational consumption. Knowing that some states have legalized both medical and recreational cannabis led me to wonder about the medical cannabis pharmacy and its usefulness to medical users.

States tend to draw a distinction between medical cannabis pharmacies and recreational marijuana dispensaries. There are some exceptions to that rule of course, but maintaining a distinction helps to further maintain two separate markets. If I am understanding things correctly, the goal of maintaining separate markets is to guarantee patients have access to the highest quality and most potent cannabis products.

This knowledge leads to the next question: why should medical cannabis patients purchase from pharmacies rather than dispensaries or black market sellers? For the answer, we turn to the Beehive Farmacy in Salt Lake City, Utah. They run a second location in Brigham City. According to Beehive, there are a number of reasons medical cannabis pharmacies are still a good deal for patients.

1. Product Testing

In every state with an active medical cannabis program, the products sold by medical cannabis pharmacies must be tested for safety and purity. Buying from a licensed pharmacy virtually guarantees a patient is not getting something potentially unsafe. Most states also have some sort of labeling requirements, making it easier for patients to know what it is they are getting.

The same stringent testing may not be required for products sold at recreational dispensaries. And of course, testing and certification are not even part of the black market. Purchasing cannabis from illicit sellers is the worst thing a medical cannabis patient could do.

2. More Potent Products

Utah is a medical-only state, so potency isn’t a question among patients. But in states with both medical and recreational use, regulations tend to allow higher potency for medical products. This could be a game changer for a chronic pain or PTSD patient. Patients looking for higher potency would obviously benefit from buying their products at a pharmacy.

3. Lower Prices

Although lower prices are not guaranteed that your local medical cannabis pharmacy, some states have taken action to make medical cannabis cheaper than its recreational counterpart. Take Washington state. Lawmakers there recently approved a plan to exempt medical cannabis from a 37% excise tax.

If you are a Washington medical marijuana patient and you can save 37% by purchasing from a local pharmacy, doing so is probably worth it. Saving that much, there’s nothing to laugh at, especially if you have been using medical cannabis for years.

4. Access to a Pharmacist

One of the biggest medical cannabis pharmacy benefits to get so little attention is access to a pharmacist. In Utah, pharmacies must have what the state refers to as a Pharmacy Medical Provider (PMP) on the premises whenever the doors are open. Furthermore, that pharmacist must have proved each and every order before it is sold to the customer.

Having direct access to a pharmacist who specializes in cannabis-based medicines is invaluable. A pharmacist is the most qualified person to offer advice about dosage, delivery method, and potential interactions with other medications. You simply cannot get the same level of advice from recreational dispensary employees.

Medical cannabis pharmacies serve a valuable purpose. If you live in a state with both medical and recreational marijuana consumption, you are still better off visiting a pharmacy to purchase marijuana for medicinal purposes. It is hard to beat what pharmacies offer in terms of quality, potency, and sound advice.

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