Posts Tagged ‘Dispensaries’
Marijuana for medical purposes was legalized in Montana in 2004 and the law has survived more than one attempt to get it repealed, including earlier in 2012. But patients in need of medical marijuana can still get the drug if the follow the right procedures. In order to get medical marijuana, a patient needs a doctor’s recommendation, and can grow and cultivate the plant, or purchase it from caregiver collectives.
Get Medical Marijuana in Montana
Patients with a legitimate medical need can obtain marijuana, but only after applying for a registry card through the Montana Department of Public Health & Human Services (DPHHS). Applicant information is required in form, as well as verification of where the patient will actually obtain the marijuana. Other requirements for the application process include:
- A $75 application fee is required when the application is submitted.
- A photocopy of a valid Montana driver’s license or other state issued identification.
- Applicable physician statement.
- If the patient applicant is requesting a provider or marijuana infused products provider (MIPP), the provider/MIPP must sign page two of the application form. Any individual who wishes to be a provider/MIPP must first register with the state by completing the provider/MIPP packet.
Other forms are also available and can be downloaded from the DPHHS website. These forms include:
- The landlord permission form.
- Change request form.
- Physician’s statement for a debilitating medical condition.
- Minor registered cardholder (patient) application.
- Physician’s statement for minors.
- Physician’s statement for a chronic pain diagnosis.
- Provider/Marijuana Infused Products Provider Application Form.
Qualifying Conditions and Symptoms
Patients who wish to get medical marijuana must have proof from a doctor that he or she suffers from one or more of the following: Cancer, glaucoma or positive status for human immunodeficiency virus, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome when the condition or disease results in symptoms that seriously and adversely affect the patient’s health status; Cachexia or wasting syndrome; Intractable nausea or vomiting; Epilepsy or an intractable seizure disorder; Multiple sclerosis; Chron’s disease; Painful peripheral neuropathy; A central nervous system disorder resulting in chronic, painful spasticity or muscle spasms; or admittance into a hospice. In order to get medical marijuana in Montana that patient needs to provide proof of their condition through test results and other documentation.
There have been a number of changes to the Montana Marijuana Program that can affect concerned parties. Here is information to be aware of before and after submitting an application.
- Marijuana Infused Products Provider (MIPP) is a “Montana resident who meets the requirements of the law, and who has applied for and received a registry ID card to manufacture and provide marijuana-infused products for a registered cardholder.”
- Registered cardholder means a registered patient with a qualifying, debilitating medical condition who has and maintains a valid registry card.
- Resident is a person who does not claim residency in another state or country for any reason. An absentee property owner who pays property taxes is not considered a Montana resident under the law and cannot get medical marijuana through the program.
Finally, there are some common questions that people ask about the program, like how long is my registry card valid? And where can I get information on seeds or cuttings to get started? The card is valid until the expiration date printed on the card and must be carried at all times; the state doesn’t provide information on growing or cultivation, but recommends the patient searches online or consults with family, friends, or other resources.
Medical marijuana was legalized by voters in California in 1996, but a movement’s afoot to shutdown storefront dispensaries in Los Angeles as soon as September. Back in July, the Los Angeles City Council voted unanimously to close all the dispensaries, resulting in a lawsuit by proponents of legalized marijuana. Some in the media are calling it a case of “buyer’s remorse,” but for thousands of people with a legitimate medical need, the question remains: How do patients get medical marijuana in California?
As is the case within other states, a person in the state of California needs to fill out a form to receive a medical marijuana identification card, and a written document of the patient’s medical records with the Department of Public Health.
In 1996, residents in California approved the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, also known as Proposition 215, the first medical marijuana measure voted into law in the United States. The program was strengthened in 2003 with the passage of Senate Bill 420, requiring the California Department of Public Health to create and manage the Medical Marijuana Program. This allows a patient to get medical marijuana as needed, if his or her application and supporting documents are approved.
In order to receive a medical marijuana identification card and get medical marijuana in California, a patient has to be a resident of California and 18 years of age or older, or have permission from his or her parent or legal guardian, to participate in the program. The patient must also provide supporting documentation about his or her medical history. According to Senate Bill 420, the patient must suffer from one or more of the following “serious medical conditions:”
- Chronic Pain
- Persistent muscle spasms, including, but not limited to, spasms associated with multiple sclerosis
- Seizures, including, but not limited to, seizures associated with epilepsy
- Severe nausea, and
- Any other condition that “Substantially limits the ability of the person to conduct one or more major life activities as defined in the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (Public Law 101-336)” and if not alleviated could cause serious harm to the person’s physical or mental health.
There are two primary forms that a patient needs to fill out and submit in order to get medical marijuana: the Medical Marijuana Program Application/Renewal Form, and the Medical Marijuana Program Written Documentation of Patient’s Medical Records.
- The Medical Marijuana Program Application/Renewal Form includes five sections: Section 1, to be completed by all applicants (patient, primary caregiver only, or patient and primary caregiver); section 2, to be completed by a minor application under the age of 18; section 3, to be completed by a parent, legal guardian, or someone else on behalf of a patient unable to fill out the form; section four, to be completed by the primary caregiver requesting an identification card; and section 5, where the attending physician is identified. In all cases, a signature is required.
- The Medical Marijuana Program Written Documentation of Patient’s Medical Records. This form is to be completed by the attending physician, who is either licensed by the Medical Board of California or Osteopathic Medical Board of California. The physician’s signature is required.
In addition to the forms, the patient must provide proof of residency and pay the application fee, which varies by county. Detailed information, including the location of dispensaries and county offices, are available online at the state Department of Public Health.
For anyone suffering from chronic pain or other symptoms associated with cancer, glaucoma, or another serious or debilitating medical condition, the decision to use marijuana for medical reasons may be difficult to come to. Depending on where a patient lives, there are legal concerns. Most states, in fact, do not allow the use of marijuana for medical purposes, thereby putting a person with medical need in the position of being a law breaker.
But in the states where a patient can get medical marijuana, the easiest way to do that is through a medical marijuana dispensary. A medical marijuana dispensary sometimes referred to as marijuana collective or just collective, is a state licensed business that sells marijuana plants or seeds or other related paraphernalia.
What to Look Out For
Here are some things to be aware of when looking for a medical marijuana dispensary:
- Shop local. If you’re suffering from a painful medical condition resulting in the need to ingest marijuana, look for the store or collective nearest to you. If your state has a legal medical marijuana program, or simply allows the use of marijuana for a documented medical reason, then store locations may be available on the state website or through a generic web search.
- Ask questions. A medical marijuana dispensary is like any other business, and that’s to make money. Don’t be afraid to ask questions like: How long have you been in business? Can you provide me with referrals? What forms of payment do you accept? And perhaps most importantly, ask if the dispensary is licensed by the state and do they have proof of that license. Verify it with the state before making a purchase.
- The overall experience. While a dispensary may be licensed in your state, that doesn’t necessarily mean its proprietors will provide the type of buying experience you may receive from a boutique clothing store, for instance. For those wishing to get medical marijuana in Washington, the experience may be akin to visiting a store in the worst part of town – heavy duty security doors, bars on the windows, cashiers protected by two inch thick, bullet proof glass. The flip side is some dispensaries are modeled after a doctor’s office and will cater not only to patients with specific medical conditions, but may offer more personalized or concierge services where customer satisfaction is their chief concern. Most medical marijuana patients don’t want to purchase from a collective or dispensary where “stoners” may hang out all the time.
- Knowledge. Chances are that as a medical marijuana user, or someone whose doctor has recommended the use of marijuana to control pain or symptoms of an illness, you are knowledgeable about your condition and how it affects you physically and psychologically. The staff at a medical marijuana dispensary should share in that knowledge base in some regards, and be able to offer advice or feedback on how to improve your qualify of life.
- Quality of the medicine. Any state licensed medical marijuana dispensary should follow the highest standards related to the quality of the products they sell. This means paying attention to the potency of medical marijuana (of THC-CBD-THCA, for instance), what process was used to flush excess fertilizers from the marijuana, and how the plant was cured and processed. Also be aware that some dispensaries also sell “medibles” or products like food and candy made with medical marijuana.
Finally, anyone looking for a medical marijuana dispensary needs to educate themselves about the industry and know what to expect before making a purchase.
We’ve all heard about the federal government’s crackdown on medicinal marijuana in California, and they have a particular issue with medicinal marijuana dispensaries that are close to schools. Over the last few years the federal government has taken a particularly draconian approach to dispensaries within a mile or so of school buildings, making it impossible for a lot of medical marijuana businesses to continue in their present location.
The solution for many medical marijuana entrepreneurs is to abandon their physical locations and turn towards a delivery based service. As more of these delivery dispensaries pop up around the state it has become harder for patients to keep informed about new services in their area.
Doobons.com is a new website that lets medical marijuana users use advanced geotargeting technology to locate the medical marijuana delivery services in their area. The technology instantly pinpoints where the site visitor is surfing from, and graphically displays all local services on a map.
As well as helping dispensaries avoid the federal crackdown, providing a delivery service can have a lot of benefits for medical marijuana users. Many of those who benefit from medical marijuana the most have illnesses that can either prevent them from leaving the house or make travelling to a dispensary very difficult. A mobile delivery service provides these users with a convenient way to receive their medicine.
There are also a growing number of people who wish to keep their medical marijuana consumption as private as possible. A delivery service provides an exceptionally discreet way to remain regularly medicated.
Doobons.com is designed to be exceptionally user friendly, with an intuitive interface that even those completely new to medicinal marijuana can navigate easily. While directories of dispensaries aren’t a new idea, Doobon.com’s intuitive geotargeting system makes it incredibly easy to navigate.
The technology works on both smartphones and fixed locations. Whether you are out and about or at home, you can find the delivery service that is closest to you. The website finds your location using either your IP address or your smartphone’s GPS data, and displays the information on an easy to read map. At a glance you can see exactly where your nearest medical marijuana dispensary or delivery service is located.
You can also look at services further afield if you are planning a trip to another area and you want to investigate special deals or local strains.
Delivery services aren’t the only type of dispensaries covered; there are also plenty of opportunities to find traditional dispensaries in your local area.
The website also provides an excellent marketing opportunity for medicinal marijuana dispensaries. For a small monthly fee, dispensaries can enhance their visibility to users. They can also post special deals to the site to attract medical users.
Doobons.com provides a valuable service to medical marijuana users in California. If you are attempting to navigate the endless sea of dispensaries in the state, then Doobons.com should be your first port of call.
Colorado has recently relaxed their laws on medical marijuana significantly. By issuing state medical marijuana business licenses, they have effectively legalized medical marijuana entrepreneurialism, and opened the doors for many medical marijuana businesses to start operating without fear of federal action being taken against them.
Eleven licenses have been granted to medical marijuana businesses, including dispensaries and makers of medicinal marijuana products such as medicated brownies or chocolate bars. Seven other businesses have been told that they can expect to get a license before the year is out. There are another 467 medical marijuana related enterprises in the state, and they are beginning the first step towards approval, with state officials contacting local authorities to determine whether they object to cannabis related businesses operating in their area.
Medical marijuana is an incredibly contentious issue in Colorado, with many differing opinions between advocates and anti-medical marijuana activists. A petition by Colorado’s Campaign to Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol, a pro-marijuana pressure group, gathered 86,000 signatures on a legalize marijuana petition earlier this year.
Colorado’s moves towards decriminalization of the drug are in stark contrast to the stance being taken by California’s lawmakers. Once the most liberal state in the union towards medical marijuana, Californian authorities have taken the unprecedented step of telling medicinal dispensaries to stop selling marijuana within 45 days. Perhaps this is sign of the tide of the liberal view of medical marijuana turning towards the east.
Colorado officials are allowing decisions about dispensaries to be made at the local level. Not all localities are happy to allow medical marijuana to be sold in their neighborhood. Fort Collins, in Larimer County, already has a dispensary ban on the ballot, with the local Sheriff Justin Smith coming down hard on medical marijuana. Fort Collins isn’t the only location where such a ban is being proposed. Many communities will be asked to decide whether they feel medical marijuana has a place in their back yard at the November 1st elections.
Dan Hartman, the state’s Medical Marijuana Regulator, has already come under fire for appearing to encourage communities to vote against any ban at the local level. He has written an open letter explaining to communities that, due to the state’s constitution permitting patients obtaining medical marijuana from a registered caregiver, voting against regulated dispensaries in their neighborhood wouldn’t eradicate medical marijuana. Instead it would merely stop the State Medical Marijuana Enforcement division from ensuring that medical marijuana sales in their community are regulated, monitored, safe, secure and taxed.
Hartman came under a huge amount of pressure as a result of this letter, and state Attorney General John Suthers deemed the letter to be unethical. Stan Hilkey, Sheriff of Mesa County, said the letter was “highly inappropriate” and could appear to advocate against a ban.
Whatever way local communities choose to vote on the ban propositions that will be put before them on November 1st, the law at the state level has been changed irrevocably. Colorado’s lawmakers have sent out a clear message of tolerance towards medical marijuana.
Medical marijuana has been tolerated in California since the Compassionate Use Act, proposition 215, was passed in 1996. Supporters of the act wheeled out a large number of very sick people who could benefit from the use of medical marijuana to support their proposition. In recent years, however, many people (including law enforcement agents from the federal government) have criticised medical marijuana dispensaries in the state for focusing too much on their own business interests, and too little on the welfare of their patients.
There is no doubt that the medical marijuana trade in California has been vastly commercialised. While officially medical marijuana dispensaries are only supposed to act as non profit organisations, the marketing efforts put forth by the dispensaries serves to disprove that notion. While of course many medical marijuana dispensaries are focused purely on the care of their patients, many dispensaries seem to be running more of an enterprise and less of a charity.
While even medical marijuana has a clandestine feel, in recent years operations have become more blatant. A gigantic medical marijuana growing operation earlier this year applied to the City of Oakland for permission to run a massive 50,000 foot square grow room inside an enormous warehouse. The federal government stepped in to remind local officials that there is no way an operation of that size could be tolerated, even under California’s relaxed medical marijuana laws.
The federal government has justified their recent crackdown against medical marijuana operations in California with this argument. They claim that medical marijuana dispensaries are basically legally tolerated drug dealers, gaining the same amount of massive tax free profit as drug dealers are usually accustomed to.
When proposition 215 was originally passed, many voters believed that medical marijuana would be dispensed by doctors in white coats from behind heavily regulated pharmacy counters. This couldn’t be further from the case, and the federal government aren’t pleased about how things have turned out in California.
One medical marijuana dispensary is prepared to take full advantage of the clause in proposition 215 that states that medical marijuana can be provided for “any illness for which marijuana provides relief.” They are prepared to dispense marijuana for 258 conditions, including obesity and writers cramp.
The sad thing is that the unscrupulous medical marijuana dispensaries are causing problems for those with a genuine need for medical marijuana, the cancer patients, AIDS victims, and suffers from Multiple Sclerosis that the Compassionate Use Act was intended to help. Those with severe and complex illnesses that require medical marijuana for pain relief will be forced to seek their medicine elsewhere as a result of federal raids.
While the federal government are obviously largely to blame for this due to their intolerant and backwards stance towards the use of medical marijuana, they are only being inflamed by the blatant profiteering of a minority of large dispensaries in California. It will only be after the commoditisation of medical marijuana stops that the federal government will step back again.
Once again federal and state law clash over this subject and for the moment the federal jurisdiction is edging out over 3,459 patient’s rights. Rights that should be protected under laws enacted and voted on by the people. Rhode Island is not unique in this fight as other New England states such as New Hampshire and Washington D.C. continue to face the same challenges. So the fight will go on until the will of people finally perseveres.