Healthcare Professionals are Needed in Dispensaries
As we enter the second decade of state-authorized medical cannabis the growing pains are evident and the maturing industry is entering a time of reckoning. Having millions of Americans legally using cannabis, medically or otherwise, is a true victory but, frankly, the time has come for a bit of reform within the industry. Those of us with long years invested in this issue can bring some much needed perspective to the issue, as NORML founder Keith Stroup recently did in his article “Concern About the Industry Influence In the Legalization Movement.” This author’s focus, as it has been for 40 years, is the medical cannabis patient.
It is fair to say that the cannabis industry has grown like Topsy. For those who may not know, Topsy was the lead character in “Uncle Tom’s Cabin,” a wild and uncivilized slave girl who declares, “I ‘spect I grow’d. Don’t think nobody ever made me.” The same can be said of the cannabis industry. It emerged from the culture of prohibition with no guidance other than to make cannabis available. So it is not surprising that the model for medical cannabis was built upon the American marijuana culture of hippies, tie-dye and The Grateful Dead. Early dispensaries in California had the distinct look of 1960s head shops and “medicine” was available in glass apothecary jars labeled “OMG Kush” and “Purple Haze.” Patients stayed away in droves. This was not “medicine” in the traditional sense and many Californians, even if they had wanted to try medical cannabis, were completely put off by the trappings.
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