Vermont MMJ Dispensaries Expecting Big Jump in Patient Counts
Vermont’s small medical marijuana industry could see its patient count more than double after the state added chronic pain to the list of conditions treatable with MMJ.
As a result, cannabis businesses are now weighing how best to ramp up production to meet the increased demand.
In addition to chronic pain, a new law – signed by Gov. Peter Shumlin on June 6 – adds glaucoma as well as hospice care patients to the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. The state has three MMJ license holders operating four dispensaries and four cultivation sites.
“We are definitely expecting an increase in patients,” said Shane Lynn, who owns two dispensaries and cultivation sites in Vermont serving nearly 1,500 patients – or more than half the state’s patients.
He consulted with dispensary owners in Maine, where chronic pain already is on the list of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis. They told him he could expect patient numbers to double or triple.
In other states where MMJ can be used for chronic pain, the total patient counts can eventually hit 1.5%-2% of the state’s population. In Vermont, where some 626,000 people live, that would amount to about 9,400-12,500 patients.
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