Medical marijuana dispensaries in Delaware face a boycott after testifying in opposition to a legalization legislation
Last month, four medical marijuana dispensaries made negative statements about a Delaware legalization law. Many patients, activists and others are therefore planning to boycott these pharmacies.
Cannabis companies tackle marijuana advocacy in Delaware
Adult marijuana activists and medical marijuana patients were shocked to discover that four of the six existing medical marijuana dispensaries in Delaware had testified against a full legalization law, HB 150. The companies that testified were EZY Venture (aka The Farm). CannaTech Research Inc, Fresh Delaware (also known as CCRI), and Colombia Care. These pharmacies have faced massive backlash from cannabis enthusiasts, patients, and grassroots organizers who even urged patients to boycott these locations.
While not uncommon, it is uncommon for medical marijuana operators to be among those who actively speak out against legalizing recreational activities. There is much speculation as to why these pharmacies were not billed for adult use. The statements indicated the concern of medical pharmacies that a full adult use program would create too much supply to be manageable. CannTech Research Inc. representative Aaron Epsteinmade claimed that the total size of the canopy offered under the Legalization Act would be able to “deliver all of the legal and illegal marijuana across the east coast.” The legalization law in question would create an additional 30 pharmacy licenses and 60 cultivation licenses.
Columbia Care representative Sharice Ward reiterated this “oversupply” claim, stating that Delaware patients would see higher costs and “administrative burdens” without providing an explanation as to why. Currently, the small number of medical retailers in Delaware results in high prices for products, and patients could certainly benefit from improved access to pharmacies. Proponents of pro-legalization claim that current medical marijuana operators have cornered the market and are hoping to crush the leisure bill to eliminate potential competition.
Fresh Delaware went so far as to say that if they passed this HB 150 they would have to fire unionized workers for “rendering [their] Carefully viewed long-term vision as an irreparable loss. “
Delaware’s fight for recreational marijuana
In response to the negative statements made by Delaware pharmacies, Zoë Patchell, Executive Director of Delaware CAN replied, “Cannabis is more than a market – cannabis is a community. These companies cannot imagine that we will buy cannabis from a company that has a proven track record of making profits for patients. And now they seem poised to put the lives and freedom of consumers at risk only to take an unfair advantage in the industry. “Cannabis advocates largely agree with this view that the marijuana industry, be it medical or recreational, shouldn’t be purely for the purpose of promoting the interests of big businesses while putting prices on consumers and patients .
Laura Sharer, NORM Director of Delaware, said, “We are angry that these large companies are trying to reduce the number of licenses available to limit much-needed competition. As a patient, I do not see sufficient supply or variety of products in our pharmacies. “With only six pharmacies operating in the state, there is little incentive to create a robust market with a variety of cannabis products tailored to consumer needs and budgets. Sharer continued, “They also charge an exorbitant price for their medicine. If they are so flush with the offer then why are the prices so high? These companies sell millions of high-priced, sub-par cannabis with very few options available to patients. Patients need market competition and more options. “
Lillyanne Ternahan, a registered medical marijuana patient, wrote in the Cape Gazette: “These companies’ greed and desire for market control are harming medical patients. The lack of affordable cannabis in sufficient quantities to meet demand causes patients to suffer. These pharmacies have not had any results and have been given more than sufficient time to get results. They neither deserve nor have the right to be the first to obtain new licenses to fuel their greedy corporate interests. “
Delaware isn’t the only state grappling with high prices and inadequate access. Chris Goldstein, who writes medical marijuana reform for the Philadelphia Inquirer and blogs as NORML’s regional organizer, commented on how medical marijuana dispensary operators have raised their prices in the states where those dispensaries are located. He said, “Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware have the most expensive medicinal cannabis in the country at $ 360 to 440 an ounce of flower, while Maine, where patients have access to a wider range of small businesses that manufacture cannabis, has Price has dropped to $ 140 an ounce. ”
In the absence of federal standards for regulating medical marijuana and recreational marijuana, these conflicts of interest will likely continue to turn government industry officials against legalization activists.
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