Medical marijuana is legal in 25 states and the District of Columbia, recreational cannabis is legal in eight states. There are over 400 operating cannabis businesses across 37 states with a combined $8 billion industry. However, these industries have limitations to what they can do because they’re still federally illegal. Cryptocurrency could help bridge this gap as there’s potential for it to be used as an alternative means of payment.
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A look at how Missouri’s medicinal marijuana program has fared after a year.
ST. LOUIS (AP) — Getting up early, driving his grandson to school, conducting errands, and resting with his dog are all part of his daily routine. For a 73-year-old retiree in Sunset Hills, Missouri, Larry Simpson’s daily routines are fairly routine.
“I want to sit in my chair in there and read my book in the afternoon,” he added. “I simply can’t seem to find anything negative to say about my life.” It’s been a pleasure.”
At least one marijuana edible gummy is part of his everyday regimen.
“I never wanted to be the elderly guy who has so many medicines tumbling out of his medical cabinet when he opens it up,” he added.
That’s one of the reasons he chose to try medicinal cannabis after a family friend advised it to help him deal with a stomach cancer diagnosis and the ensuing chemotherapy and operations.
“It’s made a significant difference in the quality of my life,” he remarked.
On Oct. 16, 2020, he was first in line at Missouri’s first medicinal marijuana shop, which will open. He’s now one of around 150,000 people who have a cannabis card. Medical marijuana was legalized by voters in 2018.
“More than 150,000 Missouri patients and caregivers now have safe, accessible, and dependable access to a broad range of products in retail shops around the state.” “As the state’s remaining license holders come online later this year and in 2022, that availability and affordability will only improve,” said MoCannTrade executive director Andrew Mullins in a statement to 5 On Your Side. After this initial year, according to a representative for the state’s largest trade group, the business is projected to continue to create new employment as additional facilities get up and running.
Medical marijuana has made it simpler for doctors like Dr. Trish Hurford, a pain management expert, to aid patients with chronic diseases.
“Some of those more harmful pharmacological agents, some of those toxic medicines, including opioids, can be reduced or even eliminated,” she stated. “I’ve put forth a lot of effort to educate myself so that I can help my patients.”
Dr. Hurford said that she was first suspicious about marijuana, believing it to be a “gateway drug” to other illegal narcotics. That all changed when she witnessed the outcomes in a patient from Illinois, where medicinal marijuana has been legal since 2015.
“For her, it was a dramatic and amazing transformation. “That shift fundamentally transformed my perspective on cannabis as a treatment option,” she added.
Specialized clinics may assess and certify someone interested in medicinal marijuana, some completely online or over the phone, but Dr. Hurford recommends that patients check with their doctors and medical team before making a choice.
“You should tell your doctor what you’re doing since cannabis isn’t a cure-all.” There are certain medication interactions that both your physician and you should be aware of, and having a physician to turn to as a resource makes your cannabis experience that much better and more successful,” she added.
The greatest categories of patients in Missouri qualify for “physical or psychological dependency” (20,988), undefined chronic medical problems (17,492), undefined conditions (9,522), and cancer, according to the most recent statistics (2,204).
“I think medicinal cannabis gives patients with an alternative they haven’t had previously,” Dr. Hurford stated.
When you go inside one of Missouri’s 192 legal dispensaries, like Root 66 in Dogtown, it might seem overwhelming.
“It’s a unique shopping experience,” Imani Bennett said. He’s a “bud-tender,” a wellness agent who helps patients sort through the cases of candies, beverages, vaporizers, rolling papers, and, of course, marijuana buds to see what’s best for them.
“There are several consequences and numerous advantages. So, by asking the patient questions, we may begin to guide them in the proper route,” she said.
The state received more than $136 million in tax revenue from dispensaries last year.
“It’s been a long trip, but the roller coaster is now beginning to move,” Bennett remarked.
Critics of the Missouri program argue it doesn’t go far enough to include companies owned by women and people of color, who have historically been disproportionately affected by marijuana restrictions. Small enterprises may find it difficult to get into the market due to high licensing costs.
“I absolutely want to see more small batch farmers, more local companies actually putting their goods on the market,” Bennett added.
However, one St. Louis native believes the marijuana market is more local than he anticipated.
“People that are enthusiastic about the cannabis sector were moving out of Missouri to locations like Colorado, California, and Washington simply to get their foot in the door,” he said. “And it’s such a godsend that I don’t have to leave now.” I’m really enamored with it.”
It’s now simply another part of Simpson’s everyday routine.
“When I first became ill at 73, I was 70 years old and had never had any contact with marijuana,” he added. He’s taking his medication in milligrams, and he’s looking forward to many more years of excellent health. “It’s been really beneficial to me,” Simpson added.
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