NOV 07, 2019 11:57 AM PST

Rural Medical Cannabis Users Struggle With Dispensary Distance, Cost

WRITTEN BY: Julia Travers

Long drives and high prices can complicate medical cannabis access in rural areas.

 

Once medical marijuana is legalized in a state, licensed dispensaries spring up to serve patients with cannabis prescriptions. But other roadblocks can still surface and block legal medical cannabis access. For example, there aren’t always enough local, accessible cannabis stores to serve all the patients with prescriptions.

In Ohio, the Ohio Board of Pharmacy divided the state into 31 dispensary districts and accepted and reviewed cannabis dispensary applications. Along with the district location, they took other relevant information, like an applicant’s level of experience with medical cannabis dispensing, into account. Some dispensary districts ended up having no candidates or no viable ones.

Taking a long drive to get medical cannabis can be expensive and even painful and prohibitive for some patients. Those with differing abilities and/ or chronic pain can struggle or be completely unable to make long car trips. One patient with multiple sclerosis told The Well News that he could no longer complete the drive to the nearest dispensary when construction blocked his regular route.

Patients said high travel costs, as well as cannabis costs, were problematic. One woman conveyed that she had to stock up and ration out her medical marijuana due to the expensive trips.

“I go maybe once a week, or once every two weeks,” she said.

Another travels further to reach a dispensary with prices that are lower than what a closer facility offers. She said costs at the nearer dispensary “are almost twice what they are at the place I go to.”

“I don’t think [the drives are] as much of a concern at this point as the pricing,” Tim Johnson, co-founder of the Ohio Cannabis Chamber of Commerce, a cannabis legalization advocacy group, said.


Article Source: The Well News

About the Author
  • Julia Travers is a writer, artist and teacher. She frequently covers science, tech, conservation and the arts. She enjoys solutions journalism. Find more of her work at jtravers.journoportfolio.com.
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