Grow, Gift, Repair

Patient issues as stores transition to adult-use

Regulations written by the Cannabis Control Commission require medical marijuana dispensaries that open for recreational sales to set aside 35% of their inventory for medical patients for the first six months. After that, the amount they must set aside is based on their sales from the previous six months.

The recreational market is bigger than the medical market, and dispensaries can potentially charge more for recreational products. Lower sales of medical products, meanwhile, mean lower inventory requirements — so, if dispensaries can divert customers to the recreational side, that could limit the supply they have to set aside for medical patients.

State law requires that the reserved supply reflect the actual types and strains of marijuana purchased by patients in the past six months, or that dispensaries offer a reasonable substitution.

It does not require that the medical supply be comparable to the recreational supply. Nor does it require a dispensary to transfer specific products from the recreational market to the medical market.

The Cannabis Control Commission says it investigates every patient complaint, and conducts inspections of facilities to make sure they adhere to state laws.

Dispensary owners say they are continuing to prioritize patient needs.

Fancy Wade, a spokesman for Cultivate in Leicester, said the dispensary has a “mirrored inventory” policy, where whatever is on the adult use menu is also available to medical patients. “We do not have products exclusively for recreational customers,” Wade said. “We do, however, have some products that are exclusively for medical patients that are more suited to a medical patient’s needs.”