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Marijuana: Recreational sales didn't change medical patient numbers in January

Categories: Marijuana

a 205 Breathes Red Card.jpg
Despite the start of recreational sales, there was no drop in active-patient red cards in January. According to statistics released by the Colorado Department of Health and Environment last week, the number of registered medical marijuana patients in the state actually grew by a few dozen people between the end of December and the end of January.

But that doesn't mean people weren't dropping off the registry. Between December 2013 and January 2014, the department received 3,392 new patient applications -- but the increase in active red cards was only 52. That means that more than 3,000 people left the registry -- continuing a trend we've seen over the past eighteen months or so. During that time, there have been only one or two months when the number of people being added to the registry was greater than the number of people dropping off.

Activists and state officials alike had predicted that patients would drop off the registry in droves once recreational cannabis was legal and patients could buy or grow what they wanted, forgoing the $15 registration, $60 to $100 doctor's fee, and requirement to hand over medical information to a questionably secure state list. And while several dispensary-going patients we've spoken with say that was originally their plan, the sticker shock of price-jacked recreational cannabis selling for twice as much as medical cannabis made them rethink that. After all, the money saved on a single purchase of even a quarter-ounce of medical cannabis versus recreational cannabis pays for the MMJ registry and doctor's fees.

Medical cannabis sales reflected that change in thinking, with $31.5 million in medical marijuana sales in January compared to $14.3 million in recreational cannabis sales -- though it's worth noting that only a handful of recreational stores were licensed to open that first month.

Other stats were far from startling. As usual, men make up most of the registry (67 percent), and a patient's average age is 41. Nearly all patients (94 percent) report having severe pain, while only 10 percent say they have either nausea or muscle spasms. Other qualifying conditions such as cancer, HIV, AIDS and seizures are even more rare in the patient population (1 to 2 percent).

But the number of minors on the registry saw another big jump between December and January, from 199 kids to 215. That number has been steadily increasing since last August, when a CNN special on medical cannabis treatments for children with seizure disorders inspired many families to relocate to Colorado from home states that don’t allow for such treatments.

More from our marijuana news archive: "State Supreme Court says lawyers can legally advise cannabis businesses" ; "Hemp Box: Denver-based startup aims to send subscribers monthly box of hemp products"


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12 comments
DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

 "After all, the money saved on a single purchase of even a quarter-ounce of medical cannabis versus recreational cannabis pays for the MMJ registry and doctor's fees."


The money saved by GROWING YOUR OWN, or having a Caregiver grow for you, is even greater than that -- and you won't be greasing the jackboots of the Pot Cops and the insatiable Dept. of Revenue.


Boycott the Greedy Big $$ Dispensary Cartels !! ... who are attacking patient / caregiver rights!


               Support your Local Private Caregiver / Grower !!


          Better Bud, Better Prices, Better People -- No Taxes !!


http://denver.craigslist.org/search/?sort=date&catAbb=sss&query=mmj%20donations



RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

Patients and Caregivers:

The Department of Health holds a 'Town Hall Meeting' on proposed restrictions on doctors, caregivers, and patients in the Old Supreme Court Chambers on the second floor of the State Capitol between 1:00 and 4:00PM, Friday, March 28.  The agenda includes second-guessing doctors' recommendations (for "medical necessity"), five patients per caregiver, and six plants per patient.

The Department also wants the law  to redefine "authorized employees of the state health agency" (Constitution of Colorado, Article XVIII, Section 14) to include "independent contractors or other agencies".  It is nonsense to say that independent contractors or employees of other agencies work for the state health agency instead, and giving others illegal access to the Registry compromises patients' confidentiality -- the stated purpose of the recommendation is to "ensure the confidentiality of the Medical Marijuana Registry" (Medical Marijuana Regulatory System Performance Audit, Part 2, p.5).

Please visit the Department of Health's MMJ page at:

http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite/CDPHE-CHEIS/CBON/1251593016680

Click "NEW:  Town Hall Meeting on March 28, 2014" then "Town Hall Meeting" to read the agenda for the meeting.

Monkey
Monkey

For people like me, who see their real doctor at least once a year, there is no reason to go recreational. Insurance covers my doctors visit, and I can find $15 in change for the card. Twice as much in public, and as many plants as I deem necessary. 

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@Monkey How about "medical necessity"?  Will your doctor or recommendation survive the CDPHE's scheme to review the medical necessity of physician's recommendations?  Having sent the agenda for the so-called 'Town Hall Meeting' to WW yesterday, I am disappointed to have had no response and to see no mention of it in the Latest Word today.  I posted an alert in response to the post about cannabis lawyers -- is that the problem, that information cannot come through me?  A major assault on medical cannabis is underway (one which may well decrease the number of patients, among other effects), and no one is interested?  I also pointed out that Steadman & Co. finally seem to have done something right with respect to cannabis:  SB155, introduced on Monday, would permit the absurd surplus accumulated in the patient register fund to be spent doing medical research into cannabis' appropriate therapeutic application, for the purpose of certifying new conditions for which physicians may formally recommend its use; there seems to be little interest in this story either.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase @Monkey  


"I do not believe that there will be any fallout for medical cannabis [if A64 passes]"

 -- Robert "clueless dilettante" Chase



The blood of suffering Patients and Caregivers is upon YOUR HANDS!



DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase "A major assault on medical cannabis is underway"


As predicted and warned against during the A64 commercialization scampaign, but clueless fucktards like you not only promoted that piece of shit, you asserted that it would have no negative effects upon the Medical Marijuana program or patients and caregivers.


You were -- as usual -- DEAD WRONG.


Now rally your "coalition" that you claim to represent and at least attempt to undo the massive harm and damage you've done to every Patient and Caregiver in the State of Colorado.


.

D0NKEYH0TAY
D0NKEYH0TAY

Blood, suffering patients.... Have not seen either one actually.  Just made up that part.  Caregivers, now those are the ones we need to worry about. The poor, suffering, bleeding caregivers.

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotayWe should not fear the DEA or ignore it, but proceed to abolish it and repeal the Controlled Substances Act, as soon as possible.

DonkeyHotay
DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@RobertChase  


"I do not believe that there will be any fallout for medical cannabis [if A64 passes]" 
-- Robert Chase


"There has been no fallout from having passed Amendment 64"
-- Robert Chase


"Granting the DOR regulatory authority over retail sales of cannabis is not bad at all"
-- Robert Chase


"I am not even a registered patient"
-- Robert Chase



With blindly naive self-appointed political imbeciles like you "militating" for them, why would patients and caregivers fear the DEA?

RobertChase
RobertChase topcommenter

@DonkeyHotay  Utter BS from someone who has never stood up for patients!  There has been no fallout from having passed Amendment 64 (for those living in the here and now, Article XVIII, Section 16 of the Constitution of Colorado); what is going wrong in regulating cannabis are the misrepresentative people we continue to elect to represent us and their pernicious policies.  Any idiot should be able to distinguish between the two.  Patients, caregivers, and all ordinary Coloradans will continue to get screwed over unless and until they educate themselves politically to the point that they are motivated to organize politically.  I have consistently urged support for patients who use cannabis and their caregivers, and opposed Prohibition generally -- you denied that the Constitution implied that caregivers could dispense medicine, fought against the creation of any legal market for cannabis, and told us in effect just to grow our three flowering plants, or be arrested.  Your obsession with the subject and oft-expressed disdain for those who use cannabis has been on plain view here for years.

D0NKEYH0TAY
D0NKEYH0TAY

@DonkeyHotay Although I keep saying harm has come to patients, I have never really said what that was.  My ballot initiative failed so I hate everyone and everything that is not me.

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