While many medical and recreational cannabis programs around the country are thriving and helping patients, consumers and business owners alike, the other side of that coin are the people struggling to gain access to or make any profit from the heavily restricted medical cannabis programs. While many states have made progress by legalizing the limited use and sale of CBD or low-THC products, the dispensaries involved are usually struggling to gain enough patients to break even after all the startup costs. Many of these restricted programs only allow patients with a select few serious conditions and often involve drawn out and arbitrary regulations like meeting with multiple doctors, wait periods, limited access etc. Would-be patients and advocates frequently ask lawmakers to expand the list of qualifying conditions for the sake of the patients, the businesses and even the program itself, but so far not 1 of the states to adopt a limited CBD program have expanded beyond that. Limited programs are getting states a foot in the door to help patients, but a viable and conprehensive program takes more access to patients and the ability to supply the proper medication.
Sadly, all of dispensaries set to sell cannabis products to Louisiana patients are expected to operate at a loss.
“If our program stays the way it is, these companies are going to lose their shirts,” Kevin Caldwell, president of the cannabis reform organization CommonSense, told the Advocate. “Our concern is that because of the cost associated with getting this program off the ground, the medicine they provide to patients is going to be so expensive, patients aren’t going to be able to afford it.”