Report: 90% of Virginia Med Patients Obtain Weed Outside of State’s Medical Market

Report: 90% of Virginia Med Patients Obtain Weed Outside of State’s Medical Market

It is not uncommon for residents of states that have not yet enacted marijuana laws to travel and obtain marijuana through out-of-state dispensaries. However, some states in the South appear to be facing this issue with medical marijuana, even though some medical clinics have been operating legally since 2020.

a 78 page new report released by Virginia Cannabis Control Authority (CCA) has taken a close look at the state’s medical marijuana market, most notably finding that the state’s high prices are driving consumers to neighboring states to purchase cannabis products.

The report will begin in 2023 to examine Virginia’s medical cannabis program with a focus on patient access and “determining the need and feasibility of adding new licenses to the existing program.” This is the result of a request made on behalf of CCA. The study included a past year census of cannabis consumers and patients, an assessment of supply based on patient experiences, and policy analysis.

High prices are driving Virginians out of state, and there are alternatives

“Study shows Virginia’s medical marijuana program is struggling to attract patients as local policies and adult-use policies in neighboring states evolve, resulting in persistently high prices. “We found that 12% of patients reported traveling to Virginia,” the report said, adding that 12% of patients reported traveling to Virginia. Obtaining cannabis from other states or jurisdictions, primarily Washington, DC and Maryland.

Medical marijuana patients in Virginia spend more on cannabis than non-medical marijuana patients in the state, according to the report. It also notes that patients in Virginia report spending an average of an estimated $19 per gram on medical cannabis flower, which is higher than the national average for medical cannabis flower. But looking at publicly available pricing data, the average price per medical gram in Virginia was closer to $14, but still higher than average.

By comparison, the average price per medical gram in Washington, DC was $8/73 as of September 2023. In Maryland, adult-use marijuana averages $9.27 per gram.

More broadly, 90% of patients purchased cannabis from sources outside of Virginia’s medical market, with the majority of grams coming from “unregulated but not necessarily illegal markets.” was. Furthermore, 57% of medical patients obtained cannabis by growing it at home, and 65.2% of patients received cannabis from a friend or family member.

Virginia MMJ program has low barriers and low participation.

Despite low barriers to patient participation, estimated patient enrollment in Virginia accounts for 0.5% of the state’s total population, which argues that patients can have their medical cannabis needs met elsewhere. The authors state that this supports the

Among consumers in the past year who were not patients, 22% said they did not need to become a medical patient because they already had access to cannabis.

“Virginia’s restrictive policy framework, such as limited licenses and Health Service Area (HSA) fragmentation, combined with the widespread availability of cannabis from out-of-state markets, home cultivation, and illegal routes, has led to drug processing “This creates an environment where traders are at risk, operating at supply levels that maximize profits,” the report said.

“In other words, the market for substitutes has recently taken hold, so licensees may not be able to expect increased profits by expanding supply and lowering prices.”

Solutions needed to sustain Virginia’s health care programs

The report says Virginia’s high prices for medical marijuana are “likely necessary” for pharmaceutical processors to survive due to the current state market and associated policies, rather than intentionally overcharging medical patients. It is pointed out that.

The authors also identify five potential ways to improve patient access to medical cannabis, with the common goal of increasing supply, lowering prices, and shifting patient demand to regulated pharmaceutical processors. It shows the path.

This pathway could include issuing remaining pharmaceutical processor licenses within the HSA or adding limited stand-alone medical cultivation, manufacturing, and dispensing licenses that are permitted to operate within the HSA, while It includes a combination of potential options, including allowing merchants to expand within an HSA beyond the current minimum of six stores. their area.

David B.
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David B. stands out as an exceptional cannabis writer, skillfully navigating the intricate world of cannabis culture and industry. His insightful and well-researched articles provide a nuanced perspective on various aspects, from the therapeutic benefits to the evolving legal landscape. David's writing reflects a deep understanding of the plant's history, its diverse strains, and the ever-changing dynamics within the cannabis community. What sets him apart is his ability to break down complex topics into digestible pieces, making the information accessible to both seasoned enthusiasts and newcomers alike. With a keen eye for detail and a passion for the subject, David B. emerges as a reliable and engaging voice in the realm of cannabis literature.

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