Medical Marijuana – A Thriving Field
Even without a pun, it’s hard to ignore the thriving business environment around the production and sale of medical marijuana. With MMJ now legalized in 15 states and the District of Columbia, the market is growing rapidly.
Treating Various Diseases
THC, the active ingredient in marijuana, has been shown to be effective in treating a number of conditions. May reduce nausea, insomnia, neurogenic pain and movement disorders and glaucoma symptoms. It may be useful in controlling the symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome, migraines and fibromyalgia. Recent studies have shown that THC prevents the formation of plaque deposits associated with Alzheimer’s disease.
Of course more research is essential in determining which conditions medical marijuana can help with, but even this short list is encouraging.
Not Just Smoking
Opponents of medical marijuana strongly oppose the most common method of consumption: smoking. However, there are much safer ways to ingest marijuana. Cannabis can be inhaled as a vapor and added to food after it is processed into hemp oil. Both methods ignore the potential risks involved in any form of smoking.
Who Can Grow It?
One of the challenges of obtaining medical marijuana is figuring out who is allowed to grow it, and how much they can grow. States that have legalized marijuana for medical use have established standards on whether and how much marijuana a person can grow or own. Things are a little more complicated for pharmacies.
California allows patients and nurses to form cooperatives to grow crops, but most of the produce that reaches the market is grown on small “farms” that still operate outside the law.
Recently a large store specializing in information and supplies opened in Sacramento, CA. The shop doesn’t sell marijuana, or any plants. There are some plants on display but are owned by licensed individuals and will be uprooted before they sprout.
Opening a medical marijuana dispensary takes a bit of hard work. In each state where the sale of medical marijuana is legal, the requirements are slightly different. The business must apply for a license and provide evidence that the storefront is owned by the business or that the tenant has approved the business. Some states require a safety plan to be drawn up, or require tax paperwork and so on.
One of the biggest challenges facing these legal businesses is obtaining various business services, such as merchant accounts to process credit card sales or bank accounts, because marijuana is only legal at the state level, not at the federal level.
Perhaps the strongest argument the government will respond to is the potential tax base that medical marijuana will generate. In difficult economic times, it’s hard to turn down a much-needed source of income.
Michael Rupkalvis owns the Transactions group. The Transactions Group offers medical marijuana merchant accounts
and other credit card merchant account solutions for all types of businesses.