Eight years after patients in Vermont won the battle for the right to use medical marijuana, the Department of Public Safety is finally releasing the guidelines surrounding dispensaries.
Vermont has some of the strictest guidelines in the county when it comes to medical cannabis. The state is only allowing four dispensaries total. They will only be able to see one patient at a time, and even crazier is the fact that the patient must make an appointment to get their meds. You probably won’t have to worry about time slots though, because the state is cutting off the number of patients at 1000!
The list of qualifying conditions in Vermont is,
- HIV/ AIDS
- multiple sclerosis (MS)
- cachexia or wasting syndrome
- severe pain
- severe nausea
For a state with over a half million people setting such a low number for the amount of patients is sure to become a problem, right now there is only room in the program for one in every 632 residents. Presumably the state will fix this as 1,000 approaches. Just because a person in number 1001 in the program doesn’t mean the medicine is any less valuable to them.
Activists and lawmakers think the strict regulations will keep the federal government from interfering with the program. Virginia Renfrew, a spokeswoman for the Vermont People with AIDS Coalition said,
“I think that hopefully for the federal government when they look at Vermont they look at Vermont as being a model.”
Patients will also need to fork over fifty bucks for a State ID card in order to have access to the four dispensaries, and in signing up to use dispensaries they will be forking over the right to grow their own medicine. For many low income folks this could be a true hardship, many patients who grow use dispensaries to supplement their medicine supply between harvests.