According to this article from the Oregon Live, studies are showing that when full legalization follows medical legalization, almost 2/3 of medical patients drop their cards and this of course leads to the industry in the area changing to recreational brands and strains and leaving the remaining medical patients with fewer and more expensive options.
This is just one more example of why marijuana needs to be fully legalized and regulated. The industry will always chase the most profitable option, they are not going to take the care of medical patients into account. The level of regulation is debatable but the government must either require a certain set of services and offerings from these companies in exchange for licensing or run the medical marijuana program itself so that medical patients are able to access affordable consistent care.
Just as we can see in healthcare broadly, private industry is not always the best solution for every problem. But this should not mean that legal recreational users should be penalized because of industry trends. As legalization continues to spread, private companies will follow the path of least resistance and most profit, which unfortunately will never be those patients with chronic conditions who need medical marijuana. This is the point of having a government. Now if only they could do their job.
What do you think should be done to ensure medical marijuana patients are getting a fair shake?