Updated on January 21, 2020.
Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
Many medical marijuana patients and dispensaries have misgivings about recreational marijuana. Understandably, a medical marijuana patient who depends on cannabis in order to stay healthy should be concerned if his or her “source of medicine” is in jeopardy. They shouldn’t worry.
Why Medical Marijuana needs the Recreational Market
Currently the medical cannabis field is doing very well. The system in place allows sick people to gain access to life saving cannabis.
However some say the medical cannabis industry has been benefiting from a cannabis monopoly for the past 20 some years. Without any competition from the “legal market” these companies could merely supply the current demand for cannabis without really having to worry about developing better strains, more refined techniques, quality control, and so on.
With recreational marijuana allowing people to access cannabis as any marijuana patient would, this brings a problem for some companies that have been reaping the benefits of their medical monopoly. Now, suddenly a recreational store can offer a marijuana patient the same product as the medical dispensary can, which means there is competition. With competition comes innovation, which can be a good thing for consumers.
The companies that will survive the shift from medical to recreational cannabis will be the ones pushing the boundaries on cannabis research and product development. For the Cannabis patient this is good news. This means that one of these days you just might be able to take cannabis medicine specifically created for your condition.
Designer Marijuana Strains
We are already seeing some growers pick up on this trend and over time, there may be medical growers creating unique cannabis genetics to treat a wide array of conditions and diseases. Strains like Charlotte’s Web may become commonplace in the near future, and even at a more accelerated pace as more states begin to legalize recreational cannabis.
Scientists say cannabis might be able to help treat over 100 conditions, but we aren’t quite sure exactly how it works. With recreational cannabis in the picture, people within the medical cannabis field will have to focus on the medicinal properties of the plant as opposed to just selling the plant.