Dear Stoner: How much of my medicine is going to recreational users?

Dear Stoner: I'm a medical cannabis user and have had my red card for about two years. I noticed that some of these medical dispensaries are opening up for recreational users as well. My question is: How much can they grow for recreational users, and how much of my medicine is going to recreational users? You know what I'm sayin'?
Pottymouth Jacob (via the potline)

Dear Pottymouth: That was a surprisingly clean-mouthed voicemail you left. And, yes, we know what you're saying. Several activists have brought up the same issue, and we looked into it — but you might not like the answers.

The new recreational dispensaries all had to be medical centers to start. That will change down the line, but let's focus on the here and now: Those shops were allowed to transfer 15 percent of their total inventory over to recreational sales (the medical side could restock that 15 percent immediately). That includes buds, wax, edibles and live plants. The newly created recreational wings of those shops then have to grow their inventory to anywhere from 3,600 plants all the way up to 10,200 plants.

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But here's the deal: Technically, none of it is your medicine. The dispensaries are the ones who own the plants, not the patients themselves. Signing a dispensary up as your primary center merely grants that center the ability to clone (or start from seed) six more plants. This is the official word we received from Marijuana Enforcement Division spokeswoman Julie Postlethwait: "Primary center designations are used solely by the Marijuana Enforcement Division to calculate the number of plants a Medical Marijuana Center is authorized to cultivate at all of its associated Optional Premises Cultivation Operations."

Patients aren't ever in possession of the plants, and centers don't physically take plants from patients to grow for them. So, theoretically, patients could be left in the cold by a center transitioning to recreational cannabis sales (and prices). If you're signed up with a center, talk to the staff and see what changes are in store. If you need to, find another place. I know a guy who reviews them at

Dear Stoner: Would using a transdermal cannabis skin patch have the same results as smoking it on a urinalysis test?

Dear JAJ: We strongly advise against smoking a transdermal patch. But, seriously, it depends on the timing and whether the patch has a lot of THC or just CBD — but, yes, you could fail a drug test from a weed patch.

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David Capell
David Capell

ive been reading a lot of "things will change down the line"...because you know how people like to relinquish power and funds

Cognitive_Dissident topcommenter

"How much of my medicine is going to recreational users?"

If you didn't grow it or buy it, and it wasn't given to you, it's not yours.

Better get growing!


I am a designated care giver. If I read the law correctly I am allowed up to 6 budding plants on my premise. If I turned that duty over to a for profit business do the rules remain the same? They would have the ability to have 6 budding plants in their care for my extremely ill wife, correct?

I am just trying to clarify the difference in a care giver vs a designated shop.

In short could " pickanameMMJ" take on designated caregiver role? If I relinquished my role as caregiver to them, wouldn't the plants they grew for her be legally hers? And I would be charged a fee for care and processing?

Please help clarify. I do not like being in the position that my home is now a grow house because I cannot afford the alternative of the prices From a medical MMJ shop. To make it worse. Lung cancer is really a Edibles market. I do not want to become adept at making oils or tinctures but someone who can't breathe needs these items. I would love to turn caregiver over to an expert but the laws are not at all clear to me. So I buy what I can afford and Hope like hell that these damn cuttings grow and that someHigh school kid doesn't break into my house, because word is out that I have some huge plant in my front room.

Any clarification would be really helpful.



"My Medicine"  It's not your medicine unless you grow it.  You have no claim on it.

DonkeyHotay topcommenter

@Mani_tou  "I am allowed up to 6 budding plants on my premise."

No. You're allowed 6 plants per patient, no more than 3 of which are mature flowering plants.

@Mani_tou "I am just trying to clarify the difference in a care giver vs a designated shop."

The difference is YOU -- or your wife -- own the plants when you grow them. If you're foolish enough to designate a Greedy Big $$ Dispensary, then THEY own and profit from those plants, and sell the buds to other people, at full retail prices. They owe you and/or your wife NOTHING from those plants. You will still have to pay retail prices, PLUS TAXES, for your purchases. Some centers offer a pathetic discount if you allow then to profiteer from assigning them as your designated center. In reality all you've done is allow a greedy big $$ dispensary to earn more $$ using your wife's illness and suffering as a pretext for their profits.

For-profit Greedy Dispensaries are never actually "caregivers", as they really don't care about anything but greed and $$, nor do they provide any health or wellness care to the patient other than selling them pot at retail prices.

If you can't grow -- it sounds like you have no clue -- then find another PRIVATE caregiver to grow for you, as many will return for little or minimal  cost the pot grown on your behalf ... and they don't charge any taxes. And many offer actual caregiver services in addition to just growing pot.

You can still shop at and purchase from ANY dispensary, even if a Private Caregiver is growing your/your wife's plants for you.