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.


Ask a Stoner

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.


All-access pass to the top stories, events and offers around town.

  • Top Stories


All-access pass to top stories, events and offers around town.

Sign Up >

No Thanks!

Remind Me Later >