A decade ago, the proliferation of medical marijuana dispensaries started the green rush to the Rockies. These days, though, MMJ dispensaries seem to be disappearing, a reader recently noted in a letter to our Stoner. In his response, Herbert Fuego noted that while MMJ dispensaries still exist, many of the originals have been converted to rec, and most of the municipalities that jumped on the marijuana bandwagon after the passage of Amendment 64 skipped medical altogether, going straight to recreational.
While there are still many proponents of MMJ-only stores — including patients who fought for their medicine in the first place — there are skeptics, too.
Can’t anyone admit med was just a gateway to rec? Now that rec is legal, the need for med mysteriously vanished.
Wasn't a gateway, but now that recreational is legal there's really no need for mmj.
It's definitely a shame that the small minority of med users who really and truly need mmj for medical purposes are getting the shaft due to the popularity of rec. And also a shame that the success of rec had to come off the hard work of people who fought for years to be able to use it medicinally. I'd be willing to bet the majority of red card holders just have "occasional back pain" or something similar, but that shouldn't have to hurt the ones that actually use it legitimately for medical issues.
No one's carrying alcohol cards.
Keep reading for more coverage of medical marijuana.
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"Medical Marijuana in Colorado Ten Years After the First Big Boom"
Ten years ago, the medical marijuana scene in Colorado, which had been slowly growing since the 2000 passage of Amendment 20, was building up to its first big boom. The number of patients on the state's MMJ registry was building throughout 2008, and doubled to 5,000 by January 2009. During that same span, the number of MMJ dispensaries in Colorado grew even more quickly, going from just two to around thirty.
But with the legalization of limited recreational marijuana sales made possible by 2012's Amendment 64, as well as the impact that the state's retail cannabis industry has had across the globe since then, it sometimes seems that Colorado's MMJ industry is yesterday's news.
Do you think it's still important to have a special category and rates for MMJ patients? Or are rec sales enough? Post a comment or email your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.