Ask a Stoner: What Happened to the Quality of Medical Marijuana?

Dear Stoner: Medical weed used to be the good stuff, but now I feel like it's on par with the recreational side, at best. Most of the time, the selection and quality are worse. What happened?

Dear Brenda: Capitalism happened. Medical marijuana in Colorado isn't dead, but it almost assuredly won't be returning to its former glory, as the recreational side is simply more attractive to business owners and tax collectors. Recreational pot is available to a vastly larger consumer pool than is medical marijuana, generally costs more, and brings in way more revenue for the government because of the higher tax rates. Most medical-business owners didn't get in this for the sanctimonious reasons they presented in 2012, either.
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Medical marijuana sales have hit record lows since 2014.
Jacqueline Collins
Obtaining a medical license was the only ticket into the legal cannabis world during the early years of retail weed. Potrepreneurs will still sometimes purchase a medical license as a pathway to obtaining a recreational one, but that step has largely disappeared. Since recreational sales began in 2014, most local governments have banned medical businesses from operating within their towns, instead preferring recreational licensing systems and the higher tax revenue. A new law allowing medical and recreational businesses to buy and sell cannabis from both sides could bring more parity, however, so your options could improve.

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Herbert Fuego is the resident stoner at Westword, ready to answer all your marijuana questions.
Contact: Herbert Fuego

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