Medical marijuana dispensaries giving free Vape-Pen to chemotherapy patients

Medical marijuana advocates say THC is especially effective when it comes to reducing nausea for people who have cancer and are undergoing chemotherapy. Now, The Clinic and Flower of Life are offering a way of delivering that substance free of charge to medical marijuana patients on chemo -- with the owner of Vape-Pen, the company that makes the gadget, underwriting the giveaway for the rest of this month for very personal reasons.

The Vape-Pen is a personal herbal device that dispenses what's essentially liquid THC -- and Michael Wachtel, the company's owner, had an opportunity to test its effectiveness under difficult circumstances. According to Wanda James, a longtime medical marijuana industry figure in who's involved in what's being called the Chemotherapy Patient Project, Wachtel was diagnosed with testicular cancer in 2010, undergoing several surgeries and six months of chemotherapy before being declared free of the disease.

"He understands personally the devastating effects of cancer treatments," James says, adding, "Michael was able to use the Vape-Pen when he was actually on the chair receiving chemotherapy. That's why he's invested and become part of the company -- because it really got him through months and months of not feeling well. And he's putting his all into it."

The program works like this: Throughout August, any medical marijuana patient with proof that he or she is on chemo can stop into any of the six Clinic locations or Flower of Life in Boulder and receive a Vape-Pen kit, valued at $55, at no charge. They can also purchase their first indica or sativa Cannamizer -- the THC -- at a 50 percent discount.

Should the demand be high, James adds that the promotion could be extended -- because "Michael wants to give the same kind of relief he experienced to people who are undergoing the pain he went through."

More from our Marijuana archive: "Stoner MacGyver marijuana product review: Cannabis Logbook 1.5 iPhone app."

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts