Medical Marijuana Is Losing Vendors To Recreational Pot

REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni

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Steve Birr Vice Reporter

A new law will ban Oregon marijuana vendors from selling both medical and recreational pot, leaving many stores opting for the more lucrative recreational business.

Lawmakers in Oregon are forcing marijuana dispensaries to sell either medical marijuana or recreational marijuana, although their intentions for the law remain unclear.

The new rules will go into effect across the state this weekend, and dispensaries may have to close down for several days in order to sort out their products and rework their plans on who they cater to.

A large swath of dispensaries are choosing to sell to their recreational marijuana customers, while eliminating their medical sales, reports KOBI5.

Dispensary owners say recreational marijuana makes up a much larger portion of their business sales and customer base than medical marijuana, making the choice easy for many vendors in the wake of the new law.

“Currently 85 percent of our customers are recreational,” Crystal Plotner, a dispensary manager in Oregon, told KOBI5. “So if we were to stay medical we drop down to probably only 15 percent of our existing sales, and we wouldn’t be able to survive.”

Critics of the new law fear it will upend the medical marijuana industry in Oregon and eliminate choices and options for patients. Medical marijuana is legal in 28 states and Washington, D.C., where it is also legal for recreational use, and momentum for further legalization appears to be accelerating.

Recreational marijuana legalization won big victories on Election Day, and medical professionals fear that a “big pot” industry will cut them out of the process.

Others argue a “big pot” industry is desirable and will create a competitive environment with lower prices, which will benefit medical marijuana patients. They argue medical vendors are just upset they are losing their monopoly of the industry and that recreational laws will actually help medical patients.

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