Medical marijuana patients in Washington, D.C. celebrating the capital’s legal weed law last week may have run into one slight issue: only one joint for a toast.
With only three licensed dispensaries serving the district’s 2,500 patients, this “imbalance” has led to a weed drought for patients in D.C. According to The Washington Post, the demand for medical marijuana simply outweighs the supply, and when that happens, a drought happens:
Operators of Washington’s three medical marijuana dispensaries have struggled to meet the rising demand, frequently limiting the amount patients can purchase and occasionally turning them away.
On Wednesday, “we opened without any product to sell or without a delivery expected that day,” said Vanessa West, manager of the Metropolitan Wellness Center in Southeast Washington. “It was a total bummer. We closed early.”
West has heard from some impatient patients that the shortage has pushed them back to the pot dealers they relied on before the District launched its tightly regulated medical marijuana network in 2013. [The Washington Post]
A year ago, D.C. had well under 2,000 patients before an 800-patient influx. An influx that will not slow down as D.C. goes even greener.
While the district may have only 2,500 patients today, it will probably boast upwards of 25,000 within two years. So while three dispensaries could keep D.C. medicated in the short term, that’s clearly not a realistic option.
The city needs more medical marijuana and that means more (legal) growers and dispensaries to serve the inevitable masses.
D.C.’s drought isn’t without precedent in this new field of marijuana. Last summer, shortly after retail sales launched, dispensaries in Washington couldn’t get enough weed to stay open. Flash forward six months later, and now every grower in Washington has a weed surplus.
This one will even out.