States with legalized recreational weed are going through a lot of changes. And apparently, some of these changes affect both regular pot smokers and medical marijuana patients as well. According to a report from Greenwave Advisors, the number of medical marijuana patients in states with legal recreational marijuana declined recently.
Before recreational weed was legalized in the first few states, there was an opinion that some of those who claim to be medical cannabis patients are, in fact, recreational users. These people were just trying to get legal access to weed and avoid punishment. The latest data from Greenwave Advisors' team seem to confirm this suggestion.
In 2015, both Colorado and Oregon saw a modest decrease in numbers of medical marijuana patients—somewhere around 7%. The number of applications filed by those who wanted to get a medical marijuana card decreased as well. The level of recreational weed sales, on the other hand, almost doubled.
The other interesting and quite amusing fact discovered by Greenwave Advisors is that medical and recreational weed yearly sales have similar patterns. Both increase significantly twice a year—in summer and around Christmas holidays. With recreational weed, everything seems to be quite obvious—people want to have more fun during holidays and vacations so they buy more weed. However, it looks like medical marijuana users have the exact same motivation.
As for the other states with decriminalized recreational marijuana, the situation is pretty similar to the one in Colorado and Oregon. Last year, the number of medical marijuana cardholders in Washington, D.C. was over 4,500. This year, it has already dropped below 3,500. These changes may force you to think that some medical marijuana users were, indeed, using weed for recreational purposes. But the situation may be a bit more complicated than it seems.
Being a medical marijuana user has its benefits:
Being a recreational cannabis user may be simpler than getting a medical marijuana card. First, you do not have to convince your doctor that you are going to get more benefits from medical weed than from traditional pills. Secondly, marijuana is believed to be helpful for dozens of various conditions, from stress and depression to severe pain and even cancer, although the list of medical cannabis qualifying conditions is unbelievably short. So, it may be easier for some people who need marijuana for medical purposes to stop trying to get medical marijuana card and become a recreational user instead.
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