This is a very important time for Arizona medical marijuana patients. The Arizona Dept of Health Services has 120 days after the election is certified to write the regulations for the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act.
How they write these regulations will decide if medical marijuana dispensaries can charge the same old black market prices, or like New Mexico, if prices will be based on the actual costs of production..
I checked the prices at a collective in Needles just across the river from Mohave Valley. The retail price of medical marijuana was between $5440 and $8960 a pound. This is what we need to prevent in Arizona.
There is no way the vast majority of patients needing medical marijuana can afford it at these prices. It would cost more than people make who are disabled because of illness or injury. Most only make around $1000 a month, at California prices, the allowable 2.5 ounces every 14 days would cost between $1700 and $2800 a month.
The Rand Drug Policy Research Center says a well-run 5' x 5' hydroponic grow producing 4 harvests per year might yield 10.5 pounds per year with tangible costs of $225 per pound--$75 per pound for electricity and the remaining $150 per pound for other factors. That works out to $14.06 an ounce.
In New Mexico of the 5 dispensaries licensed, two are providing medical marijuana to patients at less than $10 per gram: one for $4/gram ($114/ounce) and one for $5/gram ($142.50/ounce).
The cost of medical marijuana should have nothing to do with the street price of marijuana. The morphine I take costs .50 cents a pill at the pharmacy, yet it's worth $15-$20 a pill on the street, so my prescription is worth $1800-$2400. Like medical marijuana, the only people who sell morphine to people in pain for $15-$20 a pill, are drug dealers.
The people who complain the most when I write about the enormous profits made by dispensaries and collectives are the people making all the money. Please someone tell me how a simple to grow plant can be worth almost $9000 a pound.