Letter: New pot act must be written correctly

The Arizona Medical Marijuana Act has passed. Once the election is certified, the Arizona Department of Health Services has 120 days to write the regulations.

How these regulations are written will decide if medical marijuana dispensaries in Arizona charge the same black market prices as drug dealers, or like in New Mexico, if prices will be based on the actual costs of production.

California medical marijuana has been perverted to allow dispensaries, collectives and cooperatives to make enormous profits. Why is medical marijuana grown in small rooms designed to hide from law enforcement rather than by farmers?

In New Mexico, two of the licensed dispensaries are providing medical marijuana to patients at less than $10 per gram, one for $4 a gram, or $114 an ounce, and one for $5 a gram, or $142.50 an ounce.

In Canada the government grows medical marijuana in an abandoned mine near the Arctic Circle, not the cheapest place to grow anything. They grow it, test it for any minerals, irradiate it to kill any mold, and can still sell it for $5 a gram.

Yet when I checked prices at a local collective in Needles, Calif., the retail price of medical marijuana was $20 a gram to $340 an ounce, or $5,440 to $8,960 a pound.

In California the Attorney General says nothing in Proposition 215 or the MMP authorizes collectives, cooperatives or individuals to profit from the sale or distribution of marijuana. I would like someone to explain me how it costs almost $9,000 a pound to grow medical marijuana.

At California prices, there's no way the vast majority of patients in Arizona needing medical marijuana could afford it. Most people on disability only receive around $1,000 a month. At California prices, the allowable 2.5 ounces every 14 days would cost between $1,700 and $2,800 a month!

The people who complain the most when I write about the enormous profits made by medical marijuana collectives are the people making all the money. Please explain to me how someone can sell a simple-to-grow plant for almost $9,000 a pound and not make a profit.

Jay Fleming

Mohave Valley