When was the last time you thought about where that medical cannabis came from?
Most people who work in dispensaries will readily admit that they get their cannabis from outside vendors. This means that they have no clue about how the cannabis was cultivated, or any of the process that led to some guy with a backpack showing up at their door with a recommendation and a pre-paid cell phone number. After the unknown, it is the responsibility of the dispensary to keep the cannabis stored properly and in a sanitary way. As a person who has worked at many dispensaries, I have seen first-hand the unsanitary and unhealthy way that many of these dispensaries are run.
The other day I went into a dispensary to purchase some medicine. The only problem was that I have been getting over a bad case of bronchitis, so I didn’t want to handle the cannabis, thinking that it would be nice to keep my germs to myself. When I was asking the guy to hold the jars up for me to smell, it struck me how disgusting it was that they allow people to just stick their hands into the jars. This is an example of an unhealthy practice that would be avoided if medical cannabis was better regulated.
The next time that you go into a dispensary, look around. See how clean it is. I guarantee you that if you see trash in the front, it is ten times worse in the back. See if they use chopsticks or tongs instead of their fingers to weigh out. You have the right to know that the cannabis you purchase for medical benefit is handled in a sanitary way.
Ask if they grow the medical cannabis themselves, or if they have had it tested and have laboratory information.
Some dispensaries offer information about each of their strains, or have a farm run by collective members. These are ideal situations because you can verify the safety of your medical cannabis. Lab tests often include information about safety and the percentage of THC, CBD and other natural substances that have different medical effects. Medical cannabis is a great alternative to many medicines, but it is smart to be wary about your dispensary. You should be picky about what you put into your body.
With no regulation or quality control being enforced by law, it is up to medical cannabis patients to demand not only safe, but healthy access. Support your local dispensaries that give good customer service and use sanitary practices. On the other hand, if a dispensary worker gives you a hard time about being picky, you can always leave! Take your money elsewhere. I guarantee that if enough of us do it, they will get the message.