A new study from GreenWave Advisors reveals a drop in medical-marijuana applications in states where recreational pot has been legalized or soon could be, according to a Sept. 27, 2016, post at Forbes.com.
In three states where recreational marijuana has been legalized—Colorado, Oregon, and Washington, D.C.—the number of patients seeking official medical marijuana certification has dropped. Medicinal cannabis patients in Alaska and Washington state were harder to count due to different policies in those states.
Even in Arizona, where recreational marijuana is on the ballot this November, the number of medical marijuana patients has changed dramatically. “Though Arizona permits only medicinal use, new cardholder applications were down sharply (73%) in May, perhaps in anticipation of a favorable election outcome for recreational use,” the GreenWave Advisors report said.
The report speculates that some current or previous marijuana users under medical laws presented themselves with chronic pain as a way of legally accessing pot. In states where recreational use is allowed or could soon be allowed, the number of medical marijuana patients could be lower than previously thought.
This means some states could opt to combine regulatory oversight of medicinal cannabis and recreational marijuana, the GreenWave Advisors report said.