LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Several states have legalized marijuana within the past few years. While it has helped some state revenues, other long-standing medical marijuana programs are taking a hit. Since 2017, there has been a 40 percent decrease in medical cardholders in Nevada.
“I think there will be people who are passionate about cannabis and the way that it can help our communities that will continue to fight for that relevance,” says Matthew Janz, director of marketing for The Source Dispensary.
According to Janz, some of the store’s medical marijuana products are no longer on their shelves because fewer companies are producing products for a broader appeal.
“We have seen a lower frequency in the number of medical products on the shelves, and that could potentially be commercialization,” Janz said. “Instead of using that medication to make a 100mg chocolate bar, they are using that medication to make five 100mg for the recreational audience.”
In 2017, there were more than 27,000 medical cardholders in Nevada. That was before, recreational marijuana became legal in July 2017. Since then, its been a steady decline.
In 2019, there were more than 17,000 medical cardholders in the state.
“I think that we may have seen the decrease from 27,000 to 17,000 just because of the widening of access,” Janz said.
Janz doesn’t believe that the medical marijuana business will go away any time soon because of people like Tina Ulman.
Ulman is an advocate for medical cannabis. She’s pushing for more research on the benefits of marijuana.
“Usually it’s about $200 to get your medical card and then, of course, you can access cannabis legally, but now that it’s recreational, you don’t need to spend that $200,” she said.
According to the Associated Press, several other states including Oregon, Colorado, and Alaska also saw a drop in medical patients after broader legalization.
“It’s easier. It’s more conventional. But, we need people to get their license. We need that data,” UIlman said.