Many states including California and Arizona are sure to be looking at recreational cannabis on their 2016 ballots. These states are currently operating under medical laws and the shift to recreation will certainly change almost every aspect of the business. Looking at how states like Colorado, Oregon and Washington have handled the medical companies and dispensaries will give good insight into how newly recreational states will follow suit. In reference to other states, all medical companies and dispensaries facing legalization needs to take note of the tragedy of the medical cannabis community in Washington and the successes of Colorado.
In Washington all of the medical cannabis companies were forced to buy a license from the state in order to operate which has given the state rights to regulation but also forced all of the purely medical shops to close. This highly disputed legislation has created a lack of products for medical patients like children with epilepsy who need pure CBD tincture. Surely this will even out but it isn’t an ideal model for future recreational states.
This veteran in the recreational industry has seen a slew of legislation going through their government which has made police confused and unclear on which policies still stand and which have become obsolete. In terms of translating from medical to recreational the shift was somewhat seamless for most business owners. Some cities passed laws that ensure only medical dispensaries will reside in their town limits, but mostly companies have just split their establishment into two separate entities. One side of the dispensary will serve medical patients and one side will serve recreational clients.