[6/11/19] Medical Marijuana Cardholders Drop

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An Associated Press analysis has found existing medical marijuana programs take a hit when states legalize cannabis for all adults over age 21. In the most extreme case, the AP found the number of medical cardholders in Oregon dropped nearly two-thirds. Alaska’s registry dropped by 63%, followed by Nevada with nearly 40% and Colorado with 19%.

Patients in those states who rely on medical marijuana say they are left with fewer and more expensive options. The report did not include Washington.

It’s a paradox playing out nationwide as more states take the leap from care-centered medical programs to recreational models aligned with a multibillion-dollar global industry.

David Mangone, director of government affairs for Americans for Safe Access, said states see a “massive exodus” of medical patients when they legalize marijuana for all adults — and then, in many cases, the remaining ones struggle.