Considering the fact that members of cannabis cooperatives are not technically purchasing their medicine, many still wonder where their money goes when they visit their local shop. Co-ops are meant to be a member-driven collective in which a few will often care for the many. When a member pays to obtain medicine, that money goes to several places so as to continue providing medication to those in need.
1. Price Regulation
In black-market situations, marijuana growers will adjust their prices to make a profit from the sale of their product. Supply and demand still has some effect on these prices simply because customers usually have a fair idea of market value in relation to the quality of the product.
In the meantime, medical marijuana dispensaries have a larger effect on local prices for the products, supplies, and services required to provide their fellow members with product. Cannabis cooperatives provide medication to other members at cost which leads to price adjustments by related businesses in the area.
Not all medical marijuana patients have the physical ability or space availability needed to grow their own medicine. For this reason, the state of California allows all Prop 215 holders to grow more marijuana than they could consume themselves. These growers then join a collective, where their product is made available to those in need.
The cultivation of medical marijuana requires money to be continually spent in order to ensure the medicine is effective. From the cloning stage through harvesting, growers are paying for nutrients, utilities, and electricity. Not to mention the amount of time they put into growing quality marijuana. By joining and procuring their medication at a cooperative, the growers are then reimbursed for the funds it took to produce the marijuana.
Medical marijuana cooperatives are required to supply patients with medication in a controlled environment and there is quite a bit of red tape involved in the process. There are licenses that must be obtained, a store space to lease or buy, utilities, and employee wages to paid. The paperwork alone takes up much of the operator and employees’ time.
A portion of the money spent at dispensaries goes toward the co-ops operating expenses. It allows patients to obtain their medicine in a safe and friendly manner from a store-front with regular hours and clear information. Co-op members are also be able to speak to well-informed operators to find the strains and means of ingestion that would treat their ailments best.
In other words, the money exchanged for the procurement of medical marijuana is spent on the things that make the very product available to those who cannot produce it themselves. Operators and growers should always be, and are, reimbursed for the money it took to provide this vital medication to their other members.