Can medical cannabis survive adult-use legalization?
Play • 1 hr

Very few medical cannabis advocates are against the full legalization of the plant for all adults. But sometimes one unintended consequence of adult-use legalization is that the market no longer caters to medical patients.

“Medical users, over time, are finding that the products that they want and need — they can no longer find on the shelves, or those products are more expensive,” explains Dr. Ruth Fisher, an economist who specializes in the market dynamics of cannabis. “And so they're kind of getting squeezed out. And I think that that's a real problem.”

In this episode of The Cannabis Enigma Podcast, host Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man interviews Dr. Fisher about the various ways medical and adult-use cannabis markets interact. For instance, why is adult-use legalization almost always preceded by medical cannabis legalization?

Dr. Fisher, author of the book "The Medical Cannabis Primer," also discusses how the remaining stigmas surrounding cannabis shape many of the dynamics and barriers facing both the medical and recreational markets. The fact that cannabis has been used in secret and behind closed doors for so long contributes to the ongoing perception of danger many people associate with it, she says.

“If cannabis were used more openly by people, I think that we wouldn't have a lot of the problems that we're having today,” Dr. Fischer says.

At the end of the episode, Debbie Churgai, executive director of Americans for Safe Access, discusses the various ways that military veterans — who could very much benefit from medical cannabis — have difficulty accessing it and the ways that the Veterans Administration can address that issue.

Produced by Michael Schaeffer Omer-Man. The Cannabis Enigma is a co-production of The Cannigma and Americans for Safe Access. Music by Desca.

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