As more and more states pass medical or recreational marijuana laws, the concept of treating an illness with marijuana has equally been spread across the US and beyond. For those considering the use of medical marijuana for an approved condition or disease in your state, the procedure of enrollment may also require the assignment of a caregiver.
The Varied Role of the Caregiver
The caregiver has many different roles, making them a necessity in getting medical marijuana for some patients. While any dispensary near you will do in places like Colorado where dispensaries exist in plenty, in some medical marijuana markets patients must assign a dispensary or co-op grow to be their caregiver.
This gives the dispensary or co-op license to grow and otherwise produce medical marijuana, extracts, and other marijuana products for the patients under their care. In other states, the patient’s physician is required to evaluate whether a patient needs a caregiver and assigns a caregiver of the patient’s own choosing.
In most states, the idea of a caregiver was first created in acknowledgment of sick and dying patient needs and the severity of the health conditions typically treated by medical marijuana, but the role began to serve a number of purposes. Starting as an individual role for an individual patient, many states went on to allow caregivers the ability to care for multiple patients.
Soon following, it got to the point renting a separate facility to grow marijuana became costly – if not impossible – to open and easily shut down by law enforcement, making a pressure point wherein the concept of co-op growing could be logically seen to economize costs to producers and the patients they serve.
A growing co-op is where several caregivers managing several patients may collectively grow marijuana and split the costs of rent, electric, equipment, and other costs.
When Dispensaries First Appeared
From here, many states went on to create business licenses for medical marijuana dispensaries in their state. As these businesses ran illegally in some states, the creation of the licensing structure would bring a bit of legal gravitas to the co-op grows and independent caregivers.
Many states required the newly founded marijuana dispensaries to run as non-profit organizations and some go as far as requiring the patient-caregiver to not charge the patient for anything more than necessary costs.
In some communities, the dispensary near you may not have the best value, quality, or product selection. In others, the dispensary near you may be the only option without an hour or longer drive.
And this is the point: your caregiver is ultimately the person or places growing medicine specifically for you. They are involved in the details of your care on a day to day basis.
In Colorado, many dispensaries have incentivized becoming a patient caregiver. As this increases the supply the dispensary has on hand for all patients, it is advantageous for companies attempting to grow, purchase new equipment, or hire more workers.
Caregivers, Patient Outcomes, and Cost Incentives
Finding a caregiver isn’t just who has the best medical marijuana deals and patient incentives, though. It also requires the dispensary to produce the type of medicine or carry the type of products you’ll be needing during your treatment.
If the dispensary near you has all the products you know you’ll need to adequately address symptoms (and even some you may want to try), making them your caregiver is purely logical. Offering stunning patient deals, such as daily specials, monthly deals, or other promotions, giveaways, or sweepstakes. Another form of incentive is member and nonmember pricing.
Depending on the state, the dispensary near you may only allow members to go through the entry for purchases, thereby requiring a patient to choose to be a member by choosing a caregiver. In other states, member and nonmember pricing acts entirely as a cost incentive for patients.
Members may get 20% of products or have access to BOGO 1/8ths and non-members would pay full price.
These sort of incentives work, in large part, because of the continued legal conflict between medical marijuana laws on the state level versus the laws at the federal level. Insurance or health plan providers cannot at this time cover medical marijuana due to these federal law conflicts, driving up health care costs for many medical marijuana patients.
In the US, this discourages many people suffering from an illness which may be relieved by marijuana as their insurance can accommodate a larger number of medical costs than their income can.
Designating the dispensary near you as your caregiver, therefore, is a choice worth researching. Do they have the best member deals? Do they deliver to members? Do they have medicated products which are effective? Are they cost effective as well?
These are all questions worth asking yourself before choosing your caregiver, yet the biggest question (and consideration) you should ask before choosing the dispensary near you is how much volume you will be using and in what form.
Some dispensaries specialize in hash oils while others focus on certain strains, so knowing you will be able to get the medicine in the volume you require in the form you prefer is a good place to gauge reliability and trust in your next caregiver relationship.