High prices for medical marijuana at Minnesota’s fledgling dispensaries are pushing patients back to the black market, a worrisome sign in for an MMJ program that is already experiencing difficulties.
Almost 20% of the state’s 491 registered patients haven’t made a return trip in the last month to any of the three dispensaries currently open in the state, with many saying it’s simply too costly, according to the Associated Press.
One patient told the AP his monthly bill for legal MMJ is $264, but that he can get a month’s worth of cannabis flower on the street for $80.
“What we’re talking about is an expensive designer drug that only the rich can afford right now,” the patient told the AP.
Other patients face much larger bills if they try to stick with legal MMJ, the AP found, with at least one paying as much as $2,000 a month.
This could prove to be a big problem for Minnesota’s MMJ industry. One of the two legal production companies already hiked prices and rolled back a discount program in a state with one of the patient bases in the country. The same company is also delaying the opening of two more dispensaries.