Patient Decries High Cannabis Prices in Connecticut

At least one outspoken cancer patient in Connecticut has been brought to tears by what she considers a huge disappointment in the state’s medical marijuana system.

Tracey Gamer Fanning, in an op-ed for the Hartford Courant, wrote that she broke down crying when a reporter asked for her thoughts about the prices Connecticut dispensaries are charging for cannabis: $450-$600 an ounce.

“This could defeat all our efforts to have patients register to get marijuana legally and then fine-tune dispensing programs to give people just the type and dose of the medicine that they need,” Fanning wrote.

She was also distressed at her first official MMJ consulting appointment, when she encountered a bong salesman in a tie-dye T-shirt doing business with the manager of a dispensary.

“This is not a party – this is life-saving,” Fanning said she thought at the time.

And then she discovered that the dispensary manager and the “pharmacist” knew less about medical cannabis than she did.

The first dispensaries opened in Connecticut last week, more than two years after the state legalized medical marijuana. Some insiders predict that prices will drop significantly when more cultivation centers complete their first harvest.

15 comments on “Patient Decries High Cannabis Prices in Connecticut
  1. Dee on

    Why don’t you morons in the states that are going legal do everyone else in the country a favor and NOT feed into the stereotype you have been fighting so long to lose. When other states on the fence sees bong salesman stories like this and other just stupid crap it isn’t doing the movement any favors nationally. Act with some F`ing class and respectable not like Cheech and Chong. It’s like watching someone win their freedom while at the same time stepping on their own nuts by virtue of how they simply present themselves!

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  2. Joanie on

    Oh dear, that is truly unfortunate. I would say that 99.9% of the patients I encounter would not like to assume the “recreational” persona that TV and society relate to cannabis use. Tie dye and bongs… cringe.. I is simple to tell who is recreational and who is actually medicating these days. As for the price.. unfortunately that is a bit harder as electricity and drought do not help in this situation. Hopefully the prices will start to taper off when supply increases. The pharmacist will get better educated as time goes on, it’s a learning curve. From what I see Connecticut has put a lot of thought into their MC laws and programs.

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  3. Shelley on

    The old culture and the new culture are going to overlap. The key to blending the two are conversation and education. Conducted of course with peace love and understanding.
    Onward,through the fog!

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  4. Josh on

    Dee well said! I’m in FL and this is the type of tactic they are trying use to shoot down our Amendment 2. If you see any of the no on 2 commercials in FL your intelligence will be insulted.

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  5. Jahpharmer on

    I legally grow MMJ for several legal dispensaries in the San Francisco bay area. As I pitch my products to other various dispensaries I have to put-up with charlatans on almost a daily basis. I truly feel for Tracey. MMJ is the new (capitalist) kid-on-the-block, as such it attracts all kinds, from well intended professionals to bottom-feeders, and every thing in between…for now. IMHO, a major part of what’s necessary is for recreational legalization to occur in those states that are, first, legalizing medical use; separate the two businesses from one another, tax recreational sales at the same rate as alcohol and tobacco are taxed at, and leave bonafide medical sales untaxed. Then make darn sure medical users likewise have bonafide medical issues that MMJ offers relief from.
    Then, again, perhaps this is too obvious a solution for our political leaders to grasp: just look at the fiasco Washington State’s full legalization program has created. With its 25% tax, applied at at least three different levels between the growers and the retail customers this has been a boon for black-market sales in Washington State…again, IMHO, couldn’t do it more wrong there if they tried! Then, again-again, perhaps this was a deliberate try. I hear circus music. Bring on the clowns.

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  6. Jose on

    In response to Miss Fanning’ s concern over the pricing of medical cannabis. The purpose of Mediacal Cannabis is to make it available to people suffering from a particular illness, some of which are debilitating. These prices are outrageous and will only force people to purchase their medication from theoretical illegal drug dealer. At this point the only difference between the so called illegal drug dealer and these Dispensaries is that one is a “Licensed Drug Dealer”. To these Dispensaries, what part of “Medical” did you not understand? Shame on you, you are ripping people off!!! State may want to regulate pricing. PS: I have had a personal relationship with this plant for going on 52 years, shame, shame.

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  7. Jose on

    Sorry for typo error, should read, their local, not theoretical, illegal… My close up vision is going downhill. Going to VA Hospital for testing.

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  8. bongstar420 on

    So people supplying Cannabis medicine deserve less than people selling pharmaceutical drugs?

    Here in Oregon, patients whine about meds not being tasty enough, dense enough, or cheap enough even though they are given free stuff all the time. Almost everything on the shelf is highly psychoactive despite the fact it is unnecessary for most medical applications. Most of them are physically capable of work. I had a patient threaten legal action for only giving them 1oz their first month of signing and paying their fees.

    The problem is not the price, but her ability to pay it. This seems way too much like political posturing.

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    • Mike on

      My Insurance has no problem assisting me with all my rx drugs here in CT… They refuses to help with my cannabis rx ! Tracey and all patients deserve affordable medicine here in CT. CT must allow patients to grow their own medicine! CT corroporate cannabis cartels allow ONLY FOUR PRODUCERS FOR THE ENTIRE STATE! Until this monopoly changes prices will continue to exceed street value! CT patients unite!

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  9. Johnathan Aluicious Hempseed da 3rd on

    Medicaid , and V.A. patients should be able to get free Cannabis .Go to a NORML meeting and say “FREE DOPE” it goes over like a lead balloon . I think with the right representation and doctors with proof of income a poor patient with a qualifying condition would be eligible for up to 2 free ounces a month Tracey should see if a care giver can grow her some or grow her own if she can.

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  10. Dwight Papuga on

    I just need to say this: I AM a medical marijuana patient. This is medicine. It costs a fortune. I’m lucky enough to be back to work now with the help of medication. I had two choices: 1-Legal Opiate Addict or 2-Medical Marijuana. I chose the right path. Too bad there are some many people out there who can’t afford this path (no insurance coverage on marijuana, an hour drive at least once a month, and paying more than illegal prices for product-plus tax). They really need to lower the prices and stop trying to get rich.

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  11. Jim Ty on

    Is anybody shocked at this? Really? Go look at CT’s statutes (Title 21a, Chapter 420f) about MMJ and its laws for possession, production, and sales. No wonder the prices are so high.

    First, all producers have to be in-state (their numbers are State-controlled, so there is no competition) and can’t ship any of their product out of state, nor can they acquire product out-of-state for resale. They must have a 5-year renewable license from the State that costs $25,000 a pop, and in some cases must put up a $2,000,000 escrow account. And of course, your growing premises have to be secure — that ain’t cheap either; and that’s before even your first ounce is sold.

    If you seek to open a dispensary, their numbers and locations are state-controlled, and like being a producer; you must be licensed (amount of fees not stated) every two years, you must have iron-clad physical security, and the dispensary licensee must be a registered, licensed pharmacist. You’ve just ran up a HUGE bill before you’ve even made your first sale. And oh yeah, no price competition here either; just what the Legislature intended.

    Now for the really bad news, statistics from the CT State Dept of Consumer Protection’s web site about the MM program as of 15 June 2015:
    – Registered patients, state-wide = 4,097
    – Number of dispensaries = 6
    – Number of producers = 4

    That’s pretty depressing. If I were one of the state’s 4 producers, I’m not sure I could lay out $3M or so for the possibility of having a 20% share of 5,000 customers. I’d have to charge a fortune just to break even. If all 1,000 of my patients used 2 oz/month, that’d be 24,000 oz or 1,500 lbs/year I could grow. Remember, I’m a wholesaler — could I even *get* $300/oz? So I could gross $7.2M/year? And then there’s taxes, fees, physical plant, labor … so I get to keep nowhere near that $7.2M.

    The dispensary: each of them on average gets 818 cystomers: let’s say (unrealistically) that each uses 2 oz/mo. If I can only make $100-200/oz profit, that’s only $245,000/year GROSS PROFIT, before taxes, phys plant, labor, fees, etc. Most licensed pharmacists can make almost that much working at your local drug store. Who needs THIS legal, over-regulated mess?

    I’d have to say that $400-600 an ounce (which is what street prices were when I stopped smoking pot 25 years ago) is pretty reasonable, given what the airheads in our Legislature did to the marketplace before it even had a chance to be born. They break their own arms patting themselves on the back for their so-called “humanity” while simultaneously making it impossible for patients to get what they need. Actions seem to mean nothing, intentions seem to mean everything. The Gods have gone mad!

    And yes, my wife is an MM patient, too. God help us all.

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  12. Dave MMJ card holder CT on

    Look at who you use! I just got an oz broken down by 1/8’s for only $200. Yes, there’s more expensive but this does the trick. Im sick of people saying the highest prices when its all BS.

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    • Mike on

      The cheapest high thc (the only kind that allows me to eat) strain goes for 390 an oz here in CT . And this is at the cheapest dispensary in CT! mmj laws are insane. We need personal growing rights!

      Reply

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