More need to open in every state. 45 years of the “war on drugs” has really fucked things up!
With an increased demand for medical marijuana during the COVID-19 pandemic, additional compassion centers are set to open throughout the state in the coming months.
Three companies are anticipated to begin operations in Kent, New Castle and Sussex counties:
• CannaTech Research Inc. – Anticipated to open between April and June in Dover and Georgetown.
• EzyCure LLC – Anticipated to open between April and June in Felton and Middletown
• Valor Craft Cannabis Company – Anticipated to open between July and September in New Castle
“The addition of these vendors increases access points to patients as the program continues to expand,” Delaware Office of Medical Marijuana Paul Hyland said. “The three new growers will bring a greater variety of products and increase the supply.”
Mr. Hyland says the pandemic changed how patients consume medical marijuana products. “Delaware patients want to purchase marijuana in greater amounts and want more varieties than the current supply allows,” he said.
“To satisfy the increased demand for marijuana during the COVID-19 era and to meet the anticipated demand of expansion, OMM needed more production capacity. Opening new vendors was in the plans for several months, however many processes were disrupted during the pandemic.”
Even as three new providers are slated to open, there’s a number of hurdles those facilities will go through before they become operational, and that includes growing the plants to sell, said Zoe Patchell, board chairwoman and president of Delaware Cannabis Advocacy Network. And there is quite the amount of demand.
Prior to the pandemic, with the limited options of three providers and just a handful of sites throughout the state, there were a host of problems that plagued the program, she said. A lack of competition has led to increased prices for product (which isn’t covered by insurance, Ms. Patchell noted). Having only three markets in the state led to supply issues and long lines and wait times.
At dispensary sites in Wilmington, Smyrna and Rehoboth Beach, Columbia Care is “seeing dozens of new patients every week that are new to us or new to the program,” said Vice President of Corporate Affairs Adam Goers.
According to the state Medical Marijuana Program Fiscal Year 2020 report, the three most common debilitating medical conditions for qualifying patients the past two years were:
• Severe, debilitating pain.
• Post-traumatic stress disorder.
• Muscle spasms.
“PTSD is a really difficult one that we’re able to help a lot of folks find relief from, as well as measures like chronic pain, which is something that’s just not well treated in with opioids and so we’re heartened to know that patients throughout Delaware are getting access to something that is a natural medicine, and a medicine that in most cases produces a very minimal side-effect profile, compared to the scourge of opioids and the abuse and the resulting just pain that it causes families and communities,” Mr. Goers said
According to the state Medical Marijuana Program database in July 2020, 51% of patients resided in New Castle County, 32% in Sussex County and 17% in Kent County. Of participating physicians, 65% were based in New Castle County, 21% in Sussex County and 14% in Kent County.
According to the annual report, the OMM issued 16,497 new and renewal patient registration cards in Fiscal Year 2020 compared to 12,045 issued in FY19.
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