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  • D.H. Reilly

Medical Marijuana is Regulated, and Americans are Willing to Pay a Little Extra


One of the best reasons to get a Mississippi Marijuana Card just as soon as they’re available? It will be the only way to ensure that you’re getting safe, quality cannabis products, thanks to the strictly enforced regulations that will be required by whatever legislation our lawmakers finally pass.


Government regulations are usually just like lawyers: Everyone hates them, until they need them. And government regulatory oversight of cannabis turns out to be another example of that truism, as a new survey has found that an overwhelming majority of Americans support strict regulations on the consumer sale of cannabis goods.


Americans Want Safe Marijuana, and They’re Willing to Pay for it

The survey was sponsored by SICPA, a company that specializes in security and compliance for regulated goods such as pharmaceuticals, tobacco and alcohol. They wanted to find out how Americans felt about certain regulations on the sale of legal cannabis products, such as medical marijuana. And their findings show that Americans are definitely regulatory friendly when it comes to their medicine.


  • A vast majority of Americans - 83% of us - think that cannabis products should be sold with secure, counterfeit-proof labels that provide consumers with potency and safety information.


  • 80% of Americans would support a program that made it easier to distinguish between legal and illegal cannabis products.


  • 67% of Americans say they would be willing to pay more for products that came with secure labels that verified the products were purchased from a licensed retailer who adheres to safety and legal regulations.


According to SICPA vice-president Alex Spelman, products sold with inappropriate labeling and packaging expose consumers to the risk of accidentally purchasing tainted or recalled products and create opportunities for bootleggers to counterfeit legitimate brands.


“The transition from cannabis being illegal to legal in many U.S. states brings with it the opportunity for illicit operators to capitalize on the demand without following regulatory guidelines designed to ensure public health and safety,” Spelman said in a press release announcing the survey results. “Secure labels ensure confidence at the point of consumption where the health and safety risks of unregulated, illicit products are highest.”


Unregulated Cannabis Products are Indeed Susceptible to Dishonest Labeling

And although SICPA has a dog in this fight, considering that their primary purpose is helping their customers remain in compliance with legal and safety regulations, this isn’t just scary talk from a company trying to convince people to use its services.


Unfortunately, we know all too well that there are indeed unscrupulous producers selling mislabeled products on the unregulated fringes of the cannabis market. And we’re not talking about street-level drug dealers either, but products that are being legally bought and sold.


Buyer Beware: Unregulated Often Means Uncertain and Unsafe

We’ve told you before about delta-8 THC, a largely unregulated, synthetic, cousin to the natural delta-9 THC found in medical marijuana. Well delta-8 is a great example of the kind of danger that can be presented by poorly-regulated (or entirely unregulated) cannabis products.


According to Popular Science, both forms of THC are identical at the molecular level, and even have similar effects on users, although delta-8 is less potent. The real difference between the two is that delta-9 THC occurs naturally in marijuana and delta-8 is obtained from hemp, a variety of cannabis that is bred without THC and used primarily in manufacturing.


Legally, hemp cannot contain THC, but it can contain cannabidiol, or CBD. Most of the delta-8 that is commercially available is synthesized by using a number of chemicals to alter CBD taken from hemp.


Hemp has many industrial uses, and it contains little to no THC, so Congress voted in 2018 to remove hemp’s controlled substance designation. That in turn legalized all hemp products with less that .3% THC content, which in turn meant hemp-derived products, such as delta-8, were then also legal at the federal level.


That hasn’t stopped several states, including Mississippi, from banning the sale of delta-8. The problem these states perceive is that the lack of regulation that delta-8 products face means a lack of certainty about what consumers are buying.


Trade Group, Journalists Find that Delta-8 Products are Often Dangerously Mislabeled

The U.S. Cannabis Council, a trade group that represents medical and adult-use marijuana companies, researched delta-8 products earlier this year, and compiled their findings in a report that was released in June. The report concluded that delta-8, because it is so unregulated, “presents a public health risk.”


The council used an independent, private laboratory to test 16 different delta-8 products that were purchased legally in several states. The results revealed that all but one of the products contained illegal levels of delta-9 THC, and some of the samples contained potentially dangerous heavy metals. These findings are similar to research performed by journalists, and the council’s concerns have been echoed by experts.


Medical Marijuana’s Strict Regulations Means You Can be Confident in the Products You Buy

And even though Mississippi and several other states have taken the step of banning delta-8, it’s difficult to ensure that a product that is available legally in most states doesn’t work it’s way into the Magnolia State.


We told you before how some unscrupulous online retailers were alleging delta-8 was still legal here, and were selling and shipping it to our state. That was several months ago, so I did a little Googling this morning, and found that as of November 2021, there are still several such retailers making that claim and selling mystery medicine to Mississippians. Where there is no regulation, expect to find unscrupulous retailers selling dubious products.


Medical Marijuana Costs More than Less Regulated Options...

As medical marijuana advocate Maren Schroeder told NBC News, “There is a cost to administer a state medical cannabis program that has to be borne by someone. If it's not a patient registration fee or a tax, it's going to be an increased price of the product. Anyway you put it, the patients are going to pay for it.”


...but You Get What You Pay for.

Yes, regulations raise prices. But they can also help ensure safety and efficacy. Medical marijuana costs more than street marijuana, but you get what you pay for.


Beyond the quality assurance of knowing what chemicals have been used on their medicine, once Mississippi’s medical marijuana market is established, cardholders will have the peace of mind that comes with knowing exactly what they’re buying thanks to the state’s oversight of all marijuana products sold in dispensaries.


Furthermore, those who get a Mississippi Marijuana Card will be able to know the exact compositions and strains of the cannabis they purchase, enabling their doctors to match their conditions to the exact right medicine.

And while you could buy street drugs or mystery delta-8 products, SICPA’s survey tells us that isn’t what you want, at least not if you’re like most Americans. You want safe, regulated medicine sold to you by honest, qualified retailers and growers who the state is watching to make sure they only sell you what you want to buy.


The bad news is that you can’t get that in Mississippi. Not yet anyway.


Medical Marijuana is Coming to Mississippi, and You Can Get Ready Right Now

We’ve told you that we’re certain that medical marijuana is coming to Mississippi. And while it isn’t here yet, you can start getting ready for it right now.


Reserve a medical marijuana evaluation online today with one of our compassionate, qualified physicians, and we’ll book an appointment for you just as soon as Mississippi’s medical marijuana market is up and running.


You’ll meet with your new doctor virtually, using your smartphone, tablet, or computer for a telemedicine appointment. From the comfort and safety of your own home, you’ll learn what medical marijuana might do for you and find out if you qualify for a Mississippi Marijuana Card. You’ll even save $25 off the cost of the evaluation!


 

Doctors Who Care.

Relief You Can Trust.

Helping you find health and wellness through safe and convenient access to medical marijuana is our primary goal at Mississippi Marijuana Card. We’re working hard to educate advocates and cynics alike about the unique benefits medical cannabis can offer, building an accessible informational library of all things Mississippi and medical marijuana in the process.

If you have any questions, we’re ready to answer them. Call us at (833) 781-6635, or simply reserve a medical marijuana evaluation!


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