What is a Health Dispensary?

what-is-a-health-dispensaryPeople with military backgrounds, those who have attended college or anyone who has gone to summer camp know what a Health Dispensary is. Simply put, it is a place where you can get medications. Many summer campers will recall trudging to the dispensary to get their allergy pills or their asthma inhalers. Since 1996, however, the term has taken on a different connotation. That is the year California legalized the use of medical marijuana, and the phrase more commonly refers to a place where people can get that substance.

Does Marijuana Really Have Medical Uses?

Few people, even in the medical community, dispute that marijuana has some medical value. The website “Web MD” lists several conditions in which the substance can play a part in treatment. It isn’t used to combat the disease, but to alleviate the symptoms. Some of the uses for medical marijuana are in treatment of pain, which is associated with many illnesses. Glaucoma and cancers and nerve pains are all treatable with cannabis. It seems to slow or stop muscle spasms from Multiple Sclerosis and is also effective in controlling certain seizures. The “United Patients’ Web,” a group of patients who are using medical marijuana and some physicians, points out that the substance lowers the intraocular eye pressure of glaucoma patients. It increases the appetites of AIDS patients and those going through chemotherapy, while decreasing their nausea.

If it is so beneficial, Why Do You Have to get it From a Health Dispensary?

There is a lot of controversy surrounding the use of medical marijuana. First, marijuana use is illegal in most states. Only 23 states have legalized the use of low-THC, high cannabidiol marijuana. Many proponents point out that many accepted medications are narcotic and highly addictive. Some have severe side effects. Those who argue against medical marijuana say the substance has addictive properties a well. In addition, there has not been a lot of study done on the effect it has on children. Other considerations include regulatory procedures. How close to schools should they be located, for instance, and how should they be taxed?

How Do the Dispensaries Operate?

In states where medical marijuana is legal, patients must apply for a permit to use the substance. Each of the 23 states that allow it also has a list of conditions for which it is approved. The dispensaries must apply for licenses to sell medical marijuana. There are background checks and fees associated with the process of owning a dispensary as well as stiff fines for misusing the license. The stores, themselves, sell marijuana in many different forms, from tobacco-like dried product to smoke or use in vapor systems, to edibles and cannabis-laced vitamins and supplements. The wide variety of products means patients can select what works best for them. In Crone’s Disease edibles go directly to the problem, the stomach. That makes edibles the best delivery system for those patients.

The subject of medical marijuana is still one of controversy. There is much that must be learned about how the substance works in the body. In addition, dispensaries must have clear and strict regulations by which to operate. Health Dispensaries are not going away and neither is the debate.

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