Most of us have likely seen or read heart-wrenching stories of people with serious medical conditions whose lives have been dramatically improved, even saved, by cannabis. Well, here’s another one: mine.
My parents suffer from neuromuscular disorders. My father has a severe tremor that has advanced to the point to where he can’t place a golf ball on a tee nor hold the computer mouse due to extreme trembling. His jaw recently began to shake, and doctors haven’t been able to offer effective solutions. Also, recently he was diagnosed with PMR (polymyalgia rheumatica), a disease that causes pain in the shoulders, arms, hips and legs.
My mother suffers from a disease that makes walking terribly difficult. She has had brain surgery (with neuromuscular stimulators implanted), has been on a variety of medications with terrible side effects and has been largely confined to her home.
With what I now know about cannabis’s many proven medicinal traits, I approached them about giving medical cannabis a shot, and they agreed.
Heading to California’s newly legal adult-use market, my parents were able to try a 1:1 THC/CBD oil. My father can again put a golf ball on the tee and hold a glass steadily, and my mother (an award-winning gardener) can again spend hours tending to her plants. Thanks to New Jersey’s recently expanded list of accepted medical conditions, both qualified for the state’s medical marijuana program and can now access medication that helps them without harmful side effects.
As a New Jersey resident myself, I applaud our new governor, Phil Murphy, for enabling the significant expansion of the state’s medical program.
Medical expansions may seem trivial, especially in states preparing for adult-use legalization, but it means the world to those whose lives are changed by the ability to access this medication. Expansion is also not trivial to the cannabis businesses that have put a stake in the ground in those states, nor to those who still plan to do so.
Restrictions on qualifying conditions and permitted products are among the factors businesses should consider when evaluating potential markets, suggest CBT columnists Thomas Schultz and Rino Ferrarese, both of Connecticut Pharmaceutical Solutions, one of Connecticut’s four vertically integrated cannabis businesses. (See their column, “How to Evaluate New Markets,” on p. 96.)
Adult-use legalization obviously can make new markets easier to navigate, but even then, certain considerations can factor heavily into a cannabis cultivation business’s potential success. (See also the column by Robert Clarke and Mojave Richmond, “Elements of a Successful Grow,” on p. 82.)
Whether you’re looking to expand into another state or within your current state’s medical or adult-use program, it’s important to remember that even though there is a will, there might not always be a way in this convoluted industry. But that will, that passion, will be your driving force.
Also, remember that whether you’re cultivating for adult-use or medical purposes, or both, you are changing lives for the better—2.3 million of them at the very least (the number of medical patients in the U.S. according to 2016 data cited by the Marijuana Policy Project). And my parents now among them. So, I, for one, thank you from the bottom of my heart for what you do, and I am proud to do what I can to provide information to help your businesses succeed.