Not surprising is that money is speaking louder than many of us who worked in the trenches to get our medicine legalized. Those who have already found success in business are seeing a whole new way to make money with immediate entry into our cannabis world. I could see Mrs. Field putting out cannabis infused chocolate chip cookies soon!
I am a home cook with modest means with little funding to outfit my kitchen into a sleek professional cooking area. I have no way to have an exact measuring system to make sure that each one of my cookies weighs exactly the same. Yes, I could carefully measure each dollop of dough I place on a cookie sheet, but it would add hours to my cooking process. We all know that dough clings to spoons, measuring cups or anything we might choose to use. It is very difficult to do any precise size of most of what I make in my home kitchen.
The rules now insist that each of my carrot cup cakes or other edibles be the exact same measurement in grams. My mini cupcakes come out at approx one half ounce or 14 grams and my regular sized ones are approximately just over one ounce or 29 grams. BUT, not each one exactly. As I drop my cream cheese frosting and nuts on each one, I run into yet another variable that I can't see a way of overcoming. I have made myself obsolete for selling my edibles at a dispensary here in Oregon.
I can still make sure that my tincture is in 1 ounce bottles and that might be a go, but I still need to test the product (bud or leaf) which locally cost 100.00. That cost is expected to rise with new regulations for further testing. So let's say the cost rises to 150.00 and then my product also needs to be tested that I make with the tested plant material; which currently has a price tag of 50.00. I could easily have 200.00 for each edible I want to place in a dispensary for sale and if I can't be sure each piece of candy, cookie or cupcake is weighing the exact same; I am so busted.
These new regulations look good and assure safety for us all in knowing that what we purchase is indeed what we are paying for, but at the same time; they also insure that only someone with professional product making equipment will be able to satisfy the new rulings. These new rules and regulations insure that only professional well funded companies can compete in the edible area of cannabis medicines. I can see can see the writing on the wall. Only money will beget money. The creative chocolatier will have a tough time satisfying these new guidelines for what can be sold in a legal cannabis dispensary. My chocolates are delicious and only getting better with practice, but you will not be purchasing any from a dispensary in 2016.
I can provide (so far) for other OMMP patients that hold legal medical marijuana cards, but I cannot legally provide any edibles to a legal recreational user. In fact, at this time, I can only freely give them bud and I assume I could give them shake/leaf. I cannot provide tincture, balms, bath salts or anything made with cannabis that could address any medical reasons they might like some, if they do not have the OMMP card. This medical card from Oregon cost most approximately 375.00. It is either 175.00 or 150.00 for a doctor to sign for a patient and the State wants 200.00 unless you are proven to be poor by having SSI or food stamps. A poor person doesn't often have the approximately 200.00 to obtain their OMMP card. I know cancer patients that are economically unable to come up with even enough money to donate to paying for their medicine. Medicare pays 80 per cent of our senior medical bills. You must have supplemental insurance to come up with the other 20 per cent. Supplemental is expensive insurance. My husband and I pay about 400.00 a month for both of us. Twenty per cent of any cancer expense is a great deal of money for anyone!
My concern is for the poor who need medicine. I am being more and more contacted by either a hospice patient or by medical personnel hoping I will help. They know I make excellent safe medicine. Their hands are tied. They hope I will step up to help. I cannot write here whether I help or not; as it is illegal for me to do so.
I see the direction the cannabis business is going. It will be controlled to make money in either taxes or for someone benefiting from the rules being made favoring professional businesses. The Curandera has no place in big business. She is delegated to the back room where you secretly take your ill grandma for help. Be sure if someone should report her; she will be shut down.
In California, they are closing down ability for small cannabis gowers to grow even their own medicines. Many counties have taken that step. If you dare to break that rule, you could have your home taken by the government for daring to be outside the new laws.
We, in Oregon, can grow 4 plants as a recreational user. OMMP card holders that only want to grow 12 plants are currently safe to do so, but if you should be a grower that provides for more than two OMMP card holders, you are screwed. You will be forced to spend a lot of money on security, fencing, water rights and the list goes on. This closes down many growers who cannot afford to comply with the new regulations. The patients they grew for no longer have their medicine. Only the rich will continue to be able to grow for patients. No one gets rich growing for OMMP patients. Yes, you might have some extra cash, but it doesn't compare to selling bud on the black market. I believe it is common for many who grow for OMMP card holders make most of what they bring in supplying dispensaries or the black market. Another factor ruining a good thing is that in 2015, a patient paid 50.00 to transfer their card to someone who could grow for them. In 2016, that cost went up to 200.00. Needless to say, many cannot even afford this extra expense. I believe the OMMP program is on the way out. There are no taxes on medical marijuana. The State wants money. The well funded cannabis businesses don't want us growing our own medicine or supplying it at low or no cost; when patients could purchase their medicines at a much higher fee from their businesses.
i know I am going on and on with no answers and little hope. The new regulations and laws go on for many many pages. I have a hard time even going through all of what may be expected from me as a OMMP card holder. What does a seriously ill or one that suffers extreme pain even do with all this new information that we are expected to know? Most of the patients I know are seniors. We are the new faces of marijuana. We just want to feel better. We don't want to have to report on a computer what stages our plants are at each month. We are doing well to find our slippers and comfy clothes to wear for the day.
I keep going to our liquor rules and regulations that are so much less. I can make my own beer and even give some to my friends and neighbors along with the line of relatives that now find me interesting. I can make wine. I make my own limoncello with fresh lemon zest and everclear. I do all of this legally drinking what I want and sharing with whoever, but I cannot do the same with cannabis! Cannabis doesn't kill like liquor can. Children can be subjected to all of drinking our fool heads off and even are given sips without having Protective Services taking them away from us. If we would give our child cannabis, one wouldn't be so lucky. If I provide for an old cancer ridden man who has no money whatsoever; I am breaking the law. Unfair, unjust and unwarranted is what it is.
Am I ranting? I guess so. I wonder how you feel about what is happening with the greed of cannabis possibilities? I could write more about yet more regulations. You can find the Oregon cannabis laws on https://public.health.oregon.gov/DiseasesConditions/ChronicDisease/MedicalMarijuanaProgram/Pages/index.aspx
If you have concerns you can write, email or call your representatives. If you do not use your voice, you can't think it will get better. We need to unite for our rights to use our medicine!
I am sure you will hear more from me on this same subject. I am choosing to be a cannabis voter this year. I am sick of being on the fringe of any laws. I want to be considered just the normal old lady up river who makes fine cannabis medicine for all.