How Do Dispensaries For Medical Marijuana Operate in Washington?

In many states, medical marijuana dispensaries cater to the needs of patients with chronic pain, cancer, and other ailments. A dispensary is the only legal way to obtain medical marijuana, since pharmacies cannot supply it. In the event you want to obtain marijuana from one of these dispensaries, you need to understand the regulations you must follow.

Obtaining Medical Marijuana

Generally, due to differences of opinion in the medical community, doctors will not prescribe marijuana, per se. Instead, they recommend its use after careful examination of the underlying ailment you have. At this time, insurance does not cover the use of marijuana for any illness. However, if you want to obtain it legally, you will need a valid recommendation letter from your doctor. In the state of California, all medical marijuana patients must carry an ID card to verify the legitimacy of their usage. Dispensaries will continue to distribute marijuana to you for the duration your doctor determines.

Types Of Marijuana Offered

In a dispensary, you can find two different variations of the marijuana plant – sativa and indica. Sativa provides an upbeat sensation, and doctors most frequently recommend it to fight depression and similar ailments. Indica is a painkiller and a sedative to fight insomnia, chronic pain, and other afflictions. Some dispensaries offer a combination or hybrid of the two, fighting pain without the tendency to become sleepy.

Marijuana is available to smoke in various forms. If you prefer not to have the harsh impact of smoke on your lungs, you may gravitate towards a vaporizer that burns at a lower temperature while producing less harmful byproducts. Typically, your doctor’s recommendation will determine which type of marijuana and what format you receive.

Where Is Medical Marijuana Legal?

The legalization of medical and recreational marijuana is still under great scrutiny in over half of the United States. At this time, medical dispensaries are legal in Arizona, Alaska, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Hawaii, Illinois, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Oregon, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. Some states have legalized an ingredient in the plant, but the plant in its entirety is not yet legalized. Most states require residency to receive medical marijuana; however, Oregon presently accepted out-of-state applications.


Before 2013, federal laws still stated that the use, sale, or possession of marijuana was illegal, citing it as a Schedule 1 substance that is illegal in all states. The Department of Justice has since retracted and amended their statement, clarifying that the local laws in each state need to “address marijuana activity through enforcement of their own narcotics laws.” Though many states are still urging their congressional representatives to legalize the substance, medical marijuana dispensaries remain available to fulfill the needs of legitimate patients.

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