NEVADA — The voters spoke, and legalized recreational marijuana in Nevada, but there have been some unintended consequences. Some buyers have been forced to return to the black market, despite the legalization.
Some medical marijuana patients say they cannot afford “the price gouging” at dispensaries, so they’re turning to the streets.
“It changed the whole quality of my life,” Emily Wilson said.
Wilson found refuge in Las Vegas because of medical marijuana.
“I was pretty much bedridden,” Wilson said.
A chest surgery left the yoga instructor in pain for years — pain that eventually, only cannabis could cure.
“My life changed. I was off all of my medicine after six to eight months,” Wilson said.
But now, the price has gone up for her herbal medication — after voters opted to legalize the drug for recreational use.
“Our prices have almost doubled in some places,” Wilson said.
Wilson said she’s heard of some patients who have opted to leave the dispensary and turn to the streets for their medication.
“Oh yes. 100 percent they are,” Wilson said.
The staff at Relief Dispensary admitted the price has gone up due to new taxes and an increase in demand. They’re discouraging people from returning to the black market.
“You know, we have seen a decrease in our medical patients. When you’re on the street and you’re buying something, you don’t really know what you’re getting,” Lissa LaWatsch, GM of Relief Dispensary said.
To off-set the cost, dispensaries in the area are offering incentives to medical cardholders.
“We allow them to come to the front of the line. We try to keep everything in stock that our patients are reliant upon,” LaWatsch said.