Medical and Adult-Use Cannabis: How Dual Inventory Management Benefits Patients

As the legalization of cannabis continues to spread across the country (and the world), dispensaries are compelled to manage separate inventories for adult-use and medical cannabis products. This can result in a bit more work for retail cannabis operators. However, the reasoning behind regulations requiring dual-inventory management is not without merit.

Below, we dive into the rationale for maintaining two distinct product markets in the regulated cannabis industry.

Prioritizing Medical Needs

Medical cannabis products are tailored to meet the specific therapeutic needs of patients with qualifying medical conditions. These products often contain higher concentrations of certain cannabinoids, like CBD or THC. They also contain specific terpene profiles to target symptoms such as pain, inflammation, seizures, or nausea.

An elderly woman is at a dispensary purchasing medical marijuana. An employee is offering guidance on her selection.
As states such as Ohio begin offering adult-use cannabis, legislation has been passed to prioritize medical patients over recreational users. Part of the regulations requires retail facilities to maintain separate inventories of adult-use and medicinal cannabis products. This helps ensure access to cannabis products for patients who use cannabis as a treatment.

Inventory differentiation allows patients to access cannabis products that are grown, formulated, and labeled for medical use. It also makes it easier for healthcare professionals to provide guidance when recommending cannabinoid products. Otherwise, a rush of adult users could deplete a dispenser’s inventory, leaving licensed medical patients without their medicine.

Tailoring Regulatory Oversight

State governments typically implement distinct rules and regulations between the medical and adult-use cannabis markets. These regulations govern various aspects of production, distribution, sales, and consumption. They also help to ensure product safety, quality, and consistency throughout a state’s cannabis program.

By managing separate inventories between your medical and adult-use products, regulators can impose specific requirements tailored to the unique needs and risks associated with each group of cannabis users. Lab testing, packaging, labeling, and dosage restrictions are a few instances where the cannabis industry regulates the two markets differently.

Taxation and Revenue Allocation

Many states impose different tax rates on medical and adult-use cannabis products, and for good reason. Revenue generated from cannabis taxes may be allocated to various initiatives, including:

  • Healthcare programs
  • Substance abuse prevention
  • Education
  • Law enforcement
  • Infrastructure development

Allowing local governments to tax medical cannabinoids differently provides states with regulatory flexibility surrounding the varying impacts each market type has on society. In other words, the product and inventory distinction helps policymakers allocate tax revenue in a manner that aligns with public health priorities and community needs.

Improved Access and Affordability

As we mentioned above, medical cannabis programs often provide benefits to registered patients, such as lower taxes, higher possession limits, and access to medical dispensaries with trained staff who can provide personalized guidance and recommendations.

By creating a regulated contrast between medical and adult-use products, states can ensure that patients have access to affordable medication while also maintaining a competitive and sustainable adult-use market.

Reducing Stigma and Improving Public Perception

Regulating and maintaining disparate cannabis product inventories can help destigmatize medical cannabis use by drawing attention to its therapeutic benefits and legitimacy as a form of treatment. By designating a distinct category for medical cannabis products, states can address concerns surrounding the misuse of recreational cannabis while continuing to promote the responsible use of medical cannabis.

Prioritizing Patients First

Overall, the distinction between the two cannabinoid markets reflects a nuanced approach to regulation that attempts to balance public health, patient access, consumer safety, and regulatory compliance. Cannabis has always been part of our society for a multitude of reasons. During this delicate time where the industry is growing through the gravel of stigma, demonstrating kindness and taking care of patients first reflects the compassion of the cannabis community.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *