Medical-marijuana caregivers: a growing need
Category: Medical Marijuana | Posted on Thu, December, 27th 2012 by THCFinder
In his Oxford shirts and slacks, Gary still looks like the network engineer he used to be. But his current occupation is far from average. He lives in Maine with his wife, two older children, and nearly three dozen cannabis plants.
Gary is one of hundreds of medical-marijuana caregivers registered in his state, legally permitted to cultivate cannabis and sell it to up to five patients. As Massachusetts joins Maine and 16 other states in legalizing medical marijuana, there's much speculation about how our Department of Public Health will regulate dispensaries. But caregiver crops like the one in Gary's basement will be flowering throughout the Commonwealth by DPH's May 1 deadline.
Gary asked me not to publish his last name. He says he keeps his business on the DL, partly because of the social stigma tied to growing and selling marijuana, but primarily out of fear of being robbed.
"It's completely normal and legal [on a state level], but it's still a dark art," he says. "I still sing in the choir at church," he adds, "but my church doesn't know what I do."
Because he can't advertise directly, Gary found his patients through an online network called the Compassionate Caregivers of Maine, a nonprofit organization that helps medical-marijuana patients connect with caregivers. The service plays a crucial role in a state where medical marijuana is legal but dispensaries are limited, a situation Massachusetts medical-marijuana patients will soon find themselves in.
That's why last week, the CCM launched the Compassionate Caregivers of Massachusetts website, massmedmarijuana.com, which mirrors the Maine network's online model in anticipation of our medical-marijuana measure going into effect on January 1.
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