Breaking News
April 24, 2018 - Study sheds new light on how bilinguals process language
April 24, 2018 - Probiotics can improve liver health, shows study
April 24, 2018 - Study may explain how chemoresistance evolves over time in some triple-negative breast cancers
April 24, 2018 - Role of midbrain in encoding identity errors
April 23, 2018 - Salamander study provides clues for treating spinal cord injuries
April 23, 2018 - Relaxation after work could give better night’s sleep
April 23, 2018 - Loneliness on its way to becoming Britain’s most lethal condition
April 23, 2018 - Low-cost blood test for multiple myeloma can deliver same diagnostic information as bone biopsy
April 23, 2018 - Metabolic differences may contribute to postpartum weight retention in black moms
April 23, 2018 - Time-Related Deployment Factors Predict Suicide Attempt Risk
April 23, 2018 - Are newborns ugly? Research says newborns rated ‘less cute’ than older babies
April 23, 2018 - Prenatal marijuana use linked to increased chance of low birth weights
April 23, 2018 - Researchers identify target gene in P. aeruginosa infection
April 23, 2018 - New studies related to causes of liver degradation and possible treatments
April 23, 2018 - Studies offer leads for new approaches to treat neurological problems
April 23, 2018 - Gene Therapy May Be Cure for Some With Rare Blood Disorder
April 23, 2018 - Obesity impacts liver health in kids as young as eight years old
April 23, 2018 - Frequent cannabis use by young people linked to small reductions in cognitive function
April 23, 2018 - Innovative research could lead to new ways to treat, prevent cancer
April 23, 2018 - Study uncovers possible source of gender differences in migraines
April 23, 2018 - Study proves usefulness of EDX testing in diagnosis, management of neuromuscular disorders
April 23, 2018 - Hacking ‘drug trafficking’ system could increase effectiveness of diabetes treatment
April 23, 2018 - Clinical trial to examine stem cell therapy for treatment, prevention of complications after traumatic injury
April 23, 2018 - Targeted radiotherapy found to be a good option for women with early breast cancer
April 23, 2018 - Eating fish could prevent Parkinson’s disease
April 23, 2018 - Philips showcases dedicated radiation oncology solutions at ESTRO 2018
April 23, 2018 - Key factor in development of Parkinson’s disease identified
April 23, 2018 - Higher consumption of fish linked to better neurological health
April 23, 2018 - Genevac announces HT Series 3 evaporators with Inert Gas Purge option
April 23, 2018 - Researchers clarify immune response for patients with breast cancer brain metastases
April 23, 2018 - Polypharmacy More Likely for Cancer Survivors
April 23, 2018 - Obesity is shifting cancer to young adults
April 23, 2018 - Scientists illustrate role of novel chromosomal mutations in fosfomycin resistance
April 23, 2018 - Newly developed drug compound may help treat Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease
April 23, 2018 - Marriage Means ‘I Do’ for Skin Cancer Detection
April 23, 2018 - Freezing hunger-signaling nerve may help ignite weight loss
April 23, 2018 - Wear exoskeletons with caution for heavy lifting, researchers say
April 23, 2018 - Research offers new hope for healing wounds in patients with diabetes
April 23, 2018 - Shorter courses of radiotherapy found to be safe, effective for prostate cancer patients
April 23, 2018 - Scientists use CRISPR tool to make multiple edits to DNA samples ‘in vitro’
April 23, 2018 - Knee reconstructions are on the rise among the youth in Australia
April 23, 2018 - Artificial sweeteners linked to obesity warn researchers
April 23, 2018 - CDC seeking $400 million to replace lab for deadliest germs
April 23, 2018 - Sensirion to present single-use liquid flow sensor at COMPAMED 2017
April 23, 2018 - FDA approves contact lenses that shade the sun
April 22, 2018 - Concussion recovery and symptom severity found to vary between men and women
April 22, 2018 - C. Difficile Risk Higher With Stoma Reversal Versus Colectomy
April 22, 2018 - Repeated ranibizumab doesn’t impair macular perfusion
April 22, 2018 - New microscope reveals how cells behave in 3D and real time inside living organisms
April 22, 2018 - Study shows clinical benefit and monetary gains of weight-loss surgery
April 22, 2018 - GNA Biosolutions launches world’s first Laser PCR platform at Medica Trade Fair
April 22, 2018 - Researchers present simulation model to investigate hospital responsiveness to mass casualty incidents
April 22, 2018 - Does Pot Really Dull a Teen’s Brain?
April 22, 2018 - Controversial pregnancy test drug shows deformities in zebrafish embryos within hours of exposure
April 22, 2018 - New research partnership makes childbirth safer in Mozambique
April 22, 2018 - Brief bedside visual art intervention reduces pain, anxiety in cancer patients
April 22, 2018 - The memory part of the brain may also hold clues for anxiety and depression
April 22, 2018 - AYOXXA to develop multiplex immunoassay to support treatment of sepsis patients
April 22, 2018 - New Drug Combo Ups Survival in HER2/neu Uterine Serous Cancer
April 22, 2018 - Researchers chart a new way to look at concussion
April 22, 2018 - Every parent needs to know fundamental red flags for autism
April 22, 2018 - Anatotemp expands anatomic dental implant healing abutments with 4Side anti-rotational connection
April 22, 2018 - Gene Twist Can Make Your Blood Pressure Spike From Salt
April 22, 2018 - Study suggests failed osteoarthritis drug could help treat opioid addiction
April 22, 2018 - More Americans aware of growing problem of opioid addiction
April 22, 2018 - KHN’s ‘What the Health?’ Nothing in health care ever goes away
April 22, 2018 - BGS to promote high-quality sterilization services at Health GB in Manchester
April 22, 2018 - New integrated POC tool detects biomarkers of heart failure rapidly and precisely
April 22, 2018 - Direct electrical current can be delivered to nerves for blocking pain signals
April 22, 2018 - Newly Published Phase 2 Study Found Esketamine Demonstrated Significantly Rapid Improvements in Depressive Symptoms and Suicidality
April 22, 2018 - Healthy red blood cells owe their shape to muscle-like structures
April 22, 2018 - Researchers present case study of management of rheumatic mitral regurgitation in woman contemplating pregnancy
April 22, 2018 - New black Porvair Krystal UV Quartz microplates for Circular Dichroism measurements
April 22, 2018 - Advanced flow chemistry modules enhance control of nanoprecipitation
April 22, 2018 - Look! Down in the petri dish! It’s a superplatelet!
April 22, 2018 - Research reveals why people with tetraplegia more likely to suffer from sleep apnea
April 21, 2018 - New non-invasive nerve stimulation may offer relief for people with hand tremor
April 21, 2018 - Smartphone App May Up Medication Adherence in HTN
April 21, 2018 - Western diet depletes artery-protecting immune cells
April 21, 2018 - Excelitas Technologies launches new powerful LED light source for fluorescence microscopy
​Evidence that medical marijuana outlets sell to other users

​Evidence that medical marijuana outlets sell to other users

image_pdfDownload PDFimage_print

A study of four medical marijuana outlets in California suggests that many of their customers don’t fit the profile expected for businesses focused on sick patients.

Researchers found that some of the dispensaries attracted many customers outside of their immediate area and appeared to target specific ethnic, gender and/or age groups.

None of that would be expected if these outlets serviced only people with medical needs, according to the researchers.

“There are only so many potential medical marijuana users out there. At some point some of these businesses get creative and try to find ways to build their business,” said Bridget Freisthler, co-author of the study and professor of social work at The Ohio State University.

If they were truly selling only for medical purposes, these marijuana dispensaries should be acting much like pharmacies, Freisthler said.

“Pharmacies attract people who live in the neighborhood or maybe work nearby. If you need a prescription, you’re not going to go across town to fill it – you’re going to go to the pharmacy closest to where you live. That’s what we should be seeing with medical marijuana dispensaries.”

Instead, these dispensaries are acting more like bars, which develop niche markets like sports bars or biker bars, she said.

“From a public health standpoint, it is concerning. While there has been speculation that medical dispensaries target recreational users, now we are starting to collect evidence that suggests this is true,” she said.

Freisthler conducted the study with Alexis Cooke and Elycia Mulholland of the University of California, Los Angeles. Their results appear online in the journal Substance Use & Misuse.

The researchers conducted exit surveys at four dispensaries in Long Beach when California allowed marijuana sales only for medical purposes. A total of 132 patients (33 per dispensary) were interviewed.

This was a pilot study for a larger research project that will examine the customers of 16 dispensaries in Los Angeles.

The researchers wanted to find out whether the customers of the dispensaries matched the residents who lived near the clinic.

Results showed significant differences.

The average customer lived between about two to six miles away from the outlet, which was farther than expected if the dispensaries were serving local residents, Freisthler said.

“In the L.A. area, six miles is a long way. With traffic it could take 20 minutes to a half-hour at some times of the day,” she explained.

One of the four outlets had patients who were significantly younger than the local population, and three of the four had more male customers than expected and a different mix of race and ethnicity.

If the dispensaries’ customers were truly coming for medical purposes, they should be older than the study found, she said. The average age of customers was 28 to 32.

“In our study, we found that race and ethnicity may be one of the key ways that dispensaries target potential customers,” she said.

For example, 48 percent of the customers at one outlet were black, although only 17 percent of the local residents were.

How do these outlets target specific types of customers?

Although it was outside the scope of this study to document the tactics used by dispensaries, Freisthler said interviews with customers did give some clues.

One outlet, for example, was well-known for a specific product: a snack mix of cereals, chips, hard breadsticks, pretzels and other ingredients that were baked with cannabis-infused butter.

“Many of the people interviewed said they went to that particular dispensary just for that product,” she said.

Some clinics may try to specialize in treating specific conditions. While “chronic pain” was the leading medical condition treated at three of the clinics, one clinic had most of its patients seeking help with anxiety.

Overall, the results suggest policymakers should be careful when legalizing medical marijuana sales, Freisthler said.

“Even if they are legally limited to selling for medical purposes, we found dispensaries appear to be marketing to a non-medical population.”


Explore further:
Number of medical marijuana dispensaries surpasses limit set by Los Angeles voters

More information:
Alexis Cooke et al. Examination of Market Segmentation among Medical Marijuana Dispensaries, Substance Use & Misuse (2018). DOI: 10.1080/10826084.2017.1413391

Provided by:
The Ohio State University

About author

Related Articles