Medical marijuana to hit state dispensaries

  The wait’s not over yet, and the demand is high.   For medical marijuana, that is.   A law passed last year will allow up to four privately operated medical marijuana dispensaries to open in Vermont as early as this summer.   Although the program is designed to be non-profit, it costs $2,500 just to apply for a medical marijuana certificate that allows citizens to own a dispensary, according to an article on  Additionally, $150,000 is needed to offset the cost of running the dispensary.   Burlington resident Shayne Lynn told WCAX he still plans to be an applicant as soon as technicalities in the legislation are settled.   “We’re going to have to balance offering affordable cannabis with running a non-profit business,” he said.   According to the most recent legislation, patients are only allowed in the dispensaries one at a time, by appointment and after they present a state-issued card, according to the Marijuana Policy Project’s website.   Vermont law prohibits dispensaries from opening within 1,000 feet of schools or daycare centers and requires stringent background checks on all employees, the law stated.   State representative Jim Masland introduced a new bill that would add Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) to the list of qualifications for patients seeking medical marijuana.   Masland said he hopes his revisions to the current legislation can aid those suffering from PTSD.   “There are some people who are helped from medical marijuana,” he said. “But some people get their marijuana from back channels and I think we should add PTSD to the list of things people can get it for.”    Masland told the Associated Press he introduced the bill after many marijuana users suggested that their stress was brought on after serving in the military.   If the bill is passed, Masland said that it would not only apply to veterans, but to anyone who suffers from PTSD, the WCAX article stated.   Vermont’s current guidelines concerning medical cannabis are comparatively stricter than other states where medical marijuana is legal by limiting eligible patients to those with debilitating diseases or conditions, the 2004 law stated.   For example, states such as California, Colorado and Hawaii have a wider variety of approved conditions that include glaucoma, severe nausea and chronic pain, according to the Marijuana Policy Project.   Sophomore Becca Domingue said that because Vermont is so liberal, people in this state are more accepting of marijuana usage.   According to a list recently released by the Princeton Review, UVM ranks among the ten most marijuana friendly colleges in the country.   “We definitely deserve it,” sophomore Domingue said.  “Unfortunately being a marijuana friendly school is why a lot of people come to UVM.”   Sophomore Christina Bednarek said she agrees with Domingue that the ranking was well earned.   “We’re hippies here,” she said.