Don’t Let Dispensaries Profit? How Would Pfizer Take That?

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A week ago, the California State Senate approved S.B. 439, effectively attempting to make it illegal for dispensaries to make a profit on the sale of marijuana to patients.

In the guidelines set in 2008 by then Attorney General Jerry Brown, the profit margins are laid out thusly:

Cooperative corporations are “democratically controlled and are not organized to make a profit for themselves, as such, or for their members, as such, but primarily for their members as patrons.” The earnings and savings of the business must be used for the general welfare of its members or equitably distributed to members in the form of cash, property, credits, or services.

According to a Raw Story article by Stephen C. Webster, Marijuana Policy Project analyst Chris Lindsey said of the new legislation: “Everybody benefits from tighter regulations. Where you run into problems is when you have a law that can be interpreted several different ways, which means that people trying to comply with the law don’t know where they stand.”

While regulation may be the way to go in order to level the playing field with marijuana, I wonder what the owners of pharmacies would think if they were told they were not allowed to turn a profit?

“While regulation may be the way to go in order to level the playing field with marijuana, I wonder what the owners of pharmacies would think if they were told they were not allowed to turn a profit?”

Marijuana growers make a profit when they sell to dispensaries. Just like drug companies make a profit when they sell to pharmacies. But CVS, Walgreens, Costco and your local mom-and-pop pharmacy in turn sell the products to you at a price that affords them to run the business. Why shouldn’t it be the same for dispensaries? Particularly when there are already risks to running one? It’s already a State vs. Federal issue to have these businesses in the first place. They should be able to make money to make it worthwhile for them to continue and pay legal fees if they are busted.

I wouldn’t open a shoe store just for the fun of it. I would open it so I could pay my mortgage. And so I could have more shoes.