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Seriously, Every Country in the World Should Have Dispensaries

There's actually a really great benefit to the argument.

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This story originally appeared on Cannabis & Tech Today

Medical cannabis legalization can come in many forms, and as such, not all medical cannabis programs, like dispensaries, are created equal. On one end of the medical cannabis policy spectrum are countries that only permit limited use of CBD medicines/products. Technically those countries have legalized medical cannabis, however, only in an extremely limited fashion.

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On the other end of the spectrum are countries that have fully embraced cannabis as a medicine and patients have safe access to it, complete with the legal right to cultivate cannabis at home. One component of a medical cannabis program is particularly important at least when it comes to fighting the opioid epidemic.

RELATED: Florida Finally Allows Actual Marijuana Flower in Medical Marijuana Dispensaries

Medical Dispensaries And Reductions In Opioid-Related Fatalities

Recently a group of researchers at the University of California at Davis and Yale University in Connecticut explored the relationship between the number of dispensaries in a geographical area and opioid-related deaths. Numerous studies have found that many patients substitute cannabis for opioids when given the chance.

According to the results of the new study, which were published in the British Medical Journal, “an increase from one to two storefront dispensaries in a county is associated with an estimated 17 percent reduction in all opioid-related mortality rates.”

“Dispensary count has a particularly strong negative association with deaths caused by synthetic opioids other than methadone (β=−0.21, 95 percent confidence interval −0.27 to −0.14), with an estimated 21 percent reduction in mortality rates associated with an increase from one to two dispensaries.” the researchers went on to say.

RELATED: Marijuana Dispensaries Offer Essential Services Across The Country. Here's Why It Matters

Storefront Safe Access Is Sound Public Policy

A medical cannabis program is only as good as the number of suffering patients that it is able to help. With that in mind, medical cannabis dispensary storefronts are a vital part of any solid medical cannabis program, along with other provisions. For some medical cannabis patients, cultivating their own cannabis is optimal. However, there are many other patients that prefer to visit a dispensary.

Every city across the globe should have medical cannabis dispensaries with set hours to make it convenient for medical cannabis patients to safely access their medicine and help them avoid having to rely on more harmful pharmaceutical opioids.