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Source: Wikimedia Commons and ODea

Marijuana – Adopting the Pharma Model

Biloine W. Young • Wed, February 21st, 2018

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Medical marijuana is being used more and more to deal with chronic pain.

A registered pharmacist with an MBA based in Branford, Connecticut, is behind one of the more notable marijuana business success stories. Named Bluepoint Wellness, it was founded by pharmacist Nick Tamborrino in 2013, expanded it in 2016 and now serves 3,000 patients.

The marijuana medications he dispenses are prescribed by approximately 1,000 doctors. Thinking back to when he founded the dispensary five years ago: “It was hard to convince people, but Branford is a welcoming community.”

His business is inconspicuous. Visitors are buzzed in and required to sign in. Inside are detailed lists of products that are available. Clerks dispense the product in a secure area behind a high counter.

Tamborrino stresses that the business is built on a pharmaceutical model and run like a pharmacy. The majority of people seeking relief from pain have back injuries, epilepsy or PTSD. The shop, he says, serves people of all ages, from children to people in their 90s.

The medicinal value is found in the cannabinoids within the oil, which comes from the flowers. Tamborrino explained that CBD (Cannabidiol) is what patients want for pain and inflammation without the euphoric side effects of marijuana.

THC (tetrahydrocannabinol) treats pain, but also create a euphoria in patients.

The dispensary’s website has detailed information on the chemistry behind cannabis, how it works, and the options for use. Tamborrino strongly believes that marijuana is a viable alternative to opiates. “People who take marijuana reduce or completely go off opiates,” he said. “It’s non-addictive, there’s no dependency.”

In New Haven County, 5,285 people are licensed to receive medical marijuana and there are 22,438 licensed patients in the state.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has regularly spoken out against the use of marijuana, rescinded the Obama administration’s memos that had created a policy of federal non-interference in marijuana-friendly states.

According to CNN, “The move essentially shifts federal policy from the hands-off approach adopted under the previous administration to unleashing federal prosecutors across the country to decide individually how to prioritize resources to crack down on pot possession, distribution and cultivation of the drug in states where it is legal.”

Tamborrino sees the use of medical marijuana growing. “More people are believing in it, especially in light of the opiate crisis,”he said.

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