"If so, how can I be sure that I will still be able to get my high CBD strains? Most REC consumers aren’t necessarily looking for high CBD in their cannabis."
Its a very good question that no one knows the answer to. If people can purchase cannabis without a doctors recommendation, why pay the fee to get a evaluation?
If we look at Colorado the answer is quite clear, its all about taxes and money. The tax rate in CO for medicinal cannabis is 2.9%. The tax rate for recreational cannabis is 25%. In the years since CO passed their recreational cannabis laws, medicinal cannabis sales have remained relatively stable. With the low tax rate people have a chance to see a physician, become evaluated and if appropriate obtain a cannabis recommendation to purchase lower priced cannabis to help them heal. There are politicians in CA who feel that all cannabis users should be taxed the same since if not, the "sick" people will remain sick. Of course the state loses out on the revenue.
In WA where there are no more medicinal dispensaries, all cannabis is taxed the same and there is less and less availability of certain types of cannabis for patients to use.
Which way CA goes it Prop 64 passes will take a lot of lot effort in the coming years to make sure that the medicinal dispensary remains a option for people who depend on that type of cannabis to help them.
Perry Solomon, MD
Your concern regarding patient access to much needed medicine is one that I’ve heard throughout the cannabis community in California lately. First, know that Proposition 64 will not automatically create adult use dispensaries should it pass. This means that the existing medical community will still be in play (provided they are in compliance with MCRSA and other regulations) until at least 2018.
Second, this poses an opportunity for patients (and providers) to advocate for sensible regulations around the medical program as its being developed in the coming months. To make sure patients have access to the types of strains, forms of ingestion, and other means of obtaining medical cannabis we must advocate as a community during the MEDICAL cannabis regulatory process. Hopefully we will not see high CBD fall aside in favor of high THC strains post-legalization.