During 2008-10, many western and central states witnessed an exponential surge in the number of medical marijuana dispensaries that sold marijuana for medicinal purposes. California, the first state in the United States to legalize marijuana, has been the biggest beneficiary and supplier of marijuana in the country.
In recent times, the business of medical marijuana is growing with every passing day despite the stigma often linked with drugs. Medical marijuana has been used for alleviating symptoms of physical conditions, including chronic pain, gout, vision problems and nausea associated with chemotherapy treatment.
The consumption of marijuana is no longer restricted to hippies at concerts and its sale is no longer limited to shady people in alleys.
Erik Santus, the owner of Lotus Medical, a medical marijuana dispensary in Colorado, said he opened a dispensary for medical marijuana to create a favorable environment for people to learn about the benefits of marijuana. Santus further remarked that bringing a dispensary involves several initial hurdles and a burden of $200,000 to set up and another $15,000-$20,000 every month for maintenance.
The list of clients is long but legitimate. While some have fought in Iraq and struggling with post-traumatic stress disorder, a few elderly take it for getting relief from chronic pain and have a sound sleep, and some take medical marijuana for finding comfort from health conditions such as gout.