FAQs for patients
What does science tell us about cannabis?
The cannabis plant contains more than 100 different types of naturally occurring cannabinoids and terpenes. The best-known cannabinoid is delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol, otherwise known as THC.
THC is responsible for cannabis’ notoriety as it is the cannabinoid with the most significant psychoactive effect. But there are many other cannabinoids that have demonstrated therapeutic effects without being psychoactive, such as cannabidiol, or CBD, which is used to treat epilepsy in children.
In addition to cannabinoids, the cannabis plant also contains a few other molecules known to have health effects, including terpenes, which are responsible for the particular strain of cannabis’ flavor and smell.
Cannabis is biologically classified as a single species: Cannabis Sativa. However, it’s considered to break down into three distinct plant varieties: Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis, though the last is rare. There are also hybrids, which are crosses between sativa and indica varieties. Cannabis used for fiber is typically referred to as hemp and has very small amounts of THC.
What conditions is cannabis known to treat effectively?
In general, medical-grade cannabis is used to produce a range of effects, including pain and nausea control, appetite stimulation, reduced muscle spasm, improved sleep, and others. However, individual strains can be cultivated to produce certain cannabinoid and terpene profiles that can be tailored to treat a range of health conditions. For instance, strains with more CBD tend to produce better pain and spasticity relief.
Here are some examples of how certain cannabinoids are used to effectively treat specific health conditions:
Cannabidiol (CBD) relieves convulsions, inflammation, anxiety and nausea—many of the same therapeutic qualities as THC but without psychoactive effects. It is the main cannabinoid in low-THC cannabis strains, and modern breeders have been developing strains with greater CBD content for medical use.
Cannabinol (CBN) is mildly psychoactive, decreases intraocular pressure, and seizure occurrence.
Cannabichromene (CBC) promotes the analgesic effects (pain relief) of THC and has sedative (calming) effects.
Cannabigerol (CBG) has sedative effects and antimicrobial properties, as well as lowers intraocular pressure.
Tetrahydrocannabivarin (THCV) is showing promise for type 2 diabetes and related metabolic disorders.
Is it safe to consume cannabis?
Consuming cannabis is very safe, especially when compared to other pharmaceutical products physicians prescribe to patients every day. In 2015, drug overdoses accounted for 52,404 deaths in the United States, 33,091 (63.1%) of which involved an opioid, including prescription painkillers, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. There has never been a death recorded from the use or abuse of cannabis.
Even the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration has admitted that medical cannabis is safe to consume. DEA Chief Administrative Law Judge, Francis Young, in response to a petition to reschedule cannabis under federal law concluded in 1988 that, “In strict medical terms marijuana is far safer than many foods we commonly consume.... Marijuana in its natural form is one of the safest therapeutically active substances known to man. By any measure of rational analysis marijuana can be safely used within the supervised routine of medical care.”
Do I have to smoke it?
While smoking the dried flower bud from the mature female cannabis plant is still the most common method of ingesting medical cannabis in the United States, it is not the only way. It is becoming much more common for patients to buy cannabis-infused products such as edibles, cannabis oil, tinctures and sublingual sprays, and topical products to rub on the skin.
Should I be worried about talking to my doctor about care options involving medical cannabis?
No. There is nothing wrong or illegal about discussing medical cannabis with your doctor. Federal courts have ruled that the First Amendment protects doctors in discussing medical cannabis and recommending it to their patients.
Where is medical cannabis legal?
There are currently 44 states, plus the District of Columbia, that have made legal to some extent the ability of a patient to possess, cultivate, and/or buy medical cannabis or medical cannabis-derived products. That includes states such as Kentucky that have limited its medical cannabis laws to allow only products containing cannabidiol (CBD).
Do you offer delivery services?
We don’t currently offer delivery services at our dispensaries. The availability of delivery services depends on state law.
Is your facility ADA compliant?
Yes, every Mission dispensary is in compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Can patients with financial hardship receive medicine at a discounted price?
Yes. We at Mission believe inclusion is crucial for our dispensaries. We want to serve all the patients in our communities who need safe and convenient access to medical cannabis, regardless of what they can afford. Our patients suffer from a wide range of chronic and debilitating conditions, and the severity of these conditions can often inhibit a patient’s ability to earn income and afford medical cannabis to manage his or her health. The patients who need medicine most urgently are often the ones who cannot afford it. That’s why our dispensaries offer a “Compassion Program” that provide reduced-cost or free medical cannabis to patients with documented verified financial hardship.
If I live in a state where medical cannabis is legal, how do I become a registered patient?
Each state has its own laws and system for registering patients. Americans for Safe Access has a handy map and guide to help patients navigate their respective state’s medical cannabis program.
Do you accept out-of-state patients?
This is determined by state law. In the states where Mission operates, it is not currently legal to serve out-of-state patients. Currently, the only state that allows its licensed medical cannabis dispensaries to serve registered out-of-state patients is Nevada.
FAQs for community members
Are patients allowed to consume cannabis at or outside your facilities?
No. Patients are not allowed to consume cannabis on any Mission facility’s property.
What benefits can we expect from allowing one of your facilities in our community?
Mission takes pride in working with communities to alleviate concerns and to make sure that our facilities are a benefit to the community at-large.
Will your facilities bring crime to our community?
No. Studies have shown that there is no correlation between the location of a medical marijuana facility and an increase in crime. In fact, multiple studies have suggested that medical marijuana facilities actually assist law enforcement in reducing crime. Since most medical marijuana facilities occupy space that would otherwise be left vacant, they not only deter crimes on the premises, but the surrounding areas as well. This has already been documented in Massachusetts, where security cameras outside an RMD (Registered Marijuana Dispensary) in Brookline provided local police with vital information about a felon who was wanted for several robberies in the area that were unrelated to the RMD.
A number of studies disprove the idea that medical marijuana facilities lead to an increase in crime. For instance, a 2012 UCLA study, funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, found no connection between the geographical density of medical marijuana facilities and an increase in property crime or violent crime rates. Uncoincidentally, this trend corresponds to overall crime trends in states where medical marijuana is legal. Data taken from the Denver Police Department’s annual reports for 2014 show that violent crime dropped 6.9% while property crime fell by 11.1% compared to the previous year. Even Los Angeles, which has the most permissive medical marijuana regulations in the country, has seen city-wide crime rates drop drastically since programs were implemented in 2004.
This research not only shows that medical marijuana facilities do not attract crime, but are valid business establishments that operate in accordance with the law. Medical marijuana facilities, if operating under proper zoning requirements, are good for communities. They reduce overall crime rates by taking up vacant property, and provide patients a safer alternative for obtaining medical marijuana when compared to the illicit market. By taking the criminal element out of medical marijuana, you eliminate environments that cultivate crime in the first place.
FAQs for law enforcement
How do I verify that someone is a registered patient?
Each state’s system is different, but they all will maintain a directory of registered patients that is available to regulators and law enforcement. Registered patients are also issued an identification card proving they are registered.
How much cannabis are patients allowed to legally possess?
That depends on what state you’re in. Here’s a link to whether you can determine the possession limits in your state.
FAQs for town officials/regulators
What makes you unique compared to your average dispensary?
Mission strives to be a best-in-class business which always considers the needs of its patients and the community it operates in.
What kind of clientele will your facility draw?
Our patients come from all walks of life. Medical cannabis is utilized by a diverse group of people who have realized it’s potential. The average age of medical cannabis patients varies by state, but your average patient is typically much older than one may assume.