JUSTIN FRANZ Kaiser Health News
More than a year after voters approved legalizing marijuana for recreational use in Montana, anyone older than 21 can now walk into a dispensary and buy cannabis. That has medical marijuana user Joylynn Mane Wright worried.
Wright lives in Prairie County, the state’s fifth-least-populated county, with nearly 1,100 people. She already drives about 35 minutes to get to the marijuana dispensary nearest her home, which is 2½ hours northeast of Billings. And now she wonders how much more difficult it will be to get the cannabis she uses to relieve the chronic pain she developed after a 2017 spinal surgery.
“I’m really worried about supplies and what it’s going to cost,” she said.
For Wright and the approximately 55,000 other Montanans who hold medical marijuana cards and use cannabis for cancer, glaucoma, Crohn’s disease, central nervous system disorders and other ailments, the question is how will recreational marijuana affect their ability to access their medicine.
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Other states have had shortages soon after their recreational marijuana markets opened. In January 2020, when recreational marijuana became legal in Illinois, some dispensaries had to close their doors