Medical marijuana patients feel ignored, some regret their vote - FOX5 Vegas - KVVU

Medical marijuana patients feel ignored, some regret their vote

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Marijuana is displayed for sale at a dispensary in Las Vegas. (FOX5) Marijuana is displayed for sale at a dispensary in Las Vegas. (FOX5)

Some medical marijuana patients said they felt used up and tossed aside ever since recreational marijuana sales became legal July 1 in Nevada. They said they are concerned somebody else's high has been taking priority over their medicine.

The demand for recreational marijuana isn't as extreme as it was on July 1, but lines remained consistently long throughout Las Vegas dispensaries. Some patients complained they were forced to wait at least an hour next to "potheads" instead of getting priority.

"I don't think that's right or fair," John Searcy, a medical marijuana patient said. "For MMJ, it should be separate. Medical should be separate from recreational."

Searcy, who shops at Shango Las Vegas on Boulder Highway, said he personally hasn't seen a problem. Shango gives priority to medical marijuana patients, even though they're not required to.

Matt Gardiner, a vice president at Shango, said he takes all patient concerns very seriously.

"They get VIP treatment every time they come in through that door," Gardiner said. "We've decided that that is the right thing to do."

Adis Rios, another Shango customer, said she doesn't like crowds, but she hasn't had an issue waiting in lines. Still, she doesn't exactly feel like a "VIP" at the cash register.

"They raised prices the next day ... the prices of medical marijuana went up after they kind of hinted that they would go down or wouldn't be affected," Rios said. "It's about a $100 hike."

Some patients noticed the same problem. Others said they couldn't tell the difference. Gardiner said the issue is hopefully temporary.

"We need to get distribution figured out," he said, hoping for some help from lawmakers. "Really what we need is additional supply. We need to get that in here, and that's what our big focus is on ... it's fingers crossed at this point."

Customers like Rios said they don't necessarily believe the excuses.

"I probably wouldn't have voted yes if they told me they were going to raise medical," Rios said. "I was a little bit misled ... We're going to go shop around because we can't afford our medicine anymore here."

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