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2023 Study: Medical Cannabis Dispensary Analysis

Updated: Dec 18, 2023

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Medical Cannabis Dispensary Analysis

A unique November 2023 study entitled "Analysis of Dispensing and Utilization Patterns of Medical Cannabis Products in State Licensed Cannabis Dispensaries" that was published in the Journal of Palliative Medicine explored analyzed the database of a cannabis company licensed in New York "to understand real-world dispensing and utilization patterns of medical cannabis and its financial impact on patients."

A jar of cannabis at a commercial dispensary.
How do customers buy cannabis?

The survey focused specifically on THC/CBD dose ratios, the "association of various medical conditions to THC/CBD dose," and the cost of products to registered patients. It considered data from four licensed medical dispensaries.

The survey focused specifically on THC/CBD dose ratios, the "association of various medical conditions to THC/CBD dose," and the cost of products to registered patients.

The design of this study was that of a "retrospective analysis conducted on anonymized data" between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2020. The study considered data from 422,201 dispensed products to 32,845 patients (all 18 or older). Information considered included the age, gender, qualifying medical condition, type and dose of product, medication directions, and amount of product purchased for each patient.

A budtender selects some cannabis for a customer.
Data from 422,201 products to 32,845 patients.

Medical Cannabis Dispensary Analysis Results

Medical Cannabis Dispensary Analysis. The median age of the patients surveyed was 53, with 52 percent of them being female. Of the many observations of the study, a few stand out:

  • Males were found to use more products than females.

  • Pain (85 percent) was the most common medical condition.

  • Inhalation (57 percent) was the most common consumption avenue (except when used for cancer-directed treatment and neurological conditions).

  • Individuals received a median of six prescriptions costing a median of $50/product.

  • Average THC:CBD ratios were 28:0.5 mg/day and 12:0.25 mg/dose.

  • Neurological conditions demonstrated the highest average cost.

  • Individuals with a history of substance use disorder utilizing medical cannabis as an alternative substance displayed the highest average THC/dose.

The scientists concluded that, for the medical cannabis dispensary patients surveyed, medical cannabis "was utilized for various medical conditions with variability in THC:CBD ratio seen depending on the condition. Cost variation was also observed based on the individual's medical condition."

View the original study.

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