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NURS 4105 Week 3 Financial Implications of Medical Marijuana Use


The legalization of medical marijuana in certain states has led to a flourishing industry and increased public support. With medical marijuana sales reaching billions of dollars annually, it is essential to analyze the financial impact and budgetary considerations associated with its use. This paper aims to examine the financing and budgetary issues related to medical marijuana, considering variations in laws, usage, and prices across states.

Financial Considerations and State Programs

Medical marijuana laws, usage, and prices differ from state to state, resulting in significant variations in costs. State medical marijuana programs have generally been able to cover their expenses and, in some cases, generate surpluses. To administer these programs, departments often set fees high enough to cover all costs, while dispensaries are required to pay substantial annual fees. Patients are also responsible for registering and renewing identification cards, incurring additional costs. Some states, such as Michigan, Oregon, and Arizona, have generated millions of dollars through patient registry programs and dispensary regulations. Others, like New Mexico and Vermont, have been able to run comprehensive programs at a lower cost, covering expenses through fees (Marijuana Policy Project, 2018).

NURS 4105 Week 3 Financial Implications of Medical Marijuana Use Financial and Budgetary Challenges

One significant challenge is the federal illegality of marijuana, which leads to banks hesitating to provide services to medical marijuana organizations, fearing implications of money laundering. As a result, businesses face difficulties in accessing banking services, making tax payments, and managing payroll. Although the Obama administration allowed the banking industry to work with legal marijuana sellers in 2014, banks remain reluctant due to the lack of protection against prosecution under federal drug laws (Harper, 2015).

Other financial issues arise from confidentiality laws regarding patient names and the need for accurate record-keeping. These issues can make it challenging to determine whether dispensaries are paying the correct amount of business license taxes and ensure compliance with local laws. However, as regulations evolve and the federal government allows marijuana operations to participate in the banking system, it is expected that these challenges will be addressed (Shanahan & Ritter, 2014).

NURS 4105 Week 3 Financial Implications of Medical Marijuana Use Conclusion

Medical marijuana has demonstrated numerous potential benefits, including pain relief and symptom management for various conditions. However, financial and budgetary considerations play a crucial role in the effective implementation of medical marijuana programs. Addressing the challenges associated with federal illegality, banking services, taxation, and record-keeping will contribute to a more regulated and sustainable system. Achieving federal legalization would provide greater opportunities for regulation and standardization of financial practices across states, ultimately benefiting both patients and the industry.


Harper, K. (2015). Medical marijuana emerges from the shadows and into the mainstream financial system. Public Management, (6), 20. Marijuana Policy Project. (2018). State Medical Marijuana Programs’ Financial Information. Retrieved from https://www.mpp.org/issues/medical-marijuana/state-medical-marijuana-programs-financial-information/ Shanahan, M., & Ritter, A. (2014). Cost benefit analysis of two policy options for cannabis: status quo and legalization. Plos One, 9(4), e95569. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0095569

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