Changing Your Designated Dispensary

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Many states that offer a medical marijuana program require registered patients to designate a single dispensary from which the patient can purchase medical marijuana. For the most part, this means that patients have to research their options online through reviews or just select the most conveniently located dispensary and hope things go well. No matter how much or how little research was put into selecting that dispensary, there may come a time where the patient wants to make a change.

Although each state’s rules and processes can vary, there are also some similarities. First, let’s take a look at the states that require patients to designate a single dispensary. They include: Connecticut, Washington, D.C., Illinois, Maine, Nevada, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont.

For the most part, all of these states have a dispensary designation check box on the patient application form or a separate form that is included in the initial application. However, when it comes to making a change, each state’s policy can vary.

Connecticut: Patient can change their designated dispensary no more than 4 times per year. No additional fees are required.

CT dispensary change form

Washington, D.C.: Patients can change their designated dispensary without any outlined limitations for a fee of $90.

D.C. Dispensary Change Form

Illinois:The Illinois pilot program for medical marijuana is not yet in full swing. Dispensaries are not yet operating, but once they are fully approved, patients will designate a single dispensary. The policy for changing the designated dispensary is not yet outlined.

Maine: Patients can designate a dispensary and are required to renew the designation annually. There is no policy that outlines changing the designated dispensary specifically or the limits, but the change form calls for a $10 re-issue fee.

Maine Dispensary Designation Form

Nevada: Nevada’s Medical Marijuana Program is close to being fully operational with dispensaries that could open as early as January 2015. However, the Senate Bill outlined a policy, which allows patients to change their designated dispensary once every 30 days. Change forms and fees are not yet outlined by the State of Nevada.

New Jersey: New Jersey Medical Marijuana patients must designate a single Alternative Treatment Center, aka dispensary. New Jersey provides an online portal where patients can change their designated treatment center at any time at no charge.

New Jersey Treatment Center Change Portal

Rhode Island: Rhode Island allows for patients to designate up to two caregivers. The caregivers can either be a person or a dispensary (compassion center). So some patients can opt to designate two dispensaries. There are no fees for the designation when it is done through the initial application form, but if it is later changed there is a $25 fee.

RI Change Form

Vermont: Vermont requires patients who choose not to cultivate to designate a specific dispensary. Patients can change their selected dispensary by filling out a change form and paying the fee of $25.

VT change form

Although being limited to a single dispensary is not always ideal for many patients, many states implement this policy in order to have specific controls and limits on the amount of cannabis a dispensary grows or stores. Changing dispensary designation is relatively simple in most cases, but patients should be aware of the fees and do their best to research options ahead of time.