According to the Washington Times, the program would require marijuana dispensaries to set aside two percent of their profits to subsidize the program and would be the first of its kind in the nation. Dispensaries, however, say they're unsure how the program will work.
On top of that, dispensaries would give at least a 20 percent discount on marijuana to low-income people at or below 200 percent of the federal poverty level.
“This rule is totally unprecedented in the medical marijuana community,” said Allen St. Pierre, executive director of the National Organization for the Reform of Marijuana Laws.
But, he added, “nobody understands how this system is going to work.”
According to the Times, the city can audit annual reports and adjust the percentage of profits dispensaries will have to set aside.
Other states offer discounts to poor consumers, but those are usually subsidized by the state, not the dispensary.
Arizona, the Times said, "normally charges a $150 patient registry fee, which is reduced 50 percent for low-income registrants."
“Marijuana is overpriced because it’s overregulated, so a program for the poor is necessary,” explained Dan Riffle, legislative analyst for the D.C.-based Marijuana Policy Project. “There’s this outdated hysteria surrounding marijuana, but it’s much safer than many other medications.”
Currently medical marijuana costs $380 to $440 in the city.
The plan is in the midst of a review stage and is set to go in effect in 30 days, ABC said.
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