In Boston, medical marijuana advocate Bill Downing runs CBD Please, a shop filled with products containing cannabidiol, a non-psychoactive, anti-inflammatory cannabinoid.
These come in the form of powders, mouth sprays, capsules, topical ointments, and vape oils. But, according to their website, patients must have a doctor’s recommendation to receive these CBD products. The site also makes the disclaimer that these products come from the “hemp,” a high-CBD variety of cannabis which is imported legally from Europe in an attempt to circumvent regulation.
“When asked if that process was legal, Downing responded, ‘I don’t know. And I don’t care,’” CBS Local reports.
Downing claims (and science generally supports) that CBD can help treat a wide variety of conditions, including psoriasis, anxiety, immune disorders, tumors, and even organ rejection.
Downing is not approved by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health to sell these products, but he justifies it by saying that medical marijuana has been legal for two years, but licensed dispensaries have not been meeting demand of patients.
Massachusetts law now provides that medical marijuana patients can grow their own cannabis, or designate someone else to grow it for them, called caregivers. Each caregiver is only allowed to provide the plant for one person, but Downing serves many patients. Demand is simply too high for caregivers to grow enough cannabis for everyone when they can only legally provide for one patient, according to WBUR.
“The message is don’t wait for the Department of Health. They’re screwing everything up very badly. And if you need medical marijuana, you can get it now,” Downing says.
He used to provide marijuana itself to patients, both from his own grow operation and the “black market,” since his own harvest was not enough to meet patient demand, but has since stopped doing so.