The prices in recreational stores are just way too high for patients. People who need cannabis medicine – theyre getting 28 grams of cannabis oil a month for two or three months – and the $40 a gram you see in some dispensaries is just too much. Washington also has an issue with not having many growers or processors licensed for medical cannabis production in the wake of recreational legalization. In 2016, the state allowed recreational growers and processors to apply for a secondary license to make medical products, but strict testing is more costly for those products and in general not many companies on the recreational side have decided to serve medical patients, Amdahl said. Medical pricing for testing from labs used to be cheap and affordable, but with state authorization now, the costs have increased about 100 percent, Amdahl said. And all the fees that dispensaries and growers are charged – they trickle down to customers. Dave Rheins, executive director of the Marijuana Business Association, said testing is a huge problem in legalizing markets across the country. As they put on more onerous testing requirements because of pesticides and other issues, the cost of production and testing has made medical cannabis very cost prohibitive, Rheins said. A lot of participants arent sure what they can or cant do, and some are just plain opting out of the system. Eventually what Rheins thinks will happen is that medical marijuana across the country will be taken over by the pharmaceutical industry, which has the money to test and research medical cannabis more effectively than the cottage industry that has so far developed, he said. I think medical marijuana will likely go away, with Big Pharma taking it over at some point, Rheins said. Im not sure thats a bad thing, either. If Im taking medicine, Im not sure I want to buy it at the farmers fair. And with testing, were not really sure what were testing for, because every day those pesticide lists change.