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Licensed caregiver sells medical marijuana

POLSON — Customers who want to enter the Medical Marijuana Dispensary must have a medical marijuana card to even get in the door.

James Dale operates MMD out of rented space on the south end of the Jette Store. Dale opened the business on March 1 and is a licensed caregiver as well as a medical marijuana grower. 

Dale found out about medical marijuana after his third shoulder surgery. Injured in Kalispell on a construction job, Dale had massive nerve damage in his shoulder; he said his “pain flare-ups come out of nowhere.”

Dale came home from the hospital with “a $200 two-week scrip (prescription) for Delotid, which is a cousin of OxyContin or Lortab.”

Dale hated the way Delotid made him feel, drowsy and unable to do anything, so he started taking 18 acetaminophen per day to control his pain. His doctor advised him he would burn out his kidneys taking that much acetaminophen. As an alternative, Dale got the phone number of a doctor in Victor and made an appointment to talk to the physician about medical marijuana. 

Before he kept the appointment, Dale smoked a joint with a friend during a pain episode to see if marijuana would control his pain. Dale said smoking a joint or eating cookies or brownies that contain marijuana helps ease his pain.

Dale said he saw a business opportunity in medical marijuana as well as a way to help people. Dale checks medical marijuana cards against a person’s state identification card to make sure no one is using another person’s card. Dale said he will sell somebody only a maximum of one ounce of dried usable marijuana a week or enough medical marijuana for one person who smokes four joints per day.

Dale has been open for three weeks and has stayed fairly busy. MMD is on the corridor between Kalispell and Missoula and lots of local people with medical marijuana cards are happy to not have to drive to Missoula, Dale said. 

Since his business is located out of city limits, Dale’s business would not be affected by the Polson City Commission emergency moratorium on medical marijuana. Dale said finding business space outside of Polson is going to be tough. 

“My biggest thing is to go get educated,” Dale said.

Dale urged the community to drop everything they’ve learned about marijuana in school, find literature about medical marijuana and re-educate themselves.

(Editor’s note — This article is the first installment in a series of stories on medical marijuana and its appearance in the Mission Valley.

The text of Initiative 148 can be accessed at www.dphhs.mt.gov/medicalmarijuana).

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