As a medical marijuana patient, I am not only expected to bring my medical records to a doctor’s office in order to be approved for my medical marijuana card, I then am over-charged twice, once by the state then by the doctor that approved me.

Once I receive my medical card and go into a dispensary, I am then turned to the front line of Cannabis, the budtenders. As a budtender, their role is to be able to advise us on what will help with our medical conditions, so why am I faced with someone that knows nothing about the plant?

Every strain consists of different terpenes and cannabinoids. The combination of which is in each strain is the key to any type of treatment. So many of the budtenders are only pushing a THC count, and that’s even if it’s been tested.

Which is completely wrong for actual medical purposes.

Are the budtenders listening to you? Find out where your flower comes from, who grows it, how it’s processed and ask for the lab tests. Cannabis can help any ailment as long as it’s the right strain.

I know how hard it is to receive the proper medicine. Repeatedly, from 2011 to 2016 budtenders would sell me products that made my conditions worse. Luckily, I have done all my own independent studying of strains. Through this knowledge I have lost over 70 pounds in one year’s time and am also off three pharmaceuticals. The knowledge is out there.

As a patient in a legal drug dealing dispensary, I have to know what I need to treat my own conditions. Other cannabis patients have to do the same since the industry still is lacking in the knowledge department. I strongly encourage everyone to educate themselves, knowledge is the cure. Know what you are buying and how it can react. We are all molecularly different and our cannabinoid receptors vary for each individual. Stand up for yourself and your medicine.

ARIZONA, we voted it medical, so please sell us medicine.

–Tamiko Yoshimura works as staff for both MITA-AZ and the Arizona Cannabis Monthly.