I knew I would get your attention! The use of medical marijuana is nothing new in this country, many people are able to manage pain, nausea, cancer treatments, etc. because of legalized medical marijuana. Fast forward and we now have legalized recreational marijuana in many states. You can purchase it at dispensaries around the country, you can smoke it, chew it, bake it, you name it, recreational marijuana use is on the rise!
Obesity is a huge problem in the United States, and many people experience the proverbial “munchies” when using marijuana. An interesting study was conducted by a group of researchers who were curious to see if recreational marijuana use would result in an increase in obesity rates. The study focused on Washington state as recreational marijuana was legalized in 2012 and dispensaries were allowed to open in 2014. Being the second state to legalize recreational marijuana, Washington state provided a sufficient observational period to validate the study (4 robustness checks)!
You will be relieved to know that the researchers found that opening recreational marijuana dispensaries had the opposite effect, it actually led to a DECREASE in obesity rates! This was somewhat surprising for the researchers as marijuana use is often associated with increased, unhealthy food consumption and lethargy. This is not an endorsement for recreational marijuana use by any stretch of the imagination, but super interesting! No matter what your feelings are on the subject, it is still one HealthCap gets many questions about. What are your policies on marijuana use in your center? Do you allow medical marijuana use? Are you requiring your staff to be screened for marijuana? May be time to review your current practices, consult with your medical director and general counsel and be sure you are in compliance with state and federal regulations. As always, reach out if you need assistance, stay well and stay informed!