Communities Closer To Marijuana Dispensaries Have Lower Opioid Prescription Rates, New Study Finds – Marijuana Moment

Researchers who looked at opioid prescription and mortality rates in Oregon found that nearby access to retail marijuana moderately reduced opioid prescriptions, though they observed no corresponding drop in opioid-related deaths.

Specifically, communities located within a mile of state-licensed cannabis outlets had prescription opioid rates that were 1.0 percent to 3.9 percent lower than surrounding areas, according to the analysis, published this week in the journal Regional Science and Urban Economics.

Prescription rates were higher among communities located between 1 mile and 4 miles to a dispensary. They were higher still as distances to retail marijuana grew to between 4 miles and 10 miles, and even greater between 10 miles and 20 miles.

The findings further the idea of a substitution effect wherein patients opt for cannabis instead of opioids to treat pain.

“There is evidence that this effect is nonlinear and diminishes as the distance from a dispensary rises,” the study says. Results suggested that “a 1 percent increase in the distance traveled is associated with a statistically significant 0.014 percent increase” in per capita opioid prescription rates, as measured in morphine milligram equivalents.

“Recreational cannabis reduces prescription opioids per capita by 1.0–3.9 percent.”

Past research into the substitution

Read More Here…

Bud Digest

Scroll to Top