A guess at the financials of medical marijuana

Sunday’s story “Dispensary Done” includes little insight into the business side of the cannabis clubs. The attorney and manager quoted in the story declined to give up the financials, answering once that they didn’t know – “That’s the accountant’s job.” Another time they said they feared federal prosecutors and didn’t want to tip their hand.

Fair enough. That doesn’t keep us from making educated guesses.

A couple of club members at The Stockton Medical Collective did say how much they spent that day. (The manager stepped into one interview to correct a member, calling it a “donation” to the collective – not a “payment.”) Let’s take a guess.

Steve Gray, the 26-year-old member shown in the photo next to the story, said he spent $45 the day we met him. Another member, Sharifa, 28, said she plunked down $85 for her medicine on that visit. The marijuana is very carefully weighed. The cash register was busy.

The story also notes that the club had been opened since May and in about six months of operation gathered 6,000 members. If each member came in just one time during the collective’s life and spent the same amount as Gray ($45), that totals $270,000. If each member came in once a month and “donated” the same as Gray, the collective would make $1.62 million.

And if every member visited once a month and spent as much as Sharifa, ($85) the collective in its short life would have grossed more than $3 million. Had Stockton Medical Collective been in business for a full year, that amount doubles to $6.12 million.

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