Nurse Nancy Sells Pot In My Backyard

IMG_1089She doesn’t look like a pot-pusher, does she? Neither does she look like the Little Golden Book (1952) Nurse Nancy. And I doubt she looks much like the porn film’s Nurse Nancy.

Her nurse mug started showing up all over my neighborhood this summer, mainly stapled to every other utility pole as shown here. I knew we had a thriving medical marijuana market in Seattle since many of my young adult patients asked me for prescriptions (which I informed them they didn’t qualify for). I also knew that Washington State voters had approved I-502 legalizing marijuana in November 2012, and that our state officials were drafting rules/regulations for the legal production and sale of recreational marijuana. But that was all largely invisible and intangible to me before the Nurse Nancy signs appeared in my neighborhood.

Full disclosure: Although I am a firm believer in harm reduction, I voted against I-502 largely because I didn’t think it was a well-crafted voter initiative. Last fall they acknowledged that state officials would have to build the ‘seed-to-store pot system’ from the ground up within just one year. Admirably, state officials are on target to complete that work by December of this year. They have capped total pot production in our state next year at 40 metric tons. In our super environmentally-conscious region, there’s hot debate about sun-grown vs. greenhouse-grown pot. The carbon footprint of greenhouse grown pot is supposedly quite substantial. Governor Inslee nixed their plans to have the Washington State seal attached to all recreational marijuana sold in our state. We are the Evergreen State, but he decided that was taking it too far.

It turns out that the Seattle-based medical marijuana Nurse Nancy is a real nurse, with, as she states on her website, over thirty years experience as a nurse. She also touts hers as a family-owned and operated business that she runs with her two young adult sons (one who says he has celiac’s disease treated with medical marijuana). Mom-Nurse Nancy (if that is even her real name) supposedly is the one who packages the medical marijuana (in mason jars oh so reminiscent of the good ole’ moonshine days!). They currently carry four different varieties of medical cannabis with wonderful names: Purple Diesel, Purple Snapple, Emerald City (aka Seattle), and huh, Cheese?  I find it curious that her sons are the official ‘public face’ of Nurse Nancy. Her business appears to be legal and well-run and I don’t know of any state nurse licensing issues with what she is doing.

I am intrigued. Not by marijuana but by Nurse Nancy and this great social, political, and public health state-wide experiment that is our initiative to legalize marijuana. Recreational marijuana is due out next spring, at $10-12/gram, in 334 state-licensed pot stores. Medical marijuana will continue to be allowed to be distributed though home-delivery services such as Nurse Nancy.

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