The Extended Plant Count – Philosophical Considerations
A concept well known to individuals familiar with the industry, the Extended Plant Count (aka. EPC or Higher Plant Count) seems to be the 800-pound gorilla in the room; an obvious limiting reagent to the industry’s ability to supply the medicinal demands of its patients while offering little legal framework for comfortable navigation of its use by key players in the life cycle of the medical marijuana plant. From the patient who needs them and the doctor who recommends them to the cultivator who grows them, Extended Plant Counts keep people looking over their shoulders.
In the absence of clear State-level guidelines regarding EPCs, patients and their doctors are engaging in the marijuana-mambo, dancing around the topic of how many plants a patient actually needs to meet the demands of their medical condition. The black-hole of data regarding dosing, strain-specific benefit profiles, individual patient metabolism genetics, and about another dozen unknowns further complicates the issue, making it hard to find physicians who are willing to take the dance floor.
Fortunately for the industry, there are pioneers in the field who have taken on the issue of Extended Plant Counts, offering a broad spectrum of potential tools and solutions to give clarity to the otherwise nebulous matter. From the Extended Plant Count Calculator by MedRec to the advice offered by RX MARYJANE here (https://cannabispatientsalliance.org/2016/08/10/why-is-determining-a-patients-plant-count-so-difficult/), key industry members can rest assured that there is a force of advocacy working in the background to facilitate the conversation surrounding Higher Plant Counts now and into the future. And in as much as the tools provided above can be used today to legitimize the process for all, we think there is value to be had in some philosophical exploration by contemplating physician-recommendation habits in the well established realm of Western medicine to what might be used as a decision factor for determining high plant counts in the future.