Cannabis and Compassionate Care Programs
Written by Dawna Lemoine
Everyone should have fair access to medical cannabis. The costs of obtaining medical cannabis can be hard to bear and with legalization taking place it can make it even more difficult to acquire affordable cannabis. As the acceptance of cannabis grows across the states so does the demand, which in turn can cause an increase in prices.
When you're trying to medicate that is the last thing on your mind, it is difficult to make life choices because of financial issues.
Thankfully there are some programs out there that can help ease the financial burden a little. But first, let's take a look at how much is spent on average by a cannabis patient to fully understand the importance of Compassionate Care programs.
How Much do Cannabis Patients Spend a Month?
A study was conducted in 2016 on how much medical cannabis users spend a month. The chart below is broken down by age. On average people spend between $50-150 a month. The ages are between 18-65+ with a mean average of 51%. That is a lot of money to spend on something you are dependent on to help relieve your ailments.
What is a Cannabis Compassionate Care Program?
Various organizations across the states have recognized the issue that citizens may not be able to afford medical cannabis. Unfortunately licensed producers and the government holds the monopoly on the pricing of cannabis. So people that are in desperate need of cannabis are at their mercy. Thankfully there are various organizations coming together to support these people in need. They provide easy access to medical cannabis for qualifying patients whether it be a discount, free or some other way to help ease the finical burden a patient goes through.
The Origin of Cannabis Compassionate Care
In California in 1996, a law was passed called [Proposition 215](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/California_Proposition_215_(1996%29), or the Compassionate Use Act of 1996, this allowed the use and access to the medical cannabis despite there would be no approval from the FDA (Food and Drug Administration). The act was spearheaded by a group of activists led by Dennis Peron, who was an American businessman and marijuana activist. Proposition 215 was the first medical cannabis ballot initiative that passed at the state level.
Through the help of a dedicated community of activists passionate about ensuring that everyone should have fair access and receive medical cannabis treatment, this helped pave the way for many other organizations, licensed producers, dispensaries and non-profit organizations to take initiative and provide access to patients in need of medical cannabis.
Thus known as the Cannabis Compassionate Care program.
Who is Eligible for Medical Cannabis Compassionate Care?
The programs are constantly evolving and expanding but currently there are services available to veterans, low income, and terminally ill patients. The criteria varies in each state that offers medical cannabis.
For example, Sweet Leaf is a dispensary in Colorado that formed the Sweet Leaf Collective, a donation based charity where they provide free medical cannabis locally to those that are suffering from HIV/AIDs and Cancer.
This is just one example of an organization striving to make a difference and changing lives. To date, they have provided free medical cannabis to over 150 terminally ill patients.
See what is available for compassionate care programs are available in your area.