Help May Be on the Way for Those Who Can’t Pay

WACA

A business group in Washington state has set out to help patients with the cost of medical marijuana.

The Washington CannaBusiness Association (WACA) has announced a new charitable effort to expand safe access. The organization’s goal is to provide financial assistance to those who are struggling to purchase medical marijuana.

Although 28 states have legalized marijuana for medicinal use, it remains illegal on a federal level and is not covered by insurance. “People don’t have access to the same kinds of opportunities to get assistance for their medicine,” said WACA Executive Director Vicki Christophersen. “We heard, and have been hearing from patients — legitimate patients who have an authorization — there are people having a difficult time accessing their medications.”

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This program may be ideal for the short term, but Christophersen would like to see a permanent solution presented by the federal government. “Hopefully we can help fill that void until the federal government changes the status of marijuana nationally,” she said.

WACA is still currently working out its operational details for the program. It hopes to be providing financial assistance by next spring. Starting in early 2017, patients will able to apply for assistance through the WACA fund. Forms will be available online and through WACA-affiliated businesses.

WACA represents Washington marijuana businesses but also aims to be a resource for local communities. It has dedicated lobbyists that focus on improving business and patient relations with state officials. WACA was formed after Washington voters passed I-502 in 2012 and legalized recreational marijuana use.

“The voter will was a safe, fully regulated market that keeps product out of the hands of kids, generates revenues for the state to deal with things like substance abuse and others,” Christophersen said. “Our members feel very strongly about that responsibility, and they take it very seriously.”

For more information on the Washington CannaBusiness Association and their efforts to spread safe access, please go to www.wacannabusiness.org.

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