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How Much Does Your Medical Cannabis Cost?

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The question of patient access, just about everywhere, comes down to not only a way to easily obtain one’s cannabis, but also to be able to afford it.

Patients just about everywhere (with a few exceptions) are still struggling with both issues.

In The US…

Cannabis is not federally legal yet. However, economics in many state markets, particularly recreational ones, have continued to push the price of cannabis lower. That said, for many patients any out-of-pocket is prohibitive. Thanks to a lack of federal reform, there is no health insurance that currently covers anything but dronabinol in the United States, let alone a mandate to prescribe and cover cannabinoids. Adding insult to injury and even in the largest state economy (California), towns and municipalities are allowed to ban the cannabis industry from operating within their jurisdictions. This has already created “cannabis deserts” where patients have to drive long distances to find legal outlets, not to mention continued to encourage the online, unregistered, and grey markets to flourish.

Patients, depending on where they are in the U.S., and whether or not they can avail themselves of a non-profit collective, can pay fairly low prices for cannabis. But they can also be forced into expensive, recreational-only models. It is still all over the place.

In Canada…

Patients so far have retained their right to grow at home, and as a result, access in Canada is the easiest and cheapest out of any country so far. However, it is not so easy to be completely “off-grid” when it comes to medical cannabis. So far, at least, there is also no mandatory health insurance coverage for the same. All expenses come out of pocket, and growing medical-grade can get expensive, even at home.

In the UK…

Assuming that Brexit is still possible, look for massive disruption on the cannabis front if it happens. Even though the drug can now be prescribed by Schedule II prescription, rumours are that as of this fall not a single patient has been reimbursed by the NHS so far. With the number of operations outsourced to private surgeons skyrocketing, expect the same thing on the cannabis front. Look for extremely rocky territory here as the issue continues to make headlines, and that the doctor to write the prescription will set you back about $1,200 per month when combined with the cost of medical cannabis.

In Europe…

Germany is the most “forward” when it comes to patient access. However, while patients theoretically can get their medical cannabis covered under health insurance (so prescriptions can cost the patient about $12 per month), this is not the reality for many Germans. Out-of-pockets, even when you can find a doctor to prescribe, can easily run $1,200 per month. While the supply chain problem is also starting to ease, there are still major issues with achieving a steady supply at most pharmacies across Germany.