By the start of 2022, more than 30 states had legalized medical marijuana. Research has found that cannabis can be quite effective at alleviating medical conditions such as chronic pain, insomnia and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). However, medical marijuana isn’t always cheap; according to Americans for Safe Access executive director Debbie Churgai, the number-one barrier to medical cannabis access is affordability.
Furthermore, federal prohibition means that insurance providers do not provide coverage for medical cannabis even if it is prescribed by a doctor. This often leaves those who need medical marijuana the most with no affordable way to access it.
In the state of California, however, in-need patients have been receiving free medical cannabis thanks to a partnership between marijuana delivery service Eaze, nonprofit groups and cannabis brands. The Eaze Compassion program has been offering free products to in-need medical cannabis patients since late 2019 and has handed out more than 100,000 THC-infused products in that period.
The program currently makes free home deliveries to patients living in San Jose, the Bay Area, Sacramento and the Greater Los Angeles area. Charlene Modeste, an LA native who lives with uterine fibroids, has been receiving thousands of dollars’ worth of cannabis products for free every few months from Eaze.
She learned about the Eaze Compassion program after contacting Dear Cannabis, a Sacramento-based organization that acts as a middleman between product-donating cannabis companies and compassion programs. Dear Cannabis connected Modeste to one of Eaze Compassion’s partners, an L.A-based nonprofit called This is Jane Project, which verified that she was eligible for the program and sanctioned the free deliveries.
Eaze also works with the Weed for Warriors Project, Operation EVAC (Educating Veterans About Cannabis), Bay Area Americans for Safe Access and other groups to facilitate compassionate deliveries to in-need patients. Eligibility for the program is determined through criteria such as medical diagnosis, need and income.
The cofounder and chief executive of veteran support group Weed for Warriors Project says access to affordable medical cannabis can save lives. Veterans who were overdrinking drank less when marijuana was available, he says, and there has been a noticeable reduction in overdoses, domestic violence and suicides since cannabis was made available to the veteran community.
Weed delivery company Eaze handles the deliveries while its partner organizations evaluate prospective patients. Medical cannabis patients who live within the delivery areas and would like to join the Eaze Compassionate program can reach out to any of the partner organizations and compassionate programs listed here.
Such programs to help patients in need show how diverse the benefits of allowing companies such as Cannabis Strategic Ventures Inc. (OTC: NUGS) to operate can be.
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