In late 2022, Leaf411, a cannabis-trained nurse guidance service, announced that they resumed their affordability program for patients struggling to pay for their medicine. In a recent update, Leaf411 outlined their continued response to requests for assistance they are receiving from across the country.
According to a recent press release, Leaf411 sought to raise awareness about concerns they are hearing from patients across the country around the ability to afford medical cannabis. Last November, Leaf411 resumed their Affordability Program, which connects participating patients with free or low-cost donated cannabis products (1). Now the nation’s first no- or low-cost cannabis nurse guidance call service worries economic downturns in 2023 will increase the struggle for low-income patients to afford their medicine.
“Our recently relaunched Affordability Program has seen a huge increase in demand with 500 new applicants in the last 60 days and we are unable to meet many patient requests due to a lack of available products,” said Katherine Golden, CEO of Leaf411, in a press release (2). “We expect that demand for these services will continue to rise in 2023 as the economy struggles.”
According to the press release, costs of utilizing cannabis as medicine can include fees for obtaining a medical card and consultations with a cannabis clinician in addition to the cost of the medicine itself (2). Leaf411 says the fee for their scheduled guidance calls are a suggested $25 donation, and only 17% of callers are able to afford that (2).
“Unlike patients who benefit from insurance or other assistance programs to help pay for prescription pharmaceuticals, cannabis patients have almost no such resources—and those programs that exist are increasingly underfunded,” Golden continued (2). “The industry has spent a great deal of energy and time educating the public about cannabis medicine, but we are far behind in supporting the programs and services that support education and greater access. The economic challenges of the coming year will unfortunately expose just how vulnerable these patients are and why industry assistance programs need stronger support.”
Patients interested in participating in the Leaf411 Affordability Program can complete an application here.
Cannabis businesses interested in donating products to the program should contact Leaf411 at firstname.lastname@example.org.
To learn more about the program, visit the Leaf411 website.