Pennsylvania medical marijuana program for seniors going to pot: In April 2018 the beginning of the PA medical marijuana program took off like wildfire and has been gaining momentum ever since it started. Patients are registering by the thousands and the PA dispensaries are doing their best to serve the cannabis community. We all know that when something new hits the market, you as consumers are going to pay the price. However, what started out to be an alternative medication program for those with certain medical conditions, mainly seniors, has turned out to be a financial nightmare.
A study published in 2016 looked at trends in cannabis use among the elderly. More specifically, it compared stats from 2006/07 to 2012/13. During that timeframe, there was a 57.8 percent relative increase in the number of adults between the ages of 50-64 who use medical cannabis. Even more striking, researchers saw a 250 percent relative increase in the number of cannabis users aged 65 and up.
Over 87,500 Pennsylvanians use medical marijuana since the program started. In 2018 alone the number of seniors using medical marijuana has increased 25%, and they outspend the younger cannabis users by 53%. Another study has shown that those who are 60 and older make up 29.8% of all medical marijuana users.
Senior citizens are flocking to the dispensaries for their medication, but they all seem to have the same complaint after a few visits. Medical marijuana is just to expensive for those on fixed incomes. Medical marijuana can be very pricey, exceeding $100 for some products. Health insurance and Medicare do not cover marijuana products, making it hard for many seniors to receive their medication without dipping into their retirement funds used for living expenses. Many seniors are dropping out of the program because they just can't afford it. (The average price for marijuana medication for one person ranges from $60 to $120 per week on the low end).
Everyone understands that these new grow facilities and dispensaries are charging top buck for product to get the ball rolling and recoup start up costs, but now its time to lower prices considerably. Other states that have medical marijuana programs are lowering their prices by as much as 20% to 40%, besides giving seniors and military service members 15% - 20% more discounts on their medication to help defer the high cost of product. Other states are taking steps to help those who are on fixed incomes and Pennsylvania should follow in their footsteps. Hopefully as more grow facilities and dispensaries open in the area the prices should begin to come down. Lets not get greedy and take care of our seniors, after all its just a weed, not a miracle drug.
Contact your public officials, medical marijuana patients need to be allowed to grow their own marijuana: The only way for many seniors to continue on their medication is to let them grow their own cannabis plants. This would not hurt the cannabis industry in any way. There is still plenty of money to be made off patients who can afford the higher price of medical marijuana. Lets take care of our cannabis using seniors; after all, if it wasn't for them, we wouldn't be where we are today in the cannabis industry.
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