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Ian D. Keating

The Washington Cannabusiness Association is launching a program to help low-income patients pay for their medicinal cannabis, the News Tribune reports. According to association Director Vicki Christophersen, the program is a necessity for many patients because medical cannabis is not able to be covered by insurance due to federal drug laws.

“People don’t have access to the same kinds of opportunities to get assistance for their medicine,” Christophersen said in the report. “We heard, and have been hearing from patients — legitimate patients who have an authorization — there are people having a difficult time accessing their medications.”

The fund will be administered separately from the WACA, relying on donations from individuals and businesses. Christophersen said that all of the WACA members carry medical endorsements for their retail shops who would act as partners in the program.

“Hopefully we can help fill that void until the federal government changes the status of marijuana nationally,” she said.

Qualified patients with a medical state-authorization are able to apply for financial support from the fund. Applications will be available by the first quarter of next year on the association’s website and at WACA members’ retail locations. The program is expected to begin in earnest by spring as the organization is still determining whether there are regulatory challenges to such a program.

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