Today the medical cannabis advocacy organization, Americans for Safe Access, released its annual report entitled “Medical Marijuana Access in the United States: A Patient-Focused Analysis of the Patchwork of State Laws.” The report examines the status of states that have passed medical marijuana laws and grades them on a 500 point scale. Forty-six states and three territories have some form of medical cannabis program, meaning approximately 95% of the American population lives in a state with some form of medical cannabis law.
This ASA report is an important management tool for those of us who are serious about improving medical cannabis programs. “With the ongoing opioid crisis we must look for solutions that can help reduce the number of preventable deaths. Research has shown that medical cannabis can play a significant role in mitigating the opioid epidemic. Americans for Safe Access’ model legislation and regulations take the guesswork out of drafting laws that help patients, including those with chronic pain,” said Pennsylvania State Senator Mike Folmer. “Being able to compare my state’s progress with the grades of other state is incredibly helpful in creating a roadmap for improvement.”
The report reviews existing laws and regulations, and laws passed in between January 1, 2017 and December 31, 2017, giving states letter grades from “A” to “F”. This year’s report, unlike previous versions, urges states to improve their programs to use medical cannabis as a tool to fight the opioid crisis.
The categories states are graded on include:
Patient Rights and Civil Protection Access to Medicine Ease of Navigation Functionality Consumer Safety and Provider Requirements
“We want lawmakers to use this report to see that there are gaps in their medical cannabis programs. Even programs that have been around for decades like California still have room for improvement,“ said Steph Sherer, Executive Director for Americans