Kudos to Ohio Cannabis Chamber of Commerce founding member Compassionate Alternatives, a non-profit organization that helps medical marijuana patients who cannot afford their medication. The organization’s founder and CEO, Emilie Ramach, was featured in a Columbus, Ohio news story this week titled “High prices keep many Ohioans out of legal cannabis market.”

Nonprofit groups are helping low-income patients, but their reach is limited. Compassionate Alternatives has helped around 10 families and two caregivers pay for medical marijuana, Ramach said.

 

“We would like to help as many people as we can,” she said, but the group depends on donations. The group is only a few months old, and volunteers have attended industry events, worked with medicinal cannabis clinics and are active on social media to raise money. …

 

Just under 3 grams of medical marijuana costs about $50. Cannabis clinics charge between $125 and $200, and the state charges $50 in fees.

 

Marijuana is cheaper on the street, patients said.

Although medical marijuana has been legal in Ohio since September of 2018, it is still a Schedule 1 drug at the federal level. That means health insurance will not cover the cost of acquiring a medical marijuana card, or the medication itself—forcing patients to pay out of pocket. “And without insurance to cover the expense, some worry that low-income people might never be able to afford medical cannabis,” says the story, written by Dispatch columnist Patrick Cooley.

Founded just a year ago in Columbus, Compassionate Alternatives “provides a financial bridge” to patients who have been priced out of the newly Ohio’s legal medical cannabis market. The charity covers the fees needed to obtain a caregiver’s license, the cost of the doctor’s visit needed to receive a medical cannabis recommendation, and the purchase cost at the dispensary for the medicine itself,” according to their website.

Read more about the high cost of Ohio’s new medical marijuana marketplace here: https://www.dispatch.com/news/20190225/high-prices-keep-many-ohioans-out-of-legal-cannabis-market