Columbia Care It has expanded its medical cannabis support program, Share Well/Care Well, to eight states, including Virginia.
The Share Well/Care Well Program, launched in 2019 and formerly known as Family Adoption, provides financial benefits to Columbia Care patients in need. These subsidies are funded by a portion of revenue from the company’s stores, as well as donations from patients, customers, and employees.
To date, more than 200 patient supports have been issued in six states. Columbia Care is working to expand the program to all medical markets by 2022, pending regulatory approval.
“We created Columbia Care with patient access at the heart of everything we do, knowing that for far too many this life-changing drug is out of reach whether because of bans, rising costs, or ongoing stigma,” said Nicholas Vita, CEO of Columbia. CARE. “Our job is to make sure that we not only improve access for those who can get the most from cannabis, but also prevent switching to opioids, the illicit market or continuing to suffer. Without insurance coverage to cut costs, that is the reality for many and our hope through our program. Share Well/Care Well, we can help reduce barriers to accessing medical cannabis.”
Eligibility for the Share Well/Care Well Program is determined by financial need. Examples of requirements include monthly medical cannabis expenditures in excess of 15 percent of monthly family income, or annual family incomes less than 138 percent of the federal poverty line.
“Legalization fails to recognize and act upon the need for financial assistance in this industry,” said Ngiste Abebe, vice president of public policy at Columbia Care. We are talking about patients who rely on this natural plant in place of addictive drugs for pain relief. Patient access is the cornerstone of our public policy work and we believe that financial needs should not stand in the way of life-changing medical cannabis. This program exemplifies the power of how the cannabis community supports each other.”
As one patient in New York said, “I have multiple sclerosis that confines me to a robotic wheelchair and suffers from severe muscle spasms that cause disabling pain. The best and only drug that helps me is medical marijuana from Columbia Care. Since taking the pills, I feel great relief and can feel pain Less allowing me to be able to socialize and not be closed off and isolated. This was a blessing. Being on a small, steady income, the program helped me continue to take medical marijuana.”