In the pricey new world of craft and corporate cannabis, one organization is working to ensure that every American has access to medicinal marijuana. Americans for Safe Access announced on Friday a new partnership with Leaf411. The latter is a nonprofit group who works to provide education and “directional support” to the public regarding legal cannabis and how to use it safely. Together, both organizations are now working on what is being dubbed Leaf411’s Affordability program. Low-income medical cannabis patients needing financial support or other help obtaining their medicine will now be able to do so without issue.
As the two groups noted in a statement released on Friday access to medical cannabis is a growing concern among low-income patients who need it the most. Along with the cost of the cannabis itself, yearly evaluations by a physician, which are required by most states can often be a barrier to the most vulnerable patients.
The new Leaf411 Affordability program will donate medical cannabis to low-income patients who need it the most. In addition, the program will offer financial scholarships to qualifying patients. Those who are unable to afford to comply with state regulations, such as annual physician checkups or the cost of medical marijuana cards will be eligible.
In a statement, the ASA noted that they will become a “trusted resource” for anyone who cannot afford medical cannabis as part of this new program.
“Every year, ASA’s medical cannabis patient feedback survey cites the high cost of medical cannabis as one of the leading barriers to access across the country,” said Debbie Churgai, executive director of ASA in a statement. “Through Leaf411’s Affordability program, ASA will be able to offer our members and supporters a trusted resource to use when financial support is needed to access their medicine. We are excited to have found a great partner to help low-income patients across the U.S. find affordable access.”
Leaf411 noted that they were “honored” to join forces with the ASA and were excited to work together to help patients in need.
“Our organizations have come together to assist those in need gain access to vetted, legal and compliant products and services that have been donated via the Leaf411 Affordability Program,” said Katherine Golden, CEO and co-founder of Leaf411 in a statement. “This partnership's mission is to help ensure the accessibility and affordability of safe and effective legal cannabis for those patients in need. Our shared goals are to provide support for low income patients and viable options where access to physician evaluations can be cost prohibitive.”
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World’s largest cannabis ETF celebrates 1,000 creation units
ETFMG, the issuer who runs the first and largest US cannabis ETF, MJ, or the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF (NYSE Arca: MJ), celebrated earlier this week with the Fund’s 1,000th creation unit. According to a statement released on Wednesday, the unit was sold on October 12, 2020.
The company credits the ongoing presidential election with drumming up investor interest in the cannabis space. As they noted in a press release, “topics being debated during the presidential election, such as the legalization of cannabis in several states, have led to increased investor demand evidenced by the increased daily trading volume.” They went on to say that after the Vice-Presidential debate, trading volume increased over three times its normal activity. In fact, it jumped up from 750,000 to nearly 2.4 million, an impressive number by any standards.
MJ notes that they currently have 50 million shares outstanding and that since the beginning of Q4 2020, the Fund is up 10.66 percent.
“MJ hitting this milestone is in direct step with the continued and multi-faceted growth that the global cannabis industry has been experiencing,” said ETFMG Cannabis Research and Banking Expert, Jason Wilson in a statement.
He continued: “With catalysts pushing the cannabis industry towards legalization, not only in the U.S. but globally, investors have become increasingly aware of the industry’s long-term growth potential, its growing importance in a post-COVID economy, and that MJ®’s global and multi-vertical investment strategy offers a differentiated approach to benefitting from the opportunities that lay ahead of us.”
National Cannabis Industry Association goes to war with the DEA
A couple of years ago, when the Farm bill was passed, many saw it as a new dawn for the hemp and CBD industries. Instead, three-letter agencies in the federal government took it as an opportunity to make things more difficult. This week, the National Cannabis Industry Association decided to fight back.
According to a statement, the NCIA submitted comments to the Drug Enforcement Administration — a response to the DEA’s request for comment on the interim final rule issued recently. NCIA is demanding that the DEA immediately rescind this rule.
“With this rule, the DEA is trying to overstep its bounds and exert control over a legal agricultural commodity that is no longer under its jurisdiction,” said Aaron Smith in a statement. Smith is the co-founder and chief executive officer of the National Cannabis Industry Association.
He continued: “Given this agency's history of doing everything in its power to maintain the criminalization of cannabis in any form, this rule was clearly not proposed to help the thousands of small farmers who are participating in approved hemp programs and could put them in unnecessary danger. Failure to rescind it immediately is a clear violation of congressional intent and established law.”