A new healthcare technology company, Cannalogue, is launching a petition in their native land of Canada to get the Ministries of Health on board with providing national healthcare coverage for medical cannabis.
The petition, entitled United for Access, was started because of the financial burden the COVID-19 pandemic has had on many Canadians, especially those who are already marginalized or disadvantaged, according to a press release the company sent out. Cannalogue believes Canadian citizens should have access to cannabis health care as well as general healthcare.
“More than 50 percent of Canadians are not able to afford treatment with medical cannabis including CBD for conditions such as chronic pain,” their website states. “Due to COVID-19, Cannalogue anticipates these figures will worsen given the economic challenges facing Canadians. The doctors at Cannalogue believe this will cause a spike in opioid prescriptions, resulting in more opioid related addictions and deaths. When safer medications like medical cannabis and CBD are available, all Canadians should have fair and equal access as part of universal healthcare. Sign the United Program for National Medical Cannabis Coverage petition today and join us as we fight to remove the barriers that prevent access to safer medicines for Canadians.”
Advocating For Cannabis Access
Cannalogue received attention in Canada recently for receiving the first direct-to-sales license for medical cannabis and introducing an online marketplace for cannabis shopping to help streamline cannabis consumption in the age of COVID and shopping from home. The company is physician-led, and they make it a point to advocate for cannabis access and make activism a part of their platform in addition to commerce and sales. They would like to see cannabis considered a viable alternative to opiate treatments in the years to come.
This is not the first time the company has advocated for cannabis access and patient access. The new petition, announced this week, was born from their Compassionate Care Program, a program that can be used to find discounts on medical cannabis products, especially for seniors, veterans, Indigenous people, disabled people, and those on some sort of federal assistance program.
“These are some of the most challenging times for Canadians—especially those who suffer from chronic conditions such as pain or anxiety,” says Dr. Mohan Cooray of Cannalogue. “Removing the barriers that prevent access to medical cannabis is the fundamental goal of Cannalogue and this petition will help us ensure that disadvantaged groups including those below the poverty line get the medications they need.”
“Cost continues to be one of the most substantial barriers facing patients using cannabis for medical purposes, and there is an unmet need for patients to receive expanded access to insurance coverage for their treatment,” says President and Board Chairperson Gerald Major of Medical Cannabis Canada, a cannabis patient advocacy group in Canada. “To address these issues, collaboration across industry, government and the non-profit sector is essential and we are excited to see this petition put pressure towards change.”
If this petition gains traction, Canada could make even more headlines with a comprehensive, cannabis healthcare program.