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2023 Outlook: Economic Downturn Will Magnify Challenges of Low-income Cannabis Patients

PRESS RELEASE: Paid content from Globe Newswire
Press release content from Globe Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.
December 15, 2022 GMT

DENVER, Dec. 15, 2022 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- As an uncertain economy and the threat of recession loom over the new year, more cannabis patients will struggle to pay for their much-needed medicine, or be forced to choose between paying bills or paying for their medicine. The increase in financial need from cannabis patients will shine a spotlight on the lack of services available for patients and the need for the cannabis industry to address access to medicine, according to leadership at Leaf411 ™.

Needs increase as industry contributions decline
The nation’s first no- or low-cost cannabis nurse guidance call service, Leaf411 has experienced a significant increase in patients seeking financial assistance in the last half of 2022, according to Katherine Golden, CEO of Leaf411. The surge in need comes at a time when financial and other contributions to nonprofit organizations have slowed, and economic conditions suggest that these needs will only increase in the coming year.


“Unlike patients who benefit from insurance or other assistance programs to help pay for prescription pharmaceuticals, cannabis patients have almost no such resources – and those programs that exist are increasingly underfunded,” Golden said. “The industry has spent a great deal of energy and time educating the public about cannabis medicine but we are far behind in supporting the programs and services that support education and greater access. The economic challenges of the coming year will unfortunately expose just how vulnerable these patients are and why industry assistance programs need stronger support.”

Cannabis medicine will become out of reach for many patients
The costs of utilizing cannabis medicine can include everything from paying fees for a medical card to consulting with a cannabis clinician – and finally paying for the medicine itself. Outside of Leaf411’s Affordability Program there are few resources available to help patients cover these costs. The coming year will find more patients with limited financial resources struggling to pay these costs, and will highlight the lack of available services for these patients.

“We ask for a small $25 donation for our scheduled guidance calls, but only about 17% of our callers can even afford this cost,” Golden said. “Our recently relaunched Affordability Program has seen a huge increase in demand with 500 new applicants in the last 60 days and we are unable to meet many patient requests due to a lack of available products. We expect that demand for these services will continue to rise in 2023 as the economy struggles.”


Patients interested in participating in the Leaf411 Affordability Program can complete an Affordability Program application at this link. Cannabis businesses interested in donating products to the program should contact Leaf411 at To learn more about the program, visit the Leaf411 website.

About Leaf411
Leaf411 is the first cannabis-trained nurse guidance service. A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Leaf411 was founded in 2019 with a mission to provide education and directional support to the general public about the safe and effective use of cannabis (marijuana and hemp). Leaf411’s team of cannabis-trained nurses are passionate about helping the community access balanced education about their cannabis use while also improving public perception of the cannabis industry. For more information visit or join the conversation on Facebook and Twitter.

Contact: Jim Dissett
The 9th Block