new-research-project-to-examine-veteran-access-to-medical-marijuana-in-massachusetts

The Cannabis Center of Excellence (CCE), a nonprofit based in Massachusetts, has recently initiated a research project looking into how veterans use medical marijuana.

The purpose of this research is to see whether or not there are any gaps within Massachusetts’ legal cannabis market. If so, then the researchers hope to determine how to improve the industry.

In order to complete this research, the CCE is working alongside Patriots Helping Vets, Gibby’s Garden (a licensed cultivator), and the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Institutional Review Board.

Currently, they’re seeking out 450 qualifying veterans who live in Massachusetts. If you’re interested, you can sign up here.

Through this program, veterans must complete a survey that goes over the basics of their cannabis consumption. From there, they’ll be able to purchase discounted cannabis product bundles from Gibby’s Garden.

Once veterans have had some time with these products, they’ll be asked to report on any access issues and how these products affected their health and overall wellness.

The purpose of buying through Gibby’s Garden is to ensure veterans have access to a wide selection of products. This will allow them to try new avenues of cannabis consumption, from standard flower and pre-rolls to tinctures.

This research was brought to interest after a 2019 study concerning cannabis consumption among veterans. That study discovered that 76% of veterans reported improved quality of life thanks to medical cannabis. Not to mention, marijuana allowed these veterans to reduce their consumption of prescription or over-the-counter medication.

Admittedly, this research is fairly broad as it covers a wide range of conditions cannabis may help veterans with, including chronic pain, anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).

What the Research Hopes to Identify: Problems in Massachusetts’ Medical Industry

As the 2019 study revealed, veterans don’t always have access to quality medical cannabis. And this lack of access was one of the biggest concerns the CCE is looking into.

Admittedly, Massachusetts isn’t the best state to base this research on—all residents over the age of 21 can easily stop in a dispensary and get what they need. But in places where medical cannabis is limited, many veterans don’t have access simply because their conditions don’t qualify for a medical card.

Still, there are universal problems that veterans face, such as the cost of a medical marijuana card and whether or not they can consistently access a product.

The CCE hopes to identify these issues within the state of Massachusetts. And they plan on providing this information to the Massachusetts Cannabis Advisory Board – with the main goal of ensuring “deverticalization” of medical cannabis in the state.

As of this time, adult-use cannabis businesses in Massachusetts are only allowed one license, either a retail or cultivation license. However, medical cannabis businesses must be vertically integrated—holding both sets of licenses.

Naturally, this has put a financial burden on medical businesses which inevitably is paid off by the consumer of these products.

Of course, this point isn’t the main focus of the CCE’s research. But larger issues found in Massachusetts’ medical industry are hoped to be identified by the results of this project.

And in order to make the research as convenient as possible, the CCE is providing veterans with an app to track their progress. Known as Tetragram, this application will (hopefully) make the questionnaire process easier and more of a breeze for those involved.

Not to mention, this app helps to identify specific aspects of cannabis use. For example, it will allow veterans to discuss which cannabinoids specifically provided relief and what kind of relief they felt from said cannabinoids.

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