Medical Research

Ensuring Health and Wellness by Insuring Medicinal Cannabis

Written by Jason Lupoi, Ph.D.

What the law ensures is no guarantee of what companies insure. Which is to say, just because medicinal cannabis is legal in 33 states, just because a majority of states allow residents to buy and use medicinal cannabis, just because a majority of studies state the same conclusion, that medicinal cannabis can improve health and wellness, does not mean every insurer in these states reimburses patients who use medicinal cannabis. But coverage does exist. Policies are available, premiums affordable, providers accessible, or: What is legal is insurable, though this fact deserves more attention.

Whether the party in need is a person or private business, whether the person needs medicinal cannabis to work or a business needs insurance for workers who take medicinal cannabis, individual or group coverage is real.

More importantly, medicinal cannabis is no longer an excuse for insurers to charge higher premiums. Whatever stigma this or that person ascribes to this subject, whatever stigma endures in spite of volumes of tests and voluminous testimony from patients, the stigma is wrong.

The connection between medicinal cannabis and health is too strong to dismiss and too significant to deny. The connection between medicinal cannabis and wellness is also too credible to reject and too compelling to repudiate. This connection is, however, an insurance professional’s duty to reveal.

This duty is a charge to inform: to act, not react, so people who need help—people who deserve help—can not only live better but live well; living with the assurance that medicinal cannabis is not a vice; living with the insurance to purchase a good, medicinal cannabis, whose virtues are many and verifiable; living more active and productive lives, thanks to doctors, scientists, activists, advocates, and insurance agents too.

This duty is a matter of communication.

By investing the time to explain why insurance complements health in general and the value of medicinal cannabis in particular, insurance professionals expand opportunity. The parent with Parkinson’s, the father with PTSD, the mother with MS, the colleague with cancer—if one or all can benefit from medicinal cannabis, none should have to go bankrupt to get better. All should know that insurance eliminates the cruelty of this false choice.

Where, then, do we go from here?

What can we do to promote health and wellness, with the understanding that the cannabis industry is at the forefront of science and technology?

What we can do, what we must do is: lead.

In leading the public to a solution, in showing the public that a solution is neither elusive nor expensive, in telling the public why a solution is essential, the public wins.

This victory is attainable, provided knowledge and action are one. Put another way, awareness is a prescription for planning—and doing. That we recognize how medicinal cannabis can help people, that we recognize that people need help, that we recognize that we can help, recognition of these things demands we do something. Not anything, but something.

Meritorious because it is right, and right because it is moral, the thing we need to do is defend the insurability of medicinal cannabis. This defense furthers the cause of health and wellness, increasing support through education and continual outreach.

This defense is a cause worthy of celebration.

This defense is our summons to glory.

About the author

Jason Lupoi, Ph.D.

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