Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, Inc.
Advocating for Safe Access to Medical Marijuana
One Beacon Street, 15th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
November 3, 2021
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
HEARING SCHEDULED FOR BILLS TO LEGALIZE HEALTH INSURANCE COVERAGE FOR MEDICAL CANNABIS IN MASSACHUSETTS
Boston, MA, For Immediate Release - The Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, Inc., a non-profit dedicated to safe access to medical cannabis, has filed legislation that would legalize health insurance coverage in the Commonwealth for clinical visits and medicinal products purchased by registered qualifying patients that use medical cannabis. Hearings have been scheduled for both, H.1143 and S.649, for 11/9/2021 from 11:00am to 4:00pm in front of the Joint Committee on Financial Services in Massachusetts.
An Act Relative to Fair Access for Qualifying Patients
H.1143, 'An act relative to fair access for qualifying patients' - presented by Representative David Henry Argosky LeBoeuf, Democrat - 17th Worcester
S.649, 'An act relative to fair access for qualifying patients' - presented by Senator Julian Cyr, Democrat - Cape and Islands
“Insurance formularies should reflect the need for medical marijuana among Massachusetts patients — and under this legislation, they'd be able to," said State Senator Julian Cyr (D-Truro). "Whether the patients are older adults managing chronic pain, veterans working through post-traumatic stress, HIV patients experiencing wasting syndrome, or countless other potential beneficiaries, their lives would be drastically changed by an insurance option that covered medical marijuana.”
Representative David Henry Argosky LeBoeuf, Democrat (17th Worcester) said,
“We as a Commonwealth have always been at the forefront of medical advancement and equitable patient care, and we need to make sure that our values align for patients who rely on medicinal cannabis. It makes no sense that we subsidize physically addictive and often deadly opioids but fail to have a pathway for access to an effective, regulated, and scientifically tested natural cannabis treatment. H.1143 is long overdue and I am proud to sponsor this legislation that will reaffirm the values of equity and access in our healthcare system.”
Lewis Finfer, Massachusetts Community Action Network - “We support this legislation because medical cannabis has been found to be effective in many difficult and painful medical conditions. This legislation will make it more financially feasible for registered qualifying patients to be able to acquire medical cannabis so they can have a more healthy life which we want for all people.”
Frank Shaw, Registered Qualifying Patient Advisor - “Working with my healthcare provider recommending medical cannabis as a therapy for pain from neuropathy while fighting HIV/AIDS has been a God-send. Patients like me deserve to be treated like any other patient using a medicine to treat their condition.”
Nichole Snow, President and Executive Director of MPAA, Inc. - “Eliminating the need for out-of-pocket expenses made by registered qualifying patients for clinical visits and medicine will ensure seekers of medical cannabis are continuing to visit their healthcare provider to discuss and participate in the progress of their treatment plan which is vital for positive outcomes for patients.”
The Massachusetts Patient Advocacy Alliance, Inc. (MPAA) represents the coalition of patients, caregivers, family members, medical professionals, and public health groups that helped draft and pass the 2012 ballot question to legalize medical marijuana. Since the medical cannabis law was passed, MPAA has worked continuously with the Department of Public Health, the Cannabis Control Commission and other stakeholders during the roll out of the medical program to ensure implementation of the law was completed in a manner that worked for patients and local communities as a whole. MPAA continues working everyday for safe access as we lead medical cannabis into mainstream healthcare through our educational events, research, and our advocacy to protect and expand patient rights and benefits.