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420 with CNW — Veterans Continue Having Trouble Accessing Medical Cannabis Despite Its Legality

Many veterans believe that plant-based medicines are a much better option for treatment in comparison with opioids, which are easily addictive. However, most are having trouble accessing medical cannabis, even in states where medical use of the herb is legal.

Currently, 36 states in the country have established medical marijuana programs while 18 states have legalized the recreational use of cannabis; in addition Guam, the Northern Mariana Islands and the District of Columbia have legalized the substance. Despite the existence of these programs, physicians at VA Medical Centers aren’t allowed to prescribe this plant-based medicine.

This comes at a time when bipartisan measures to change this haven’t been advanced in Congress, including a measure that was introduced by Senator Tim Kaine. Senator Kaine plans to change this prohibition by broadening eligibility in VA hospitals. This legislation would also direct the Veterans Administration to study how marijuana could decrease opioid abuse and assist veterans in managing chronic pain, as well as establish a temporary safe harbor protection for veterans who use medical cannabis.

Similar initiatives have been introduced in Congress in the last couple of weeks. However, VA leadership recently declined to expand eligibility in hospitals because of the current federal prohibition on cannabis.

The state of Virginia legalized marijuana for adults earlier in April of this year, with the law coming into effect in July. Despite the possession of recreational cannabis being legal in Virginia, medical dispensaries are the sole avenue for legal sales, with cannabis products being available to patients who are registered with the state’s medical program.

Under the law, employment protections are also afforded to patients registered under the medical program. However, this doesn’t cover individuals whose work involves the defense industrial base sector or federal contracts.

Stephen Stearman, CEO of Elevate Holistics, helps connect medical cannabis patients with dispensaries and physicians in different states. Stearman stated that while veterans had the option of looking for providers outside of the VA to acquire medical cards, individuals in rural areas likely didn’t have a physician certified to prescribe medical cannabis. He added that some veterans who were eligible for medical cannabis didn’t use it for fear of negative consequences.

In addition, Stearman noted that the biggest worry was the uncertainty around what would happen with an individual’s relationship with their physician, their pain management plan and their benefits with Veterans Affairs if they began to use medical marijuana. This situation is unfortunate, given the high-quality medicinal products that are readily available in legal markets where companies such as Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) operate.

NOTE TO INVESTORS: The latest news and updates relating to Flora Growth Corp. (NASDAQ: FLGC) are available in the company’s newsroom at https://cnw.fm/FLGC

About CNW420

CNW420 spotlights the latest developments in the rapidly evolving cannabis industry through the release of two informative articles each business day. Our concise, informative content serves as a gateway for investors interested in the legalized cannabis sector and provides updates on how regulatory developments may impact financial markets. Articles are released each business day at 4:20 a.m. and 4:20 p.m. Eastern – our tribute to the time synonymous with cannabis culture. If marijuana and the burgeoning industry surrounding it are on your radar, CNW420 is for you! Check back daily to stay up-to-date on the latest milestones in the fast -changing world of cannabis.

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