Zach Draine. Photo courtesy of Zach Drake
Zach Draine is an Army veteran living with chronic pain and post-traumatic stress disorder in Brandon, Miss.. He bought his first medical cannabis at his local dispensary in February.
“I have seen improvement in being able to fall and stay asleep. I don’t have as many intrusive thoughts or anxiety and I feel rested in the morning,” Draine said.
However, the pain has moved to Draine’s wallet.
“Dispensary prices are very expensive and I had to adjust my budget to accommodate purchases,” he said. “I’m fortunate enough that I can afford my cannabis by being just a little bit more frugal, but most Mississippians are going to continue to struggle with affording their medicine in this market.”
Health insurance won’t cover the costs of medical marijuana and that’s just one of the challenges the state’s certified users face. According to the Mississippi Cannabis Patients Alliance, people like Draine can pay anywhere from $275 to $300 for an ounce of medical marijuana.
When the members of the Mississippi state legislature crafted the medical cannabis program, a major concern was limiting the amount of marijuana patients can receive within a 30-day period, and lawmakers