Study Shows Medical Cannabis Enrollment Has Quadrupled

Study Shows Medical Cannabis Enrollment Has Quadrupled
High Times

While recreational and medical legalization is sweeping the country, a recent study revealed that enrollment in medical-only programs quadrupled between 2016 and 2020. The study on U.S. medical cannabis trends also looked at qualifying conditions listed by patients, and revealed that enrollment increased in states with only medical cannabis. States that also offer recreational cannabis use declined or stayed the same. Overall, chronic pain was the most common condition reported on applications.  This research project, titled “U.S. Trends in Registration for Medical Cannabis and Reasons for Use From 2016 to 2020” and published with Annals of Internal Medicine, was spearheaded by lead author Kevin Boehnke, an expert on chronic pain at University of Michigan. His goal with the study was to look specifically at medical enrollment, not cannabis use overall, to determine cannabis trends.  During his work on the study, he asked himself, “How many people are using cannabis for pain? Why are people actually using [medical cannabis]?” With these questions in mind, Boehnke began a years-long look into what this enrollment and cannabis use looked like, using public data available from reports and state websites, meeting notes, state officials, and documents he got access to thanks to the Freedom of Information Act. He was specifically interested in what the trends looked like as they shifted under the changing medical and recreational laws across the country.  He also published another study on the issue in 2019, “Qualifying Conditions Of Medical Cannabis License Holders In The United States,” in HealthAffairs, but this new study has an even broader scope with more access to data.  “These changing state policies have dramatic effects on how many people might be using cannabis for medical purposes or how they might be able to do so,” Boehnke says regarding the study, according to STAT News.  STAT…

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