Washington’s Cannabis Industry Helps the Poor

January 14, 2019

In states with both medical and recreational cannabis, medical marijuana users are often overlooked. While many state-licensed medical users appreciate the convenience and professionalism of recreational marijuana, some of the neediest are unable to purchase the medicine they need.  One Washington-state based organization is planning to change this reality.

A Weed Fund for the Needy

The Washington Cannabusiness Association (WACA) will be starting a fund to help patients pay for their cannabis medication.  The idea is similar to programs offered by pharmaceutical companies. Patients who are unable to afford their medication will be able to apply for aid from the organization. So far, the only requirement is a prescription from a doctor.

The fund would make marijuana accessible to those that otherwise would not be able to afford it. As long as it is illegal federally, insurance cannot help disabled and chronically-ill low-income patients. WACA’s executive director, Vicki Christophersen hopes that their program can “fill that void until the federal government changes the status of marijuana nationally.”

Putting Compassion Back into Marijuana

The idea of helping the low-income receive their medications is not new. Individual dispensaries in Washington have created informal patient funds for their members for years. The introduction of recreational marijuana disrupted their natural pay-it-forward attitude. WACA is reintroducing the concept statewide.

Unlike individual dispensary owners and employees, WACA is a professional organization of licensed and regulated cannabis-based businesses. Their fund could potentially reach significantly more people than individuals could, simply because it is not associated with a specific provider.

It also helps removes the stigma of poverty and disability. With the fund, patients would not need to create a relationship with an individual dealer that may ‘help them out’ or convince a budtender that they are in desperate need. They’d simply fill out paperwork, like what they might do to receive traditional medication.

Plus, in the tradition of the Washington medical marijuana community, anyone can donate to the fund.

Remembering the Patients

The WACA weed fund hopes to change the image of the recreational marijuana industry while also helping those who desperately need marijuana. The fund hopes to launch in Spring of 2017.

We heard, and have been hearing from patients – legitimate patients who have an authorization – there are people having a difficult time accessing their medications.

Hopefully, by this time next year that will not be the case.

More on marijuana laws in Washington

Marijuana legislation can be complicated, but Jenny Bloom is always up for the task. Although not a lawyer, her experience as a reporter and PR specialist helps her understand legalese – especially when it relates to growing marijuana. A passionate supporter of legalization and home... [read more]


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  1. By j.d.avery ,27 Dec 2016
    BLESS THE HERBAL MEDICINE MAKERS, AND MAY GOD ALWAYS BLESS YOU WITH ENOUGH,,,looking forward to knowing more about helping ,medical cannabis patients..,would like to start something like that hear in Arkansas--now that we are medical legal...............jda
  2. By John Kingsbury ,02 Mar 2018
    Nobody has done more to limit access or lower the quality of cannabis for the patients of Washington State than has WACA. WACA offering to assist qualified patients is like the wife beater offering to wipe away his wife's tears. […]Read More

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