Medical cannabis patients in the state of Mexico believe that insurance should cover the cost of their medical cannabis. After all, they did get a doctor’s recommendation. They also filed the appropriate paperwork with the state to be issued a state-certified medical marijuana card. 

State Senator Jacob Candelaria, a medical cannabis patient, and attorney, a large group of medical cannabis patients, along with Ultra Health (the largest retailer and producer of medical cannabis in New Mexico), filed a complaint in New Mexico’s 2nd Judicial Court. According to the complaint, medical cannabis is considered a behavioral health service. This means it qualifies to be fully covered by insurers. Not only does it qualify to be fully covered, but it also qualifies to be fully covered without deductibles, coinsurance, or copays.

This lawsuit takes aim at the following insurers:

·         Western Sky Community Care Inc.

·         Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Mexico

·         Presbyterian Health Plan

·         True Health New Mexico

·         Molina Healthcare of New Mexico 

·         Cigna Health and Life Insurance Co.

SB317, also known as the No Behavioral Health Cost Sharing Act, enacted back in 2021, bars insurance companies from imposing cost-sharing on group or individual health plans for behavioral health services. The state of New Mexico reports 135,388 medical cannabis patients as of May of 2022. 55% of those patients received their medical cannabis approval for PTSD. According to the complaint filed in this class action lawsuit, plaintiffs believe that by insurance companies refusing to cover the cost of medical cannabis supplies for members, they are in violation of many different things. Plaintiffs believe that insurers are enriching themselves, breaching contracts, violating state law, and more.

Folks in New Mexico aren’t playing around either. They’re not just looking for a declaratory judgment. They are also going after punitive damages, attorney fees, and to get back money medical cannabis patients paid for their medical cannabis supplies since January 1st. Duke Rodriguez is the CEO and President of Ultra Health. Mr. Rodriguez was quoted telling the media, “The idea of health insurance plans paying for medical cannabis may seem like an impossible dream, but all the foundational elements have already fallen into place.”

It Really is Reefer Madness Dealing With The Federal Government and Medical Cannabis

This lawsuit is based on the precipice that New Mexico medical cannabis patients should qualify to have their cannabis supplies covered by health insurance. This also includes Medicaid. The problem with this is cannabis in the form of medical cannabis, or recreational/adult-use cannabis is still illegal in every state in our nation on a federal level. This is because the United States Federal government maintains its archaic and outdated stance supporting draconian cannabis policy.

The fundamentals and foundations of marijuana prohibition were based upon a foundation of misinformation and lies. The flames of reefer madness were fueled by racism, greed, power, and control. This strong-minded group of medical cannabis patients in the state of New Mexico who are participating in this class action lawsuit is letting the government know we’re tired of their lies. We’re tired of their corruption, and we will challenge them.

Just imagine if your insurance covered your medical cannabis supplies like it would cover, say, Percocet, Xanax, Valium, Trazodone, Lithium, Paxil, Prozac, Wellbutrin, or one of many other popular prescription pharmaceutical medications.

This isn’t the first time people have thought about medical cannabis being covered by insurance. To give you an idea, a 2013 study suggested that if cannabis was legal in all 50 states, part D spending on Medicaid would have dropped by an estimated $468.1 million dollars. The reason for the decline in spending would be a decline in people utilizing prescription medications used to help manage conditions such as depression, sleep disorders, pain, anxiety, psychosis, nausea, spasticity, and more. Prescriptions for drugs used to manage these conditions declined in the states with legal access to medical cannabis at the time.

What was a problem then is still a problem now, and that is the federal legality of medical/recreational adult-use/ retail cannabis. If insurance were to cover medical cannabis costs, wouldn’t that mean hospitals would be required to carry it to fill prescriptions? Also, bringing medical cannabis into a hospital and being allowed to use it presents a whole other area of question. Many hospitals are funded in large by federal programs. This means many of them to have a strict no-marijuana on the property policy, even in states where legal markets exist.

Personally, I hope New Mexico cannabis patients win this class action lawsuit and set the precipice for the rest of the nation to follow. Medical cannabis should be treated like medical cannabis. It is replacing such a wide variety of pharmaceutical prescriptions used to help manage and control so many different symptoms, so what’s the problem? That’s right, our aging archaic elected representatives! They are the problem. As nations around the world continue legalizing cannabis the US falls further behind.

Things Just Keep Getting Higher, and Cannabis Is Not to Blame

Fuel prices are at an all-time high. Food costs are at an all-time high. The cost of utilities and rent has reached an all-time high. Processing plants handling the nation’s meat supply face shutdowns and issues. Livestock is dying from heat waves. Russia has offset global commodities like gas and oil. Wheat is in short supply because of droughts in India that halted exports. Now more than ever, the reasons to legalize this widely misunderstood plant known as cannabis are abundant. By removing cannabis from the Controlled Substance Act, the United States federal government could open the door for banking, insurance, and other aspects of the cannabis industry, such as access to loans and more. Apparently, they still want that door closed.

New Mexico cannabis patients spent an estimated $17.4 million on medical cannabis supplies in the month of May alone. That could have added up to a lot of savings, and if you multiply that state by state, the savings add up to be even more. Curious about cannabis, learn more by applying for a medical cannabis recommendation.

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