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New Mexico Company Supports Medical Pot Patients With Workers’ Compensation Access

Bennabis Health recently announced that its medical cannabis program is now available to patients living in New Mexico. The company has partnered with AltaVida Dispensary, located in Albuquerque, to help aid medical cannabis patients, specifically with workers’ compensation cases involving a patient seeking to use cannabis as medicine for chronic pain.

“This is a tremendously exciting step in the growth of Bennabis Health as a visionary company clearing a path for those who can benefit most from medical cannabis where coverage is not otherwise available,” said Bennabis Health president Don Parisi. “Opening our network in New Mexico with AltaVida helps us progress in our mission to achieve medical cannabis benefits across the country.”

New Mexico’s Workers’ Compensation states that medical cannabis can be used by an injured worker “when deemed ‘reasonable and necessary care’ under the Workers’ Compensation Act.” However, patients have to pay out of pocket and are later reimbursed.

“In certain states like New Mexico and New Jersey, workers’ compensation claims cases can require medical marijuana costs be reimbursed by the carrier when it offers reasonable and necessary treatment as an appropriate alternative to opioids,” a Bennabis Health press release states. “However, in these cases the injured worker would have to pay out-of-pocket a substantial amount per month for their medical marijuana, and then seek reimbursement from their payor.”

Bennabis Health offers what they call a “layer of protection between the dispensary and the payor” through its membership program and a team of health insurance and cannabis industry professionals. One of its founders, Anne M. Davis, originally discovered cannabis as a treatment for her multiple sclerosis but her health insurance didn’t cover her switch to medical cannabis because it’s a federally illegal substance and Schedule I drug.

Earlier this year in March, the company partnered with a New Jersey dispensary to offer similar benefits prior to its expansion into New Mexico.

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Cannabis Industry Gives Back This Holiday Season

Seasonal slogans like “holiday spirit” and “the season of giving” are an annual reminder to give back to those in need. Here are just a few great examples of how cannabis businesses continue to give back.

Ayr Wellness, which has dispensaries operating in Arizona, Florida, Massachusetts, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania, announced on Dec. 5 that it would be starting its “12 Days of Giving” campaign. While every purchase at its dispensaries will collect $1.12 per transaction to two of its partner organizations, Freedom Grow and Minorities or Medical Marijuana Project Clean Slate Initiative. Overall, Ayr Wellness aims to reach a goal of collecting more than $100,000, which will go toward supporting cannabis prisoners and their families, as well as various advocacy efforts and expungement programs. “Ayr’s ‘12 Days of Giving’ initiative aims to reinforce our commitment to being a Force for Good by activating twelve days of charitable giving across our retail footprint,” said Ayr president David Goubert. “This marks Ayr’s second year of the program, which is poised to directly benefit the families of those who have been incarcerated for cannabis offenses.”

Florida-based AFC Foundation, which offers financing in the cannabis industry, recently made a donation to Georgia-based Corners Outreach organization. In the past, AFC Foundation has also contributed donations to groups like Pennsylvania Court Appointed Special Advocate Association, Yo Soy Ella, and The Weldon Project. According to AFC Foundation president and co-founder Robyn Tannenbaum, it’s essential for the company to give back. “The evolution of the cannabis industry is heavily reliant on the health of the communities in which the businesses operate. As a result, it is imperative that we work to improve these communities and invest in their future endeavors,” said Tannenbaum. “We are proud to continue our efforts to enact social change. More importantly, we are excited to support an organization like Corners Outreach that works to improve education and career opportunities for families.”

In November, Michigan-based Puff Cannabis gave out more than 1,700 turkeys prior to Thanksgiving. Now, the brand announced its “Jackets for Joints” event. Running between Dec. 5-18, the campaign is asking for coats and jackets that fit kids between the ages of three to 12. In exchange, Puff is giving out one jar of pre-rolls. Puff president Justin Elias expressed the need for kids in Michigan. “I recognize that due to the times we live in, many children throughout the state of Michigan need warm jackets and coats and our ‘Jackets for Joints’ program will come to the aid of many of those little ones,” Elias said. “I hope we can collect and give away thousands of warm jackets and coats this winter in order to keep our children warm.”

40 Tons, which is an organization dedicated to assisting people affected by cannabis convictions, as well as their families. This past weekend, the organization held a Canna Christmas event that invited attendees to donate to a Christmas wish list created by people who have a loved one currently incarcerated for cannabis. Although the event has already passed, 40 Tons is a worthwhile organization to donate to this holiday as it continues to help others.

A medical dispensary in West Virginia called Cannabist recently donated $6,473.65 to its local American Legion Post 159 last week. Cannabist has four locations in the state, and took a portion of funds from weekly sales that will go on to fund scholarship opportunities for local high schools, provide funds for state capitol trips, and more.

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