Mother of Missouri medical cannabis patient says cost is too high, launches charity

Americans for Safe Access claims that almost a third of medical cannabis patients in Missouri paid in excess of $500 on a monthly basis for pharmaceutical-grade weed treatments


Bethan Rose Jenkins, Cannabis News Writer/Editorial

Advocates have long been fighting for the legalization of cannabis in Missouri. Finally, the plant was legalized in November , but the prospective cost could make it near impossible for many patients to afford their medicine.

One of the many parents concerned about the cost of medical cannabis in Missouri is Ashley Markum of Rogersville. Her son relies on CBD (cannabidiol) cannabis’ primary non-psychotropic cannabinoid to relieve seizures.

Markum has contributed to the conservative state’s blossoming industry by launching Ayden’s Alliance. This charity focuses on assisting families in navigating the complex costs associated with medical cannabis treatments in Missouri.

Missouri medical cannabis prices could cost between $200 and $300 per ounce of flower. These extortionate prices will surely lower as time goes on, but analysts think that the industry’s starting prices will stretch over a 1-2 year period before decreasing.

Parents of boy with cerebral palsy say medical cannabis in Missouri is a necessity

Markum’s motivation to get involved with Missouri medical cannabis is deeply rooted in her son and his battle with cerebral palsy. 

Aged just 14 weeks, Ayden endured a brain hemorrhage. This spurred on a bout of problems caused by brain damage; the lasting effects of the brain hemorrhage.

Ayden’s mother and her husband, Chris, desperately tried to treat their son with a broad scope of anti-seizure medicines, many of which they claim did more harm than good.

“Yes, it is incredibly important to control those seizures and stop that damaging brain activity, but at what expense?” Chris questioned rhetorically. “Some of the pharmaceuticals were just making him sedated, drool on himself, sleep all day long. You gotta look at quality of life.”

Now, their son’s low-level seizures are worsening and at the tender age of five, he cannot speak or move. Bound to a special needs chair, Ayden only experiences relief when using CBD. According to his parents, other medicines are useless.

“I don’t think we would have had the handful of words that he has said or the interaction or the purposeful things that he has done without cannabis,” Markum said. 

Parents of Missouri medical cannabis consumer say CBD and THC hold promise as seizure treatments

Aside from its anti-seizure effects, CBD possesses antitumor, anticancer, antiinflammatory and anxiolytic effects. 

Its uses are endless and although clinical trials and research studies have been put on the backburner due to federal restrictions CBD is being prescribed as a form of pain relief, sleep aid and anti-nausea treatment in various medical cannabis-friendly states like Missouri.

CBD aside, Markum and her husband Chris also praised the cannabis plant’s psychoactive constituent, THC (tetrahydrocannabinol). This mind-altering substance is known for making cannabis consumers feel ‘high’. 

However, there is a lot more to this cannabinoid than its.psychotropic, couch-locking effects. The parents of medical cannabis consumer Ayden claimed that, while CBD managed to successfully ease seizure-related symptoms with minimal side effects, THC inhalation was effective at stopping seizures as they occurred.

Cost of medical cannabis in Missouri a problem for patients

Daily use of cannabis-based medicines in Missouri will burn a hole in the pockets of patients, based on recent survey data revealed by Americans for Safe Access.

The organization claims that almost a third of medical cannabis patients in Missouri paid in excess of $500 on a monthly basis for pharmaceutical-grade weed treatments. 

As a result of launching Ayden’s Alliance, Ashley is unable to accept donations. This means that her family must now figure out another method of making an extra $500 monthly. Recently, her charity managed to raise approximately $6,000; the money assisted 26 families in affording medical cannabis in Missouri.

Expensive prices are luring a lot of consumers to the black market, which undercuts the legal market on price. However, illegally sold weed is not regulated and so, it is not tested for pesticides, chemicals and toxins.

At the moment, Missouri medical cannabis is not covered by insurance. Granting patients access to insurance coverage could relieve them of the expenses associated with getting their hands on medicinal-grade weed.

Patients in Missouri will also need to pay an annual fee of $25 to review their medical cannabis patient cards. In addition to this, all retail cannabis sales will be slapped with a four percent sales tax.