Imagine a chronic pain patient offered the opportunity to try medical cannabis. Let’s call him John. He considers the medical cannabis route but then decides against it based on financial reasons. He believes he cannot afford it. But could he be wrong? Could something as simple as budgeting make medical cannabis more affordable for him?

Patients Struggle to Pay for Their Medicines

It is no secret that patients in some states have trouble paying for medical cannabis. That’s certainly the case in Utah, where Brigham City’s Beehive Farmacy says their customers struggle with the same problems customers in other states face:

  • ●        Medical cannabis isn’t covered by prescription plans
  • ●        The combination of regulations and taxes contributing to higher prices
  • ●        Pricing being further influenced by the local competitive balance.

What does any of this have to do with budgeting? Nothing. At least not directly. But indirectly, budgeting could be the key to unlocking medical cannabis affordability for the individual patient.

Budgeting Is a Tool

Budgeting is a tool for managing money. It is a tool for keeping track of income and expenses. And although it cannot actually reduce the cost of medical marijuana at the retail level, it could lead to John actually having enough money to pay for his medicines.

It’s interesting to note a 2019 survey suggesting that 67% of American adults use a budget. Yet a different survey conducted a year later showed that 65% didn’t know how much money they spent in the previous month. Guess what? Even if John had a budget, not knowing how much he spent during a given month suggests he is not sticking to it.

The Problem with Not Budgeting

The problem with not budgeting is exactly what was mentioned in the previous paragraph: not knowing how much money you are spending. When John doesn’t keep track of spending, he has a tendency to spend without thinking about it. That leads to spending more than he should. It’s how he gets to the end of the month and doesn’t have enough money to pay his bills.

Budgeting involves keeping track of both income and expenses. You account for every penny that comes in and every penny that goes out. Not only that, but you also keep track of what you are spending your money on.

Almost every person who begins budgeting learns very quickly that a lot of money is being spent on unnecessary things. Eliminate that unnecessary spending and John has more money to pay for medical cannabis. Suddenly he can buy his medicines and still not have to choose between them and putting food on the table.

Budgeting Helps to Align Priorities

Budgeting is a great tool that helps people understand their spending habits. But it does something else that is pretty cool: it helps people align their priorities with their income. So where does medical cannabis fall on John’s priority list?

Common sense would dictate that his healthcare needs are pretty near the top. That being the case, paying for medical cannabis would seem to be more important than going to the movies or dining out three times a week. It would seem to take precedent over his Netflix subscription or that new pair of shoes he really likes but doesn’t need.

It could be that John really cannot afford medical cannabis. But it is also possible that his only issue is a lack of financial discipline. If he would just create a budget and stick to it, he might find that medical cannabis is affordable after all. Is your experience similar to John’s? Think about it. Budgeting might be the answer.

By Inferno