Nation’s Largest Medical Cannabis Patient Organization Releases Report on Efficacy of State Medical Cannabis Laws

Americans for Safe Access Grades States on Patient Access, Affordability, Equity, Product Safety and More

WASHINGTON, DC — Today, Americans for Safe Access (ASA) unveiled their annual report, “2021 State of the States Report: An Analysis of Medical Cannabis Access in the United States.

The report evaluates the effectiveness of each state cannabis program from a patient perspective and assigns a grade using a rubric that reflects the key issues affecting patient access broken down into over 100 categories, including barriers to access, civil protections, affordability, health and social equity, and product safety as well as penalties for harmful policies. ASA distributes the report each year to state legislators and regulators in every state, as well as hundreds of health organizations and patient organizations.

The report also offers solutions for improvement to programs including legislative and regulatory language. Since its first edition in 2014, advocates and state legislators have utilized ASA’ report to pass new legislation and regulations to improve laws. 

Americans for Safe Access hosted a press briefing on February 22, 2022 on the report. 

This year marks 25 years since the first medical cannabis law came into effect in California. While states have made great strides in passing new laws and strengthening programs, the report highlights the fact that states are still falling short in creating programs that fulfill the needs of all patients--the average grade among states was only 44%, with the highest score being 76%. 

“With a decline in legislative improvements in state medical cannabis programs, millions of patients are left with limited or no access,” said Debbie Churgai, executive director of Americans for Safe Access. “It is ASA’s hope that the report will inspire a renewed commitment to patients by policymakers to improve state laws and end the federal prohibition once and for all."

"Americans for Safe Access’ State of the States report has been an important resource for me as I work to ensure all Pennsylvanians have access to medical cannabis,” said Pennsylvania State Representative Chris Rabb. 

“As the largest cannabis patient advocacy group, their recommendations have helped me hone in on issues that impact patients, and work to pass improvements to better their lives. 

“The report has also been a critical tool in educating my colleagues on the shortfalls of the current program and why improvements are necessary for Pennsylvanians.”

Americans for Safe Access will be holding a free online webinar for the public on the State of the States Report today, Wednesday, Feb 23, 2022 at 3pm ET/Noon PT. All are welcome to attend with a RSVP.