2020-21 Improvements and Recommendations
Nebraska remains one of two states with no medical cannabis access as legislative efforts to create an access program failed in the face of a filibuster by prohibitionists. ASA encourages Nebraska lawmakers to engage with patients and medical cannabis advocacy organizations to build a safe and legal access model for patients in 2022. Legislators should seek to cover patients with a diversity of health conditions through significant expansion of the state’s list of conditions eligible for cannabis treatment. ASA also encourages immediately implementing statutory protections for patients related to housing, employment, education, and parental rights. Legislators in Nebraska should consider creating a stringent set of product safety standards, and a system of third-party labs to test the safety of products. Finally, authorizing a licensing system to support cultivation and sale of in-state medical cannabis and related products to patients is a basic requirement for medical cannabis access, but legislators should also consider permitting patients and caregivers to cultivate cannabis at home for medical use. Ideally, caregivers should even have the option to become retailers themselves or to sell products tested for safety by a third-party laboratory to retailers for consumption by patients. Such a system would offer patients a greater variety of options to treat their condition, and address cost challenges cannabis patients face due to the lack of insurance coverage of cannabis products.
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