medical marijuana medicare policy
medical marijuana medicare policy

Guess How Many People on Medicare Are Using Medical Marijuana?

How many people on Medicare or Medicaid are using cannabis?

Posted by:
christalcann on Wednesday May 11, 2022


medical marijuana on Medicare

A hot topic among cannabis legalization advocates is how many people on Medicare or Medicaid use medical cannabis?  Does the medical cannabis help them cut out other prescription meds, say for sleep or anxiety?  Should the government health insurance plans pay for medical cannabis? surveyed 1,250 Medicare patients and asked them about their cannabis habits and usage. Surprising, 4 out of every 10 Medicare patients are either using medical cannabis or have tried it and almost the same amount, 40%, do NOT want Medicare to cover the costs of medical cannabis because they fear the cost would go up!  When the government gets involved the costs of medical care goes up, too much pork and too many hands in the pot? No pun intended.


According to the report:

When asked why they’re not in favor of Medicare coverage for medical marijuana, 38% of users say it’s because they fear the price will increase once insurance and pharmaceutical companies get involved in the distribution of the products. The amount that current medical marijuana users are paying out of pocket for their treatments varies. Half of current users report spending up to $200 per month, while 36% spend between $201 and $500 per month. Fourteen percent say they spend over $500 each month on medical marijuana.

medicare patients spending on marijuana

Some of the key findings include:

  • 1 in 5 Medicare recipients currently use medical marijuana

    • 23% have used medical marijuana in the past

  • 66% of Medicare recipients ‘strongly agree’ or ‘agree’ that Medicare should cover medical marijuana

  • 38% of Medicare recipients who use medical marijuana don’t want Medicare coverage because they fear it will increase the price

  • 59% of those who support Medicare coverage for medical marijuana say it’s because medical marijuana can be effective where other treatments fail


According to the survey, the main medical conditions people on Medicare are using medical cannabis are anxiety, chronic pain, depression, glaucoma, and HIV/AIDS.


This gives the government and health providers a glimpse into what the future may look like after full federal legalization in the US.  Patients on private and government health insurance programs will want to incorporate medical cannabis for a variety of reasons, so costs and participation in the program will be under a microscope.


Check out the full survey here.





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