The Hidden Cost: How High Prescription Cannabis Prices Are Tearing Families Apart

The medicinal use of cannabis has been hailed as a breakthrough in treating various chronic illnesses, offering relief to patients who have not found success with traditional medications. However, the high cost of prescription cannabis is causing significant financial strain on many families, leading to heart-wrenching decisions and disrupted lives.

The Promise of Prescription Cannabis

Prescription cannabis has shown potential in treating conditions such as chronic pain, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis, and PTSD. For many patients, it represents a lifeline—a way to manage symptoms and improve quality of life. The therapeutic benefits of cannabis are supported by a growing body of research, yet access remains a significant barrier due to the prohibitive cost of prescriptions.

The Financial Strain on Families

Prescription cannabis can be expensive, with some patients spending hundreds to thousands of pounds monthly. These costs are not covered by NHS or insurance, forcing families to make tough choices between medication and other essential needs. The financial burden can lead to:

– **Debt Accumulation:** Many families resort to credit cards or loans to afford the medication.

– **Sacrificing Other Necessities:** Essentials such as food, housing, and education may be compromised to pay for prescription  cannabis.

– **Emotional Stress:** The financial strain exacerbates emotional stress, affecting family dynamics and overall well-being.

Personal Stories: Lives Disrupted

Consider the story of Sarah, a mother of two, whose son requires prescription cannabis to manage his severe epilepsy. The monthly cost of £1,200 is a constant source of stress, forcing the family to downsize their home and cut back on extracurricular activities for the children. Similarly, John, a veteran suffering from PTSD, spends £800 a month on prescription  cannabis. His family struggles to afford these costs, leading to marital tensions and a diminished quality of life for his children.

Why Isn’t the Industry Assisting Patients?

Despite the clear need for more affordable access, the cannabis industry has not taken sufficient steps to assist patients. Several factors contribute to this issue:

Profit Margins: The industry prioritizes profit margins, often pricing products based on market demand rather than patient affordability.

Lack of Insurance Coverage: Insurance Companies do not cover cannabis, placing the entire financial burden on patients.

Regulatory Hurdles: High compliance costs and taxes imposed on cannabis businesses are often passed down to consumers, further inflating prices.

Limited Compassionate Use Programs: While some companies offer discounted rates or financial assistance, these programs are limited and insufficient to meet the widespread need.

Lack of Clinical Trials: Six years on since young Billy Caldwell changed UK cannabis laws, majority of companies have ignored goverment call outs and are reluctant to initiate clinical trials. Although two trials have started focusing on pain management, they have not yet been completed.

The Call for Change

To address this growing crisis, several actions are necessary:

Policy Reform:

 Governments should consider policy reforms to subsidise  the cost of medicinal cannabis or mandate insurance coverage.

Industry Responsibility: Cannabis companies must recognize their role in patient care and expand compassionate use programs and carry out fit for purpose clinical  trials urgently.

Public Awareness:

 Increased awareness and advocacy can drive policy changes and pressure the industry to act responsibly.


The high cost of prescription cannabis is tearing families apart, forcing them into financial hardship and emotional distress. The industry must do better. Industry and policymakers must work together to ensure that this crucial medication is accessible to all who need it. Without significant changes, the promise of Prescription Cannabis will remain out of reach for many, leaving families to bear the brunt of an unjust system.

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