January 19th, 2022
11:00 AM - 12:00 PM PST
Since 2014, Americans For Safe Access’s annual State of the States report has assessed the strength of medical cannabis programs by assigning grades to each of the 50 states, the District of Columbia and the U.S. territories. While most states have established some form of a medical cannabis program, none have yet implemented policies to fully ensure that medical cannabis patients and consumers have safe, legal, and affordable access to cannabis.
The 2021 Americans for Safe Access State of the States Report will feature new report card formats and scoring that highlight key areas of medical cannabis policy that affect patient needs. ASA’s updated grading rubric emphasizes the many issues that are still blocking millions of patients from access. The new report cards adds emphasis on civil rights and patient protections, affordability, health and social equity, and product safety while also giving penalties for states that have policies that are actively harmful to medical cannabis patients.
Two new sections have been added for 2021: Affordability, and Health and Social Equity. Scoring has been updated to double the weight of the Consumer Protection and Product Safety section. In addition, states can now lose points for policies that limit patient choice or access, such as bans on THC, limits on retail access, no system for adding qualifying conditions, and giving regulatory preference to non-medical use. ASA’s new grading criteria and guidelines for better meeting the needs of medical cannabis patients debuted at the 2021 National Conference of State Legislatures in Tampa, Florida. This venue gave us the opportunity to meet directly with lawmakers from across the country and set their expectations for how their state's medical cannabis access will be graded.
This program is eligible for 1 hours of General CLE credit in 60-minute states, and 1.2 hours of General CLE credit in 50-minute states. Credit hours are estimated and are subject to each state’s approval and credit rounding rules.
Director of Government Affairs
Americans for Safe Access
Abbey Roudebush, ASA’s Director of Government Affairs, leads ASA’s policy work on the state and federal levels. She has almost a decade of experience with cannabis policy and in advocating for patients on a range of access to care issues. Prior to joining ASA, Abbey spent four years at the Epilepsy Foundation, leading the Foundation’s cannabis policy work. She has extensive experience working with state-level stakeholders, and has authored and passed bills in over a dozen states. Abbey started her career working on state-level advocacy in New York and was involved in the passage of the New York Compassionate Care Act in 2014. Abbey is passionate about cannabis policy, civil rights, health equity, and disability rights. At ASA, she is excited to bring all of her interests together and continue fighting for medical cannabis patients across the country.