“Many patients face barriers to accessing treatment due to costs, like paying out of pocket for doctor’s visits and the cost of cannabis.” In an attempt to keep enrollment for medical cannabis patients from continuing to drop, the state cannabis agency has lowered registration costs to just $10 every two years, down from $50 for most patients.

Enrollment in the medical cannabis program has been declining since the state launched recreational cannabis sales in April 2022, officials with the Cannabis Regulatory Commission said at their meeting Thursday. The number of medical cannabis patients has tumbled to fewer than 94,000, down from 128,000 when recreational cannabis sales started, state data shows.

Jeff Brown, the commission’s executive director, said while medicinal sales drop, adult sales continue to grow at about 10 percent each quarter. Consumers spent about $206 million on cannabis in the third quarter of 2023, with nearly $177 million in recreational sales, the commission said. Medicinal sales totaled about $29 million in the third quarter of 2023, down from $61 million at the same time last year.

Brown said the move to drop the cost of registering in the medicinal program will “hopefully incentivize patients.”

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