Repeal ABRA Registration on November 19th

Repeal ABRA Registration on November 19th

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DC Cannabis Trade Association (DCCTA) started this petition to patients

Dear Councilmember,

I am writing to you today as a patient in the DC medical cannabis market, advocating for the removal of registration requirements with ABRA for both patients and physicians. The registration process created in 2010 is outdated and not reflective of the current customer base and their needs. This process is bureaucratic, time consuming, inconvenient, and expensive, and as a result, many patients choose not to renew.

Recent changes in the ABRA process are well intended but do not remove the significant barriers to entry to this market. “Turnaround Thursdays” are conducted during business hours, meaning patients with a full time job would need to take time off work to be able to take advantage of this system. Many patients are homebound and do not have access to the internet and therefore are not able to take advantage of an online application. Additionally, proof of residency requirements preclude those who do not have permanent housing from purchasing the medicine they need.

In addition to the hurdles of physically submitting an application, the financial barriers are significant for many patients. Not only is there a fee of up to $100 to register with ABRA, the limited number of healthcare professionals who are authorized to write a medical cannabis prescription charge a premium due to the shortage of these individuals – often $200 or higher. The requirement for healthcare professionals to register with ABRA is prohibitive and has resulted in only 4% of the qualified healthcare professionals in the District being registered to write a medical cannabis recommendation.

Expanding access to the medical program by making it easier to access is the only way that it is going to grow, or even retain the patients that are currently enrolled. I urge you to support an amendment to bill 24-113, the Medical Cannabis Amendment Act of 2021, on November 19th to repeal these restrictive requirements for becoming a medical cannabis patient.

Sincerely, 

District Resident

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