While cannabis has been prized throughout history for its medicinal properties — and was a key ingredient in legal medications in the United States up until the early 1930s — for most of the twentieth century it was classified as an illegal narcotic. Not until the nineties, when scientific evidence for cannabis medicinal value became indisputable, and decades of fruitless attempts to sanction the drug failed, did legislators start to reconsider the blanket ban on cannabis.
In the years since cannabis was legalized for medical use in states like California (in 1996) and countries like Canada (in 2001), it has become a popular solution for pain management, and a range of products have been developed to help people make cannabis part of their treatment regimens.
The Challenges of Medical Cannabis
Given the fact that cannabis remains a heavily controlled substance even in the areas where it has been legalized for recreational use, the legalization of cannabis for medical purposes has not been easy.
One of the main challenges has been ensuring that patients have ready access to their treatments. Some medical cannabis users do not smoke dried cannabis, and so products that can be ingested orally or topically are becoming more sophisticated.
Ensuring that licensed medical cannabis users can get the care they need, while guaranteeing that cannabis intended for medical purposes does not end up in the hands of minors or criminals, has led to a highly bureaucratic system in which cannabis can be hard to access.
The Software Solutions Helping Patients Access Care
One of the key solutions to this problem has been medical marijuana supply chain software designed specifically to provide patients with ready access to cannabis products digitally. Cannabis patient registration software helps connect clinics with cannabis producers to register patients online.
Where cannabis registration used to involve significant amounts of paperwork, when registering electronically it only takes a few minutes. And because patients are able to fill their prescriptions online, they can get their cannabis treatment easily and efficiently, making relief more immediate.
According to Statistics Canada, half of all regular users of cannabis in the country (almost eight percent of the country’s total population) use cannabis for medical reasons. In the United States, medical use has grown consistently from year to year over the past decade.
Clearly, there is a significant market for cannabis production that is geared towards individuals using it as a form of medical treatment. And as demand for medical cannabis grows, software developers who specialize in helping producers stay compliant with regulations will only come to play a more vital role in keeping cannabis production safe, legal, and responsible.