Trending News Today: Medical Marijuana Access Improves

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

On Monday, the “Medical Aid in Dying” measure was certified as having enough petition signatures to make ballots this fall in Colorado, reported The New York Times. In the fall, Colorado voters will decide whether terminally ill individuals should be allowed to receive prescription drugs to end their own lives. So far there are 5 other states with a law that allows terminally ill patients to end their lives.

More than 3 years after lawmakers legalized marijuana for medical use in Maryland, 30 businesses have won approval to grow and process medical marijuana, reported The Washington Post. Fifteen growers from nearly 150 applications were chosen by the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, while 15 of 124 processors who applied to turn the plants into pills, oils, and other medical products, were chosen. Additionally, 7 organizations were approved to both grow and process the drug. Thus far, Maryland and 24 others states, as well as the District of Columbia, have legalized marijuana for medical purposes. The area of opportunity is considered to be profitable due to few restrictions on who can buy the drug, and limits how many businesses are able to participate. According to the Post, patients will most likely not be able to obtain medical marijuana until summer 2017, because dispensaries have not yet been approved.

A recent study revealed the fine print in numerous marketplace health plan documents allows the coverage of a variety of services to be refused, many of which affect women, reported Kaiser Health News. Although it is unclear the extent that these coverage exclusions have prevented patients from getting necessary treatments, an insurance industry representative said that patients are generally able to get the care they need. But advocates have stated that some women with hereditary breast and ovarian cancer may have gaps in care because of these exclusions. However, the report does provide a guide for potential coverage issues that may still need to be addressed, according to Kaiser.