When was the last time someone offered you a $200 voucher for medicine that you needed?
To help subsidize the costs associated with becoming a registered medical marijuana patient, NETA – which operates medical marijuana dispensaries in Brookline and Northampton – has rolled out its “Why Wait for Better Health” program. NETA’s new program allows patients who spend $200 at a NETA dispensary within 30 days of registering, to receive a matching $200 credit to use towards the purchase of their medicated products. And the program doesn’t just apply to initial registration; patients can receive the same perks each year when they renew their registration.
“Time and time again, we hear from folks who feel they could really benefit from medical marijuana, but the costs associated with becoming a registered patient are prohibitive for them,” says Amanda Rositano, the director of operational compliance at NETA. “We were eager to find a way to help offset that cost, and get the message out there that people have options when it comes to improving their health and wellness.”
For patients like Chris Palames, NETA’s “Why Wait for Better Health” program is good news. Palames, of Northampton, wanted a new pain management solution for his spinal cord injury. Palames was paralyzed 50 years ago in a college wrestling match and used opioids for more than a decade, causing digestive problems that led to three hospitalizations in the last year.
Palames had experienced some relief when using legal hemp oil concentrate, and his primary care doctor encouraged him to go a step further and obtain a medical marijuana card.
“I got my card, went to NETA, and found some very mild tinctures that worked great for me,” says Palames.
In Holyoke, Tim Purington was able to benefit from the program after renewing his card for the year. Diagnosed with renal cell carcinoma in 2013, Purington sought a medical marijuana card after starting chemotherapy in 2016.
“I would encourage anyone who hasn’t gone to NETA try it out,” says Purington. “It’s so much better because you know what you’re getting – you know it’s been tested, you know the percentage of THC, and there are so many products to choose from.”
As the only dispensary in the state to offer a program like this, physicians like Dr. Benjamin Caplan have no trouble recommending a trip to NETA to their patients. Dr. Caplan, the chief medical officer for Canna Care Docs and founder of the Cannabis Education and Discovery Foundation, says he regularly encourages his patients to learn about the products and staff.
“Our Waltham office is a short distance from NETA’s dispensary in Brookline,” Dr. Caplan says. “NETA has not only helped energize excitement and enthusiasm for sick patients to explore alternative avenues of relief, but the dispensary’s program has also lifted a significant boundary to the care that many find extraordinary.”
The $200 credit can be applied to any of NETA’s product line, which boasts more than 150 cannabis products including vaporizer pens made with ultra-pure distillate, a range of edibles, concentrates, lotions, tinctures, capsules, pre-rolled joints, 36 strains of flower, and more. Last year, NETA was named Best Medical Marijuana Dispensary by Boston magazine.
“We have an exciting lineup of new products for 2018, including a few new edibles, new lines of vape pens, and some cutting-edge products that will be a first in the country,” says Eddie Benjamin, the director of innovation at NETA.
Benjamin says the expanding product line is an example of NETA’s dedication to their patients and their individual needs.
“Research and development is a critical part of our business philosophy,” says Benjamin. “We are constantly listening and learning from patients about what works for them to ensure that our state-of-the-art products are the most effective.”
Rositano says that NETA is helping educate healthcare professionals and patients about the benefits of medical marijuana so it can be considered as the first line of treatment, instead of the last resort.
“We are making every effort to pave the way toward a future, in which medical marijuana is a clear and accessible option for patients seeking relief, without the stigma so often still associated with it,” she says.
NETA remains at the forefront of product innovation and continues research with top scientists to develop new and more effective treatment options. The “Why Wait for Better Health” program is just another incentive to keep their patients happy and healthy.
In Northampton, Palames says he’s feeling much better since he learned about NETA.
“I have a different way to manage my pain that I didn’t have before,” says Palames. “I haven’t used an opioid in eight or nine weeks.”
NETA has two local dispensaries, located in Brookline at 160 Washington Street, and Northampton at 118 Conz Street. For more information on the “Why Wait for Better Health” program or any of the products and services available at NETA, visit netacare.org or call 617-841-7250.
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