According to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, medical cannabis enrollment soared by 400% between 2016 and 2020 as a string of high-profile supporters spoke out in support of the alternative therapy. What’s more, the pandemic itself accelerated cannabis use significantly: The latest World Drug Report reveals that there are now 209 million users across the globe.

The evidence for marijuana’s efficacy in addressing a wide range of conditions, from chronic pain and PTSD to glaucoma and Alzheimer’s, has set the scene for increased legalization not just in the States but around the world. However, despite the growing number of retailers offering low-THC cannabis products, many patients and doctors still struggle to obtain or prescribe medical-grade cannabis—largely due to the health system’s Byzantine rules and regulations. Thankfully, there are a number of companies pioneering creative solutions to scissor through the red tape.

Acquiring the World’s Most-Used Drug

Given the large demographic of medical cannabis users, it is a somewhat odd reality that the plant remains elusive for so many. Indeed, in many countries and states, patients are actively discouraged from acquiring a treatment that could drastically improve their quality of life—something that must be particularly galling when other prescribed therapies and medications have already failed.

This fact led to the creation of Veriheal in 2017. A healthcare tech company focused on helping patients legally obtain medical marijuana, Veriheal purports to have grown by over 5,000% since its formation, with a workforce now made up of over 100 employees. At the top of the tree are business partners and co-founders Samuel Adetunji and Joshua Green, both of whom have a burning passion for health and wellness.

A black-owned business originally founded in Washington, D.C., Veriheal is perfect for both doctors and patients. The proprietary platform, which uses a simplified EMR model, supplies the necessary digital tools and personalized education to connect members of the cannabis community and underline the therapy’s potential benefits. It has served over a million users in the U.S. to date, and the technology is regularly used by thousands of doctors.

Distinct from a medical clinic, Veriheal acts as a valuable intermediary and technology platform, putting patients in touch with pro-cannabis physicians who can quickly recommend them for medical marijuana in their state. Physicians using the platform are fully licensed by the states in which they operate and can consult with interested patients via online or in-person appointments, in accordance with relevant regulations. Providing the doctor believes a patient can benefit from marijuana, they can certify them for a medical marijuana (MMJ) card after just one appointment.

Currently, acquiring cannabis in the United States is something of a zip-code lottery. Although 39 states (and the District of Columbia) run medical cannabis programs and 19 have recreational programs, not all markets thrive due to strict regulatory limits on the conditions that can be treated. Veriheal vows to simplify the often-challenging process of qualifying for medical cannabis in certain states and works closely with licensed dispensaries, medical professionals, universities, and advocacy groups to do so.

Smoke Signals

Despite self-funding Veriheal from the start with no VC involvement, Green and Adetunji are not resting on their laurels. Earlier this year, the pair oversaw the acquisition of MarijuanaDoctors.com in a deal worth $3 million, and the company now has ambitious plans to expand into Europe. Most regions in that continent permit the medical use of cannabis in some form, though as with the U.S. states, regulations differ considerably. With the feel-good factor around cannabis spreading – over 22 million Europeans consumed the drug in the last year – Veriheal is well-placed to take advantage.

Although the core function of the platform is to conveniently connect patients and physicians, Veriheal has aspirations beyond making medical cannabis more accessible. Its Innovation in Cannabis Scholarship, for example, furnishes students with $5,000 grants to be used towards their college education. Recipients are selected based on their “knowledge and passion for sustainability, community, awareness, and innovation for the future of cannabis.”

Barriers hindering the medical use of cannabis are likely to keep falling over time, but Veriheal expects to thrive even in a favorable regulatory landscape. That’s because despite a growing body of evidence, many doctors do not routinely prescribe marijuana–or even believe in its medicinal properties. This makes some patients uncomfortable seeking the treatment during consultations with their physician and illustrates the need for more advocacy work to educate patients and doctors alike.

Despite dismissals by many doctors committed to a purely pharmaceutical approach, the outlook for the medical marijuana industry is overwhelmingly positive. As for Veriheal’s, its impressive rise over the last five years bodes extremely well for continued growth.

According to a recent study published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, medical cannabis enrollment soared by 400% between 2016 and 2020 as a string of high-profile supporters spoke out in support of the alternative therapy. What’s more, the pandemic itself accelerated cannabis use significantly: The latest World Drug Report reveals that there are now 209 million users across the globe.

The evidence for marijuana’s efficacy in addressing a wide range of conditions, from chronic pain and PTSD to glaucoma and Alzheimer’s, has set the scene for increased legalization not just in the States but around the world. However, despite the growing number of retailers offering low-THC cannabis products, many patients and doctors still struggle to obtain or prescribe medical-grade cannabis—largely due to the health system’s Byzantine rules and regulations. Thankfully, there are a number of companies pioneering creative solutions to scissor through the red tape.

Acquiring the World’s Most-Used Drug

Given the large demographic of medical cannabis users, it is a somewhat odd reality that the plant remains elusive for so many. Indeed, in many countries and states, patients are actively discouraged from acquiring a treatment that could drastically improve their quality of life—something that must be particularly galling when other prescribed therapies and medications have already failed.

This fact led to the creation of Veriheal in 2017. A healthcare tech company focused on helping patients legally obtain medical marijuana, Veriheal purports to have grown by over 5,000% since its formation, with a workforce now made up of over 100 employees. At the top of the tree are business partners and co-founders Samuel Adetunji and Joshua Green, both of whom have a burning passion for health and wellness.

A black-owned business originally founded in Washington, D.C., Veriheal is perfect for both doctors and patients. The proprietary platform, which uses a simplified EMR model, supplies the necessary digital tools and personalized education to connect members of the cannabis community and underline the therapy’s potential benefits. It has served over a million users in the U.S. to date, and the technology is regularly used by thousands of doctors.

Distinct from a medical clinic, Veriheal acts as a valuable intermediary and technology platform, putting patients in touch with pro-cannabis physicians who can quickly recommend them for medical marijuana in their state. Physicians using the platform are fully licensed by the states in which they operate and can consult with interested patients via online or in-person appointments, in accordance with relevant regulations. Providing the doctor believes a patient can benefit from marijuana, they can certify them for a medical marijuana (MMJ) card after just one appointment.

Currently, acquiring cannabis in the United States is something of a zip-code lottery. Although 39 states (and the District of Columbia) run medical cannabis programs and 19 have recreational programs, not all markets thrive due to strict regulatory limits on the conditions that can be treated. Veriheal vows to simplify the often-challenging process of qualifying for medical cannabis in certain states and works closely with licensed dispensaries, medical professionals, universities, and advocacy groups to do so.

Smoke Signals

Despite self-funding Veriheal from the start with no VC involvement, Green and Adetunji are not resting on their laurels. Earlier this year, the pair oversaw the acquisition of MarijuanaDoctors.com in a deal worth $3 million, and the company now has ambitious plans to expand into Europe. Most regions in that continent permit the medical use of cannabis in some form, though as with the U.S. states, regulations differ considerably. With the feel-good factor around cannabis spreading – over 22 million Europeans consumed the drug in the last year – Veriheal is well-placed to take advantage.

Although the core function of the platform is to conveniently connect patients and physicians, Veriheal has aspirations beyond making medical cannabis more accessible. Its Innovation in Cannabis Scholarship, for example, furnishes students with $5,000 grants to be used towards their college education. Recipients are selected based on their “knowledge and passion for sustainability, community, awareness, and innovation for the future of cannabis.”

Barriers hindering the medical use of cannabis are likely to keep falling over time, but Veriheal expects to thrive even in a favorable regulatory landscape. That’s because despite a growing body of evidence, many doctors do not routinely prescribe marijuana–or even believe in its medicinal properties. This makes some patients uncomfortable seeking the treatment during consultations with their physician and illustrates the need for more advocacy work to educate patients and doctors alike.

Despite dismissals by many doctors committed to a purely pharmaceutical approach, the outlook for the medical marijuana industry is overwhelmingly positive. As for Veriheal’s, its impressive rise over the last five years bodes extremely well for continued growth.