08 Jun Medical Marijuana in New York State: An Analysis of Cannabis Users Seeking Chronic Pain Treatment
June 8, 2017
From: CONSUMER RESEARCH AROUND CANNABIS
In March 2017, New York State began allowing the treatment of chronic pain by permitting prescriptions for medicinal marijuana. Previous cannabis usage in the Empire State was restricted to a handful of diseases such as epilepsy, HIV & AIDS, and multiple sclerosis.
Regarding the state’s recent policy shift, State Health Commissioner, Dr. Howard A. Zucker, was quoted in a New York State Department of Health press release as saying, “Improving patient access to medical marijuana continues to be one of our top priorities, as it has been since the launch of the [state’s medicinal cannabis] program.” Prior to the state’s expansion, legalizing treatment of chronic pain, Dr. Zucker had been on the record in favor of the policy change. In December 2016, the New York Daily News reported that Dr. Zucker stated that, “After conducting a thorough review of the scientific literature, it became clear that there may be certain benefits in the use of medical marijuana by patients suffering from chronic pain.” He also added, “Medical marijuana is already helping thousands of patients across New York State, and adding chronic pain as a qualifying condition will help more patients and further strengthen the [state’s medicinal cannabis] program.”
CONSUMER RESEARCH AROUND CANNABIS provides survey data and is currently available for local markets across the United States. New York State data is currently available in the Buffalo and Albany Greater Metropolitan Areas with studies for the New York City, Rochester, and Syracuse areas coming soon. Results from the two initial New York markets studied reveal that an estimated 46,668 adults in the heavily populated Buffalo-Niagara Falls Greater Metropolitan Area listed the “treatment of chronic pain” as an important reason for their purchase of medicinal marijuana. In the smaller Albany-Schenectady-Troy Capital Region, the number was 28,734 adults, totaling over 75,000 people in just those two Greater Metropolitan Areas.
A deeper analysis of responses from the Buffalo and Albany Greater Metropolitan Areas presents a picture of medicinal cannabis users that may challenge preconceptions regarding this new market segment. Consumers seeking relief of chronic pain with medical marijuana are upscale, insured, and visit a variety of physicians. This target group is sure to increase in size due to the recent changes in state laws, representing a business growth opportunity in New York.
Survey data available from CONSUMER RESEARCH AROUND CANNABIS provides insight into the cannabis market, allowing medical professionals, dispensaries, hospitals, and other businesses to make informed decisions in the quickly changing medicinal marijuana marketplace. The following graphs reflect the demographics of local adults that listed an important reason for purchasing cannabis was to “treat chronic/recurring pain.”
GRAPH 1: Index of adults 18+ in upscale target categories that listed “treatment of chronic/recurring pain” as an important reason for their purchase of medicinal cannabis in Buffalo vs. Albany.
GRAPH 2: Percentage of adults 18+ that listed “treatment of chronic/recurring pain” as an important reason for their purchase of medicinal cannabis, with health insurance, Buffalo vs. Albany.
GRAPH 3: Percentage of adults 18+ that listed “treatment of chronic/recurring pain” as an important reason for their purchase of medicinal cannabis, that visited these doctors during the past two years, Buffalo vs. Albany.
CONSUMER RESEARCH AROUND CANNABIS is an expanding company that has consumer survey data in nearly thirty of its 85+ plus US markets, with plans to expand in to the Greater Toronto Area in Canada in the Fall of 2017. The surveys are conducted online and are based on large, reliable samples. They are conducted semi-annually in the 48 largest markets, and annually in all remaining US markets. The company is the only local market research firm that merges cannabis usage, perceptions, and attitudes with local market, consumer-level demographics, lifestyles, habits, and plan-to-purchase targets.