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For lack of a better word, pot is popular.

Enjoying a new surge of popularity in the last few years thanks to investor attention, the push for legalization and the newfound market for CBD, marijuana is enjoying a stint in the limelight, and many are hoping it stays that way moving forward.

A new study by MJBiz projects that legal sales of marijuana could top $33 billion by the end of the year, a significant increase from last year's $25 billion.

And come 2026, MJBiz projects annual sales to go up as much as $52 billion.

Those are incredible numbers from a plant that remains a Schedule I controlled substance under federal law, and part of that is due to more and more states opening up to medical marijuana.

An All-Time High

Currently, there are 37 states, three territories, and the District of Columbia that allow the use of cannabis for medicinal purposes.

An observational study published June 14 in the Annals of Internal Medicine also revealed that between 2016 and 2020, the medical cannabis program enrollment jumped by over four times, reaching nearly three million patients in 2020.

Led by Kevin F. Boehnke, Ph.D., from the University of Michigan Medical School in Ann Arbour, the team behind the study reported the increased enrollment clustered in states where programs were limited to medical-only cannabis. At the same time, states where cannabis is fully legal recreationally and medically, declined in enrollment or stayed the same.

The data reveals that the trajectory for medical cannabis in the U.S. is going up, especially as the bodies of work that focus on it continue to grow.

That rising trend mirrors the study forecast released by Grand View Research, which projects that the global medical marijuana market size valued at $11 billion will increase at a compound annual growth rate of 21.6% from 2022 to 2030.

Per the forecast, this market growth is because of rising awareness of its many medical applications, including pain management and appetite enhancement.

The ongoing pandemic also had a somewhat positive impact on the industry, as the imposed lockdowns led to increased usage of medical cannabis not just in the U.S., but also in Europe and Canada.

Of course, the ease of cannabis availability thanks to the approval of adult use of cannabis in many states is also a contributing factor, leading regulatory authorities to consider authorizing medical cannabis.

Veriheal is a "cannatech" platform that focuses on making medical marijuana more accessible to the public. Stephen Cobb/Unsplash (CC0)

Part of this growth can also be attributed to the rise of online marijuana services, one of which is Veriheal.

A top-rated online source for people seeking a medical marijuana card (MMJ card), Veriheal collaborates with state-licensed physicians across the country and medical marijuana dispensaries to make medical cannabis more accessible for patients.

Dubbed as an innovative “cannatech” platform, Veriheal works by connecting its prospective patients with licensed doctors that will approve them for their state’s medical cannabis program. The company focuses on educating the public about cannabis, so it is always willing to go the extra mile by introducing a service not available elsewhere.

The company has even launched a new personalized cannabis consult service, which provides everyone with an equal opportunity to assess whether cannabis therapy is right for them by connecting each patient with an expert who can target and refine recommendations based on their preferences.

When asked what sets Veriheal’s service apart from others, a representative said that “patients are saved the trouble of searching for a doctor that is licensed in their state” since Veriheal already takes care of it by “facilitating the connection of doctors in their network and patients through the online platform.”

Another great thing about Veriheal is the benefits of getting your MMJ card with them.

"If a patient encounters any issues or difficulties during the process of applying for and receiving the medical cannabis card, they can immediately contact a customer support representative who will assist them," said a Veriheal representative.

This way, patients are assured of a service that won’t leave them fending for themselves in a market where the law isn’t always black or white.

Study on the effects and benefits of cannabis is ongoing. Irwin Iwe/Unsplash (CC0)

Why Medical Marijuana?

While more known for its recreational effects, marijuana’s many medical properties are well-documented, the most common of which is pain control. Currently, most studies on adult use of medical cannabis look at its application in pain control.

Aside from that, it also provides many other possible health benefits, including:

  • Decreasing nausea caused by chemotherapy and even eliminating vomiting
  • Relieving any muscle tightness, which is sometimes associated with multiple sclerosis and paralysis
  • treating appetite loss

Additionally, experts that favor medical cannabis do so because it’s safer to use than other medications, such as the highly-addictive opioids. Studies have also shown that cannabis can be taken without its psychoactive effects, such as how CBD is used.

As the medical marijuana industry continues to skyrocket in the U.S., more and more studies are being conducted to understand its benefits, all while companies like Veriheal work on giving the public easier access to it.