An idea that started out as a casual way for people to connect about the benefits of cannabis has grown into an advocacy organization that has donated approximately $27,000 in aid to patients in the Las Vegas Valley.
“About eight years ago, I was looking around at different groups who used cannabis, but had no real way of connecting with each other. So I started the meet-up to help form friendships,” recalls Jennifer Solas, founder of WeCan, of how she started the organization in 2007. “It really started out of the need for patients to connect with other cannabis patients in Nevada.”
Solas’ effort to organize a support group and educate patients in Nevada about medicinal cannabis resulted in Wellness Education Cannabis Advocates of Nevada, also known as WeCan, which has grown into an educational non-profit organization.
In 20ı2, WeCan established a Patient Program that provides financial support to patients in the valley who are struggling to obtain medical marijuana cards. Using funding from donations, sponsorships, WeCan membership fees, and the organization’s radio show, WeCan’s Patient Program is able to help five to seven Nevadans each month who have low or fixed incomes or are dealing with a devastating illness.
The Patient Program does not donate its money directly to the patients. Instead, WeCan provides patients with the medical marijuana card application. WeCan also works with doctors around the valley who are willing to donate services to patients. The patient is typically only responsible for the $ı3 card fee accessed at the Nevada DMV.
Patients accepted into WeCan’s program become ambassadors for the organization and are granted a one-year membership to the social group. The membership allows full access to WeCan’s social events and member-only online content. Once the membership expires, patients are invited to come back
“Many people do come back and are eager to volunteer because they want to spread awareness about what WeCan and medicinal cannabis has done for them,” explains Solas.
Since the launch of the Patient Program, WeCan has helped approximately 90 patients in Nevada obtain their medical marijuana cards, representing over $27,000 in aid that WeCan gives back to patients.
Patients in need of financial support can request an application by contacting Kurt Duchac, WeCan’s social outreach director, at firstname.lastname@example.org.