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Medical cannabis advocates have raised concerns about the absurd cost of their treatment for Louisiana marijuana patients.

Healing Clinics CEO Kathryn Thomas says a bottle of the average product costs $180 to $220, and that can add up to a lot of money for some patients.

“For some of those patients, particularly the pain patients, they may need up to three to five bottles of the tincture a month, and that is where you get into the over a thousand dollar range,” says Thomas.

Healing Clinics employs doctors who are authorized to diagnose and prescribe medical marijuana to Louisiana marijuana patients.

Thomas says spending $1,000 a month on a medical treatment just isn’t feasible for most families in Louisiana, which will ultimately limit the market’s growth.

“It definitely is becoming a program for the elite, patients cannot afford ongoing treatment, and there are a lot of concerns about the sustainability of the program,” says Thomas.

Thomas says it’s difficult for many to afford the treatment because it isn’t covered by insurance, and adds work must be done to drag down the cost.

“Certainly if insurance ever opened up to cover the cost that would be wonderful for the patients, and I think as an industry we need to work collaboratively to get the prices so that they are affordable,” says Thomas.

An estimated 3,500 people have purchased medical marijuana since the product became available to the public in August.