Medical marijuana company’s fund helps terminally ill pay for products

Charlie Megginson Business, Headlines

First State Compassion has launched a program that gives terminal patients $500 toward medical marijuana products.

A Delaware medical marijuana distribution center has launched a program to provide terminal patients $500 per month to help pay for their medical marijuana treatment. 

First State Compassion, Delaware’s first licensed medical marijuana distribution center and largest cannabis growing facility, is naming the program after Michelle Shafle-Reed, an employee who lost her battle with cancer at the age of 49.

The FSC Michelle Reed Terminal Illness Program allows terminal patients to apply for a $500 per month supplement toward their medical marijuana medicine. It will be available at First State’s Wilmington and Lewes locations. 

“Anyone who knew Michelle Reed would say the same thing, she was born kind,” said CEO Mark Lally. “Michelle was warm, generous and always so interested in how people were doing, even as she was dying of cancer. She was both a patient and an employee and very open about the relief she received from medical marijuana.”

Reed’s relationship with the company began as a patient, but then she started working for the company as a patient advisor and patient orientation specialist. She helped patients understand the benefits of cannabis treatment and how to choose the best strain and products for their conditions. 

According to her mother, Mary Schafle, compassion was a part of Michelle’s nature. 

“Since childhood, Michelle always showed compassion to others. She always went the extra mile to bring a smile to all those who were graced with her presence.” Schafle said. “She was unwavering in her friendships throughout her life, always supportive and never too busy to be there helping whenever called upon. Michelle was so full of life, with boundless happiness and fun-loving energy.”

Already, 29 patients are benefiting from the program, according to Lauren Foraker, senior communications manager. There is no cap on the number of patients allowed to enroll. 

“We are the first medical cannabis dispensary to pioneer this type of compassionate assistance for terminal patients in the State of Delaware,” Foraker said. “Michelle inspired this program through her legacy of kindness, compassion, as well as her strength in managing what she was enduring in her own terminal cancer. We’re excited to continue on that legacy for our patients.” 

Foraker said the program has already had a positive impact.

“We hear from patients on a regular basis how much this terminal illness program has impacted them in a positive way,” Foraker said. “Many of our terminal illness patients have elected to incorporate RSO, also known as Rick Simpson oil, into their terminal or palliative care management and have testified to the incredible benefits of adding not only RSO but also sativa products for daytime energy, CBD oils, topicals and tinctures, etc.”

RSO is made from a particular type of cannabis called cannabis indica, which produces a sedative effect said to help the body heal.

Patients who qualify for the Michelle Reed Terminal Illness Program are required to fill out a Terminal Illness Program application provided by FSC, have a doctor complete the physician portion of the application, and then return the application for review. 

For more information about the Michelle Reed Terminal Illness Program, call (302) 543-2100.

First State Compassion has been growing and dispensing medical marijuana in Delaware since 2014 and currently serves over 10,000 patients at its two locations in Wilmington and Lewes.

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