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Jointly Sidesteps Health Insurers to Provide Employees with Cannabis Benefits

For the company behind a popular app that shares cannabis user experiences, employee wellness begins at home.




Jointly’s app lets consumers share and learn from the experiences of other medical marijuana users. PHOTO CREDIT: JOINTLY

Cannabis is still federally defined as a Schedule 1 controlled substance with “no currently accepted medical use,” meaning no health insurers cover or supplement the costs of medical marijuana. Some large companies like Amazon have dropped cannabis testing for employees, but the big players in the insurance game still have their hands legally tied when it comes to offsetting cannabis costs for policy holders. To help right that oversight, cannabis wellness company Jointly announced in March it will be one of the first companies to offer an employee wellness benefit that includes health coverage for cannabis consumption.

Jointly, which offers consumers a user experience-based cannabis product rating platform, will reimburse employees up to $150 per month for lawful purchases of cannabis products. The cannabis benefit is seen by the company as breaking ground for retaining and attracting top talent in the cannabis industry. Employees may also choose reimbursement for traditional wellness-related expenses like gym memberships and yoga classes.

“This new benefit, developed with our legal, tax and HR advisors, provides employees with a budget to pursue better well being, with the option of including purposeful cannabis consumption. This first-of-its-kind program is not only aligned with Jointly’s core mission and beliefs, but also helps break the stigma and start a new conversation around cannabis and wellness,” Jointly co-founder and CEO Eric Gutshall said.

Jointly’s announcement comes as record-high levels of Americans support legalizing marijuana, per polling. For a company created on the premise that cannabis consumption is the key to unlocking a better life, the wellness benefit is a natural extension of its philosophy, Nutshell said. Cannabis wellness enthusiasts use the Jointly app to share their impressions of products and to track their own roads to wellness. Jointly claims it is the industry’s first—and only—experience-based wellness app for purposeful cannabis consumption.

“Jointly’s mission is to help people reach their full potential through purposeful cannabis consumption, and our company leadership is putting their money where their mouth is. This reinforces how dedicated our leadership team is to the Jointly mission, and the value they place on the wellness of the employees,” Jointly database operations lead Caitlin Leary said.

Jointly was founded in 2018 by Gutshall and CEO David Kooi. Since launching its consumer app in early 2020, consumers have tracked over 200,000 cannabis experiences and rated tens of thousands of legal cannabis products in pursuit of well-being and product performance according to the company. Jointly’s data-sharing platform was developed with the input of medical professionals, physicians and budtenders. To simplify and pinpoint the benefits of individual strains and products, Gutshall and Kooi created the Jointly Method, which focuses on the top 12 reasons why people use cannabis and 15 factors that can impact their experience.


“We know that cannabis makes you more, not less. People are realizing that cannabis is not about getting high. We use cannabis to focus, enhance our creativity, relax after a stressful day, energize our minds, or get a great night’s sleep,” Kooi said. “Jointly is creating a new way of thinking about cannabis wellness. We are on a mission to provide people with the tools, resources, and inspiration to reach their full potential through purposeful cannabis consumption. Why not start with our employees? We hope to see other businesses follow suit by adopting this benefit.”

Brad Cheng is the digital editor of Global Cannabis Times, produced by SmartWork Media. Brad's journalism career spans working as an editor for PR Newswire, The Nation and The Santa Barbara News Press, and as Managing Editor of The Katy Courier, and publisher of Now This in Princeton. His career as a screenwriter took him into entertainment advertising, writing major film campaigns for studios and for HBO.



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