Despite medicalization and legalization of marijuana use, factors influencing demand for marijuana among persons living with HIV (PLWH) are incompletely understood. This knowledge gap undermines effective clinical management and policies. This study used demand curve simulation methods to address these issues.
Marijuana-using PLWH (N = 119) completed experimental tasks to simulate amount of marijuana purchasing/use across different costs (money or time), and likelihood of reselling marijuana or marijuana therapeutic-use registration card in relation to profits. Additional simulations assessed purchasing of marijuana relative to other drug and non-drug goods.
Simulated marijuana use decreased as money and time costs increased. Consumption was greater for participants with more severe Cannabis Use Disorder (CUD) and anxiety, intermediate pain levels, and past 90-day opioid use. Whereas few participants chose to sell their registration card, marijuana resale (diversion) steeply increased with profit. Likelihood of seeking marijuana therapeutic-use certification decreased in relation to registration card money cost, having to visit more physicians to get a signature, and delay to receiving the card, and increased with duration of certification. Participants who reported recent opioid use were more likely to seek certification. Consumption of several commodities assessed was independent of marijuana.
Simulated marijuana use was related to participants’ clinical profile (CUD, anxiety and pain symptoms, recent opioid use), and unrelated to purchasing other goods. Likelihood of seeking marijuana therapeutic-use registration was affected by several types of costs and recent opioid use. Participants were unlikely to divert registration cards. We discuss clinical and policy implications of these findings.

Copyright © 2021. Published by Elsevier B.V.