Many people are nervous or afraid of going into a doctor’s office and asking them, “I think I’d benefit from a medical marijuana card. What do you think, and will you help me get one?” Yet it needn’t be so difficult, and you can easily get one in several minutes and with less difficulty than you might think at first.
Getting A Medical Cannabis Card
Here’s how to get a medical marijuana card, and what to expect from the consultation…
Picking the Right Doctor
Many people may feel awkward going to their primary care physician and talking about medical cannabis. “What if they let it slip to another member of my family?” “What if they just try to shove me off with another bunch of pills, or treat me like a drug addict?” “What if they disapprove?” Then there’s the fact that many cannabis-friendly doctors are difficult to reach, or might be based in areas you’d prefer not to go to.
Thanks to telehealth, all you have to do nowadays is get online (preferably somewhere private), register your email, enter a virtual waiting room and then be seen by a physician. Should you qualify, you will get a medical marijuana recommendation in your inbox within minutes. You will likely also get a hard copy of your recommendation in the post as well. You are usually only charged if your application is successful, but this depends upon the doctor.
Some people might prefer to see a doctor in-the- flesh, especially for first-time appointments. This is not at all a problem, and some doctors usually allow walk-ins, too, wherever possible. Booking ahead is probably best in most cases, though, and can save you from waiting in long queues.
Recommendation or Card?
All you need to start going to dispensaries is a recommendation letter, which will be a sheet of paper containing: your name, date, patient ID number, expiration date, a doctor’s signature and a way to confirm the recommendation letter’s legitimacy. You need this recommendation letter in order to register with dispensaries, who will take the information from your recommendation and run it through a database to check the recommendation is genuine.
Though only the recommendation is technically necessary, getting a proper MMJ card, as it legitimizes you as a medical marijuana patient and law enforcement officers cannot as easily question the legitimacy of a valid card as they can with a recommendation letter. There is still a chance of potentially receiving a citation and having to defend your recommendation in court. Getting a MMJ card will likely save you lots of hassle.
What Will the Doctor Ask Me?
About your health and how you’re feeling, of course! They will ask about details of your condition/s and what medications you are being prescribed for it (if any). Should you have medical records or diagnosis documentation proving your condition to hand, feel free to show them – this will likely make your application for a recommendation more robust evidence-wise, as well as making your application run more smoothly.
Once your condition is confirmed and the doctor assessing you for medical marijuana knows that cannabis won’t clash with any of your other medications, they can recommend you. Remember, though: it’s a recommendation, not a prescription. As cannabis is a Schedule I drug, a doctor cannot legally prescribe cannabis.
What Do I Need to Bring?
Valid, state-issued ID (e.g. driver’s license, passport), proof of address (e.g. bank statement, lease, utility bill) and any medical documentation supporting your diagnosis (e.g. physician’s letter, medical records, test results, list of current prescriptions etc.).
How Long Does the Consultation Usually Take?
About 10-15 minutes, usually. Of course, some more complex cases might take longer, but consultations are often fast, simple and stress-free for most people. More often than not, the feeling at the end of a consultation is, “That was easier than I thought! What was I so afraid of?”
Should you feel you would benefit from medical marijuana, come and talk to me today or as soon as possible! Feel free to email me any stories of how cannabis has helped you control your condition as well – we love learning more about this amazing plant, and there is still so much research to be done.