This article will outline how to go about finding a medical cannabis provider.
FINDING A PROVIDER:
You may want to approach your current physician to find out if he or she will provide you with a medical cannabis certification or referral to a specialist.
We understand this approach may not be the best solution based on your physician’s view on cannabis. Many federally funded health providers will not provide certifications.
We encourage you to share our site and Provider Information Sheet with providers so they may better understand the health benefits and regulations of medical marijuana.
Find a reputable doctor who specializes in medical marijuana, who adheres to State Law and complies with The American Academy of Cannabinoid Medicine’s requirements. The AACM provides doctors with guidelines of care.
Go to http://aacmsite.org.
QUESTIONS TO HELP YOU CHOOSE A PROVIDER
Who is the doctor I am seeing?
The practice should share the name of the provider with you.
Is he/she licensed and is his/her license in good standing?
You can look up a doctor’s license online to see if it is in good standing at your state medical board’s website.
Ask how much time you will spend with the doctor?
The AACM requires an initial visit to be a minimum of 45 minutes for cannabis evaluations. Most states require you to have a bona fide relationship with your doctor. The doctor must diagnose your condition, educate you on the risks and benefits of medical cannabis and have an ongoing role in your care and treatment.
Does the medical practice want to see your medical records at the time of visit?
Any reputable doctor will need to see medical records to diagnose you with a debilitating condition.
Does the doctor perform follow up visits?
To maintain a bona fide relationship and to have an ongoing role in your care, a doctor must perform follow up visits.
What overall feeling do you get from the medical practice?
Do you feel as if their primary concern is to help the patient get the most benefits from medical cannabis or is it to see as many patients as they can in an hour?
Many “cert mills” issue fraudulent certifications and do not stay in business for long, leaving their patients to find another provider at an additional expense.
By Dustin Sulak, DO