Currently, there are 33 states along with D.C. that have implemented programs for either medical or recreational marijuana. It is estimated that there are nearly three million individuals in the United States who are registered as medical marijuana patients, with California representing about one-third of that number. When seeking an MMJ (Medical Marijuana) card, the usual procedure involves registering with the state’s program and paying a fee.
Additionally, it is necessary to consult with a doctor for an evaluation regarding the use of medical marijuana. During this evaluation, the physician will discuss your medical condition and determine whether you meet the criteria to be a suitable candidate for medicinal marijuana. The purpose of this guide is to assist you in successfully navigating through the process of marijuana evaluations.
What Is a Medical Marijuana Evaluation?
A licensed physician is consulted as part of the medicinal marijuana review process. A special appointment needs to be scheduled. No matter where you reside, you must first obtain a doctor’s recommendation before applying for an MMJ card, and this recommendation cannot be obtained without an examination. An expert in medicine evaluates your candidature as part of the procedure.
To determine your eligibility, the doctor looks through your medical background and asks you a few questions. You could be required to provide proof that you currently meet the requirements.
You can do the entire evaluation online in some places, like California! Not even leaving your house is necessary. After acceptance, you receive your MMJ card as usual through the mail. These firms do offer a temporary “digital” card, though. Theoretically, minutes after passing your test, you can purchase marijuana.
What Are the Qualifying Medical Conditions?
The specific medical conditions that qualify for an MMJ card recommendation may vary depending on the state’s marijuana program. However, the following health issues are generally considered valid reasons to receive an MMJ card:
– Terminal Illness
– Severe pain or nausea
– Seizures, including those related to epilepsy
– Alzheimer’s disease
– Crohn’s disease
– Parkinson’s disease
– Hepatitis C
– Severe or persistent muscle spasms
– Multiple sclerosis
– Ulcerative colitis
There are additional conditions that may also qualify, but it’s advisable to review the qualifying conditions specific to your state. In some states, doctors have some flexibility in evaluating patients for MMJ.
For instance, in California, individuals with any chronic or persistent medical symptom that significantly limits their ability to perform major life activities could potentially be eligible for an MMJ card.
We have come across instances where patients using medical marijuana have been approved for unexpected reasons. Here are several medical conditions related to marijuana use that might catch you off guard:
– Experiencing a cough
– Dependence on cocaine
– Being overweight or obese
– Struggling with alcoholism
– Having color blindness
– Dealing with post-concussion syndrome
– Suffering from amblyopic dyslexia
– Battling agoraphobia
– Experiencing episodes of mania
– Being affected by writer’s cramp
Where to Go for a Medical Marijuana Evaluation
You should be able to locate a medical marijuana examination facility in the majority of states. Thanks to the wonders of contemporary technology, you can locate a qualified doctor online.
Numerous websites let you enter your address and display the closest place that fits your needs. By completing the HIPPA compliant patient-intake form on some websites, you can make an appointment request. The chosen provider then gets in touch with you to set up the appointment.
Unfortunately, not all states have a wide range of cannabis patient evaluation centers available. If you live in a non-urban area, you might have to drive more than 50 miles to find a suitable doctor. It is advisable to read reviews of a center and look for comments indicating that the physician is likely to approve you.
We strongly advise caution when searching for an MMJ doctor to avoid falling for scams involving fake marijuana cards. For instance, in Maryland, there were scammers who falsely claimed they could ‘pre-approved’ patients before the program even began. Remember, only a licensed doctor listed on your state’s physician registry can legally approve your application.
The process for doctors is not always straightforward. In some states, they need to apply with the Department of Health and complete a training program. Additionally, be wary of any physician who claims they can prescribe medical marijuana, as it is still federally illegal. Legally, you can only obtain cannabis from a licensed dispensary.
What to Expect During a Medical Marijuana Evaluation
Upon your arrival, you will need to complete a patient intake packet. If your medical marijuana consultation takes place online, you will be required to fill out a few forms prior to your doctor’s appointment. During the evaluation, the doctor will assess your condition and conduct any necessary tests. The doctor will probably inquire about various aspects of your daily life, health, and current treatments.
Regrettably, it is probable that you will only receive approval if you have already attempted other medications. In such cases, the physician might suggest trying opioid painkillers and advise you to return in 30 days if they prove ineffective. At this point, you have the choice to comply or decline and seek assistance from another provider.
Upon completion of the evaluation, your doctor will ask if you have any questions about the process. It is beneficial to inquire about the benefits of medical marijuana in a way that avoids sounding like a recreational user. It is crucial to demonstrate to the doctor that you comprehend the implications of using medical marijuana fully.
You must also be aware of the reasons for taking it and why you believe it will aid your condition. This aspect of the process is vital, so exercise caution; otherwise, approval may be withheld.
Once it is evident that you grasp the process, it is likely that you will receive a medical marijuana doctor’s recommendation.
Practice Active Listening
During the evaluation, actively listen to your doctor’s instructions, recommendations, and concerns. Engage in meaningful dialogue and address any doubts or questions you may have. Demonstrating attentive listening skills will foster a positive doctor-patient relationship and ensure you receive the necessary guidance for your medical marijuana journey.
Follow-Up and Compliance
If your doctor suggests alternative treatments or additional tests before providing a recommendation, be proactive in following through with their recommendations. Show your commitment to exploring all available options and demonstrate your willingness to comply with their professional advice.
To obtain an MMJ card in states where medical marijuana is permitted, you must be approved. It is an authorized method of using cannabis to treat a medical condition.
If not, you are breaking the law and could face jail time and a large fine. It makes sense to get an MMJ card even in states where marijuana may be bought recreationally because it can help you save a tonne of money on taxes.