Medical cannabis is legal in 33 states. In November, voters in an additional five states will be asked to decide on cannabis legislation. As these changes spread across the country, more and more people are seeking medical cannabis cards.
However, not everyone has the ability or the inclination to visit a doctor in-person. And during the pandemic, people are becoming more familiar and comfortable with telehealth due to safety.
To service these patients, telehealth practices have emerged within the cannabis industry. You can now apply for and receive a legal, state-recognized medical card in many states without leaving your living room.
Here’s what you need to know.
Requirements Differ by State
Before you can apply for a medical cannabis card in any state, you need to get a doctor’s recommendation. The doctor needs to assert that, in their medical opinion, you would benefit from medical cannabis therapy. Armed with this recommendation, you can complete the state’s application process.
The general process is the same in every state but the specifics differ. In California, for example, enrollment in its Medical Marijuana Identification Card Program (MMICP) is optional. You only need a doctor’s recommendation to receive medical patient benefits at dispensaries.
If you need help finding a cannabis doctor, there are many online sources to help you, including your state’s Department of Health web site (for example, see this list for NY state) and other online search tools. Many physicians now offer telehealth appointments due to COVID-19.
A few online services take the guesswork out of getting your card entirely. For example, at NuggMD, which operates in six states, California residents can get a valid recommendation online for $39. You can connect to a doctor via video chat within minutes.
In Nevada, however, patients need to pay $79 and be prepared to wait at least a few days. Before you can be considered a medical cannabis patient, you’ll need a state-issued card as well as a doctor’s recommendation. However, the process is entirely online.
Heally is another option for telehealth, which operates across 18 states. In addition to helping you get your card online, they provide additional resources and sell hemp-extracted cannabidiol (CBD) on their site for you and your furry friends.
Patient Testimony Is Paramount
The most significant difference between getting your medical cannabis card online and in-person is that when your appointment is virtual, the doctor can only rely on your testimony. They cannot perform a physical examination.
For many, the numerous benefits outweigh this disadvantage.
We recommend doing additional research to better understand what works best for you and your health needs.
Image Credit: Marijana1