We have no doubt about the benefits that medical cannabis has on various illnesses and diseases. There is good evidence in robust human clinical trials that cannabis is of benefit for a variety of ailments whether they be physical, mental, or social.
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KANSAS CITY, Mo. —
This week, Missouri will begin accepting applications for medical marijuana patients.
Recently, clinics providing doctor certification have sprouted up across the state.
Missouri Cannabis Clinic is a month old, but it is getting dozens of calls a day from patients wanting medical marijuana certification.
“These are people who have been lifelong sufferers of chronic pain or different mental illnesses,” Darby Cook, the clinic’s founder, said.
Cook has lived in Missouri for the past couple of years, but previously lived with her family in Michigan, where medical marijuana is legal. She said her parents had to drive a long distance to find any clinic that would certify them.
That’s what motivated her to start the clinic in Raytown.
“It was really, really difficult to find a doctor who would go anywhere near it,” she said.
Getting a patient card is a two-step process. First, a doctor who is licensed as either a doctor of medicine or a doctor of osteopathic medicine has to certify that a patient has one of 10 conditions. Then, that certification is used in a state application along with a $25 fee for a patient ID card.
Lyndall Fraker oversees the state’s medical marijuana regulation for the Department of Health and Senior Services.
“Times they are a-changing, and this is the next cycle of cultural shift in our state,” Fraker said.
The final option for doctors to certify patients is “any other chronic, debilitating or other medical condition.” Fraker said clinics are not for accepting a made-up doctor’s note.
“The industry is leaving this up to the professional doctors, the ones that have the training,” he said. “It’s their license on the line.
Cook said the clinic requires medical records and they’re an option when normal providers won’t certify. For instance, veterans can’t be certified through the Veterans Administration since it’s federally criminalized.
“We had a patient drive all the way from Columbia because they couldn’t find a doctor in their area,” Cook said.
According to the site, the Kansas City area alone has eight clinics
providing certifications for medical marijuana patients. There are six more across the state.
Fraker said the state’s hotline for questions has been blowing up, but he is encouraging people to continue calling.
“I would just suggest they do their research,” Fraker said. “It can be abused or it can be done right.”
Missouri Cannabis Clinic charges about $200 for certification. That includes the state’s $25 card fee.
The clinic’s biggest tip is to get medical records in advance.
Those with patient cards likely won’t be able to buy medical marijuana until January. The state isn’t providing cultivation or dispensary licenses until the fall and all of the marijuana has to be grown in Missouri.
This article was first published on https://www.cannabisimp.com.