If you are in one of the states, I recommend is a checklist to figure out if you're in one of these states, how you can become a legal medical cannabis patient.
The first thing you're going to do is you're going to look in the law and see if the condition that you suffer from is included. This is a little ridiculous. Again, a lot of it is because of the politics. All of the medical cannabis laws, except for California, actually specify what a doctor can and cannot write a recommendation for medical cannabis for. This is very unlike pharmaceuticals where a doctor can write off-label and write it for anything he decides he wants to.
For cannabis, depending on what state you're in, that list is going to be very different. The first thing you do is look at that list if you're qualified and you can move on. If you don't have a qualifying condition, you can write a letter to the Department of Public Health of your state and ask them to include your condition. That's also something that's a ballgame because each of these state laws are adding conditions, so just because you're not eligible today doesn't mean you're not tomorrow.
If you do have a qualifying condition, the next thing you want to do is see if there is some special paperwork that your doctor has to fill out. Again, every state is different. Once you have the paperwork for your doctor, you may also want to look at other resources on our website about the condition that you want to talk to your doctor about. Chances are your doctor may be a little skeptical. It may take a couple of visits for him or her to understand that this is something that you want to use in your therapy. If your doctor is completely hesitant and just does not want to write a recommendation for you, he may say that the firm that he's a part of won't let him, she may say that it's the private practice she's a part of. A lot of this is just excuses and it isn't true. If you still want to move forward to try to get your recommendation, there are cannabis specialists in almost every medical cannabis state that are willing to see patients whose general practitioners are a little fearful of the issue.
If you're going to go to a cannabis specialist, it's our advice that you find out who the physician is that's on site. Ask them if that physician is going to see you, personally. And then, look up and make sure that that doctor is still in good standing. If it's a good clinic, they're going to want copies of your medical records. To save yourself a couple of visits, you may want to have those papers in hand when you go to that visit.
Once you have your doctor's recommendation, then you need to submit that to the state. You're still not quite a legal patient in those states. Most states require an authorization from the Department of Public Health. Once you get the letter from your doctor and you send in the fee for the identification card, the Department of Public Health will decide whether or not you qualify. They'll either send you a rejection letter or they'll send you a card or some type of identification saying that you are now a legal medical cannabis patient. Depending on what state you're in, that card is going to mean different things for you. Again, as a medical cannabis patient, it's important to know the laws and stay up to date on what's happening in the courts and in the legislature.