Over half the country, 29 states and D.C., have legalized some form of medical cannabis. These markets require a “medical marijuana” card or recommendation from a licensed doctor in that specific state in order for you to procure medical cannabis.
Getting a medical card may seem easy enough, but many doctors are reluctant to write a recommendation because they don’t know enough about the medical efficacy of the plant or fear of getting in trouble for recommending a Schedule 1 drug in the eyes of the federal government.
Some cannabis entrepreneurs recognize the need for more cannabis-friendly physicians and have created technology solutions that match a patient with a licensed doctor to determine whether a medical cannabis card may be a viable option for the patient.
This is all done online, from the convenience of your home or wherever you have an internet connection.
What is telemedicine?
Telemedicine isn’t just for medical cannabis. In fact, it’s been used for quite some time in a wide variety of medical applications.
According to Chiron Health, telemedicine is defined as “the use of electronic communications and software to provide clinical services to patients without an in-person visit. Telemedicine technology is frequently used for follow-up visits, management of chronic conditions, medication management, specialist consultation and a host of other clinical services that can be provided remotely via secure video and audio connections.”
The concept of telemedicine isn’t exactly a new one. Telemedicine began in the 1950s when doctors began using phones and fax machines to send charts and scans between a patient’s doctors.
Since then telemedicine has made giant strides, largely made possible by the spread of accessible internet in nearly every American household. Now people can talk to a therapist using an app on their smartphone, or get in touch with a specialist that they may not otherwise be able to see in person.
Telemedicine is widely accepted, so long as the provider uses licensed doctors and their technology is HIPAA compliant, protecting the privacy of your medical records.
Is it legal to use telemedicine to get your medical cannabis card?
Whether telemedicine is a viable option for you completely depends on the specific laws in your state.
Currently, the two main cannabis markets with telemedicine approval are California and New York, California being the largest.
Michigan also allows for telemedicine when it comes to medical cannabis, but there are few platforms that have extended their services to Michigan’s market. Nevada, perhaps the most unique cannabis market currently, allows for reciprocity. This means that a person visiting or living in Nevada can use a medical cannabis card from another state.
There are many legal platforms to use, especially in California. These include NuggMD, HelloMD, 420 Evaluations and Online Medical Card. If you are in New York, NuggMD will also work for you there. If you are in Michigan, try Online Medical Card. Prices will vary on all platforms.
If you aren’t sure whether a service is legal in your area, reach out to them directly or look into your state’s medical cannabis laws.