In order to get a prescription for medicinal cannabis, you need to find a doctor who will sign your forms and certify you for a medical cannabis card. Although medical marijuana doctors are your one-way ticket to getting this alternative herbal treatment, there are some things to consider before you contact your family doctor hoping to get a prescription or a referral. Check out the three top things you should know about medical marijuana doctors below.
1. Right to Refuse
Physicians are the only persons, other than nurse practitioners, who are authorized to prescribe cannabis for medical purposes. However, this does not mean that all doctors must prescribe the treatment when asked. Many doctors are refusing to sign the forms, either because they are opposed to cannabis as a treatment, are unconvinced about its therapeutic benefits due to lack of research, or they do not feel they are qualified to prescribe it. The doctor who prescribes your medical cannabis is the person who will decide your eligibility, your dosage, and your length of treatment. Physicians are often hesitant to prescribe it because they lack experience and knowledge when it comes to these factors of the therapy. Thus, it can be difficult to find a medical marijuana doctor in your area who is willing, experienced, and authorized to sign your forms and get you on your way to your new therapy.
2. Special Clinics
If your primary physician refuses to give you a medical cannabis prescription, don’t despair. Although it is his right to refuse the treatment, there are medical marijuana doctors out there who are pro-cannabis as treatment and who will happily help you feel relief with marijuana when no other treatment options have helped. These medical marijuana doctors typically make it well known that they advocate for the medicine, which will make your search easier. Some of these physicians have opened up medical marijuana clinics—and these clinics are popping up at an ever-increasing rate. Doctors with medical practices at clinics with “herbal,” “wellness,” or “organic” in their names are also more likely to be inclined to see the medicinal benefits of alternative treatments like cannabis and sign your forms.
Though it is up to the physician to choose to prescribe medical cannabis or not as well as the eligibility of your claim and the length and dosage that you will receive, medical marijuana doctors still have to act within some guidelines set forth through their respected boards of medicine. The process isn’t as simply as going to see a doctor, asking for a prescription, and having it handed to you. These doctors will still need to evaluate you, get your medical history, and confirm a diagnosis for an eligible condition. You will also have to discuss with the physician what other traditional treatments you have tried in an attempt to reduce the symptoms and how well they did or did not work for you. What’s more, medical marijuana doctors can opt for prescribing oral cannabinoids rather than dried cannabis if they feel that it’s the best route.
Getting in touch with a medical marijuana doctor is a great first step to getting on the path to the all-natural, herbal cannabis treatment. However, keep these three things in mind before you go searching for a doctor: they do not have to prescribe you marijuana and they have strict guidelines to follow. But if you’re having a hard time finding a family physician that with sign your medical marijuana forms, you will likely have better luck searching at specialty medical marijuana clinics.