Irrespective of which state you live in if you want to apply for a medical marijuana card you are going need to go through your state’s application process. While some states have an easier process than others, most states have the same requirements.
One of those crucial steps that most people fear is the medical marijuana evaluation process.
What Is a Medical Marijuana Evaluation?
A medical marijuana evaluation is a process that is mandatory in most states. It is 30 minute on average and will require you to answer a few different questions in regards to your medical condition.
Following your medical evaluation, the evaluating doctor will decide whether or not you are a suitable candidate for medical marijuana treatment and accordingly issue you a medical marijuana recommendation.
What to Bring to Your Marijuana Evaluation?
First and foremost, a smile. Apart from needing to have a qualifying condition, it is important to remember that you are sitting in front of a person that can change your life. For the better or the worse. Be polite and clear in regards to why you are applying for your medical card. No one likes an unfriendly patient sitting in front of them with an attitude. Trust us; it makes a whole lot of difference.
Also, don’t forget to bring to your evaluation the following:
- Government ID (proving that you are a resident of the state). If you don’t have a state ID, then make sure you bring with a utility bill proving residency.
- Medical records. Whether you are having a physical evaluation or an online one, your doctor will need to understand your exact medical condition and why you are applying for a medical marijuana card. These documents may include: prescriptions, x-ray/MRI results, worker’s compensation, and/or disability paperwork.
What Does Happen During the Medical Marijuana Evaluation?
When you arrive for your visit, you will be asked to fill out a patient intake packet. If you are conducting your evaluation online, then you will probably have to fill in a few forms before you see your doctor. During the evaluation, the doctor will review your condition and perform any necessary tests. Don’t be surprised if your doctor asks many different questions in regards to your daily lifestyle, health, and treatments that you are currently taking.
The physician will outline a treatment plan, discuss the side effects of medical marijuana, risks, and benefits of cannabis treatment and in some circumstances arrange a follow-up visit.
Once the evaluation is complete, your doctor will ask if you have any questions about the process or the benefits of medical marijuana. Ask as many questions as you like. Tip – It is important to show the doctor that you fully understand the implications of using medical marijuana, why you are taking it, and why you think it will help your condition. This is an important part of the process, so do it wisely otherwise you may not be approved.
Once it is clear that you understand the doctor, you will receive your medical marijuana recommendation.
Got Your Recommendation, Can You Purchase Medical Marijuana?
It depends. Each state has it’s own rules and laws. In specific states like California, a medical marijuana recommendation allows you to purchase cannabis from any licensed dispensary legally. In other states, it is simply not enough. You will be required to send your recommendation and medical records to the state’s relevant office to obtain your medical marijuana card.
Why Do I Need a Medical Card if I Have a Recommendation?
In states where a medical marijuana card is mandatory to purchase medical weed, the answer is obvious. In states where the recommendation permits you to buy cannabis, it is advised to still apply for a medical marijuana card. An approved 420 card with photo identification card shows a dispensary or a law enforcement official that you are legally able to possess and use medical marijuana. A medical marijuana card acts as an additional layer of protection if the wrong people question you. Just remember that medical marijuana is still illegal and is classed as a scheduled 1 drug on a Federal level. Therefore having a card guarantees that you won’t be hassled for smoking your medical marijuana, at least not legally.
Can You Ask Your Doctor Where to Buy Weed?
No. It’s best to focus on the medical aspects of marijuana and how it can benefit your condition rather than where you can purchase it. Licensed doctors are forbidden in most states to recommend dispensaries, and they will not jeopardize their practice in doing so. Now that you understand the procedure and what will happen when you come in for your evaluation, here are 5 tips for improving your chances of having a successful session with your marijuana doctor:
1) ARRIVE WITH RELEVANT DOCUMENTS
Bring copies of medical records related to your condition or symptoms. Explaining to your doctor is one thing, but showing him proof of your condition is another thing and will significantly improve your chances of getting a recommendation.
2) REMEMBER IT’S MEDICAL NOT RECREATIONAL
Don’t come out with statements like; ” I need it to ease the pain or combat my stress after a long day at work.” Other weird sentences include; “Work is a bitch, and it could help” or “We gonna get high.” Remember that you are talking to a professional who values marijuana for its medical healing properties. Have a solid case and know your terminology. Address the evaluation like a professional.
3) DON’T HOLD BACK
If it is medical related, then let your doctor know of your condition. Try to be as thorough as possible and explain why you believe medical marijuana can help. It is also best to do some research as you might encounter a doctor who is not as familiar with your condition as others. He/she might be reluctant to approve your medical marijuana treatment. Having a few names of journals or specific cases that have been discussed in the news and prove that medical marijuana can assist with, might also sometimes help.
4) DON’T FORGET TO SAY ‘THANKS’
Depending on your doctor, some will immediately tell you if you qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation, while other doctors will give you an answer after the evaluation process is finished. If you are using an online service like those that serve many California patients, then you will often get a reply to your email or through the service’s platform after you’ve finished your evaluation. Try to leave a good impression and always be courteous and polite. No doctor likes a rude person who doesn’t appreciate his/her time. Make an effort to say thanks. Sometimes all it takes is a smile and some good manners to get the answer you’ve been so long waiting for.