Medical Cannabis Referrals

Medical cannabis is legal for patients to use for a variety of conditions and symptoms. While this legalization has opened up many new doors in medical practice, it also creates a challenge for healthcare providers, who often lack adequate knowledge about the drug. Only nine percent of medical schools offer curriculum about medical cannabis, and eighty percent of physicians say they need more training. In addition, some medical institutions have policies that prohibit physicians from recommending medical cannabis to their patients. Further, patients with medical cannabis licenses could face employment issues if they fail drug screening tests for employment. The state's medical marijuana program includes a list of about 1,000 practitioners, but there is not a complete list. New York has five licensed manufacturers and 20 dispensaries throughout the state. Some doctors are willing to refer patients to a doctor if they believe that the substance can be beneficial to their condition. Obtaining a patient's certification is an important step. The patient's PCP can help them apply for a license to purchase medical marijuana, but patients do not have to use the same doctor to obtain this certification. Once the certification is in place, the patient will receive a new patient ID card with an expiration date on it. The ID card will allow the patient to buy medical marijuana from dispensaries. Patients can also book appointments for consultations without a doctor's referral. If they do not have a family doctor, they can also consult with a physician who specializes in cannabis. These specialists are also able to offer patients a comprehensive treatment program with marijuana.