The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) released patient card applications on June 4th, and will begin processing those applications a month later on July 4th. A key part of the application is the doctor certification. Here are three tips to keep in mind as you look for the right medical marijuana doctor.
Pick a Professional Clinic
Since many health professionals know little about cannabis, most patients turn to a clinic that specializes in medical marijuana to get their cannabis certification. These types of clinics are great options, but make sure you pick a professional, organized one.
Clinics can get in trouble with DHSS if they do not keep appropriate records. A clinic that’s been flagged for this type of behavior could reflect poorly on your application. Also, clinics that do not keep appropriate records are likely taking shortcuts in other areas too, such as overcharging patients or giving patients little to no one-on-one time with the physician.
When you’re scouting out a clinic, scour their website: did someone put time and effort into creating it? Do they link to news stories or patient testimonies that can vouch for them? Is there evidence of patient advocacy in the form of a blog, FAQ page, or pictures? After examining the website, pick up the phone and call. Does their greeting/voicemail message sound professional and reference the clinic’s name? Do they return your call in a timely fashion? 24-48 hours is typical in the medical field. Ask the representative to walk you through the process of getting a card. Inquire as to what kind of support staff they have. Clinics with nurses, pharmacists, or health technicians onsite are typically more reputable.
2. Do Your Research
After you’ve vetted the clinic as a professional and organized operation, you’re still not ready to make an appointment just yet. Continue to do your research into the less obvious aspects of the business. Is there adequate parking? The last thing you want is to end up parking blocks away from the clinic because it has no onsite parking available. Some patients may need to ask about handicap accessibility. What are the clinic’s hours? Some will offer weekday appointments only, but others may have more flexibility. Missouri Cannabis Clinic, for instance, is open solely on the weekends for our patients’ convenience.
3. Look for Promotional Deals
Holidays like Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Black Friday, and the winter season are known for their great deals when it comes to retail sales. To stay competitive, more and more clinics are offering similar sales on certain holidays - especially those that are cannabis affiliated (looking at you, April 20th). If you are able to wait and plan your visit around one of these holidays, it may be worth it for monetary reasons.
Similarly, more and more clinics are offering steep discounts to veterans and active military. Some are also offering discounted appointments to patients who return to their clinic for their annual recertification. Missouri Cannabis Clinic, for example, offers a $60 discount to patients who return to us for their recertification.
Learn more here about getting your medical marijuana card!