In most states* you’ll need to make an appointment with a doctor licensed in prescribing medical marijuana. You’ll also need to bring your medical records with you as well. I wish I could tell you exactly what to do and what to bring. However, since medical marijuana is still technically against federal law, every state that is legalizing it is left with making up their own rules. Which 100% of the time means lots of shenanigans and ridiculously confusing steps. I live in Maryland, so I’m going to speak only on what I know and that’s how to get your card in Maryland.
Making Your Appointment
First, I made an appointment with that specially licensed doctor. I chose Urbn Holistic in Urbana Maryland. I went with them based off of a good friend’s recommendation.
I get to Urbn Holistic and I am nervous because I know literally nothing about pot. I’ve never done it. I was so worried the doctor would see how nervous I was and deny me because I looked shady. I can talk all day about CBD, but the fully loaded products with THC and CBD in them? I was overwhelmed. But the staff at Urbn Holistic put me at ease. They were all so friendly and understanding.
In Maryland, they have a bunch of “qualifying” conditions that make you eligible to get your medical marijuana card. According to that list of conditions, I am qualified due to my: intense disabling pain, chronic headaches, migraines, asthma, anxiety, depression, arthritis, fibromyalgia, ADHD, and insomnia. And for some reason, I really thought they were going to deny me.
Be Honest With The Weed Doc
Okay, this is so important, but you need to be upfront with your doctor about all the reasons why you want to get your card. For me, I wanted my card because I am in so much pain daily but I do not want to be on Opioids. I am having major facial surgery in September and I want all my pain meds post-surgery to work as best they can. That means avoiding Opioids until then so that I don’t build up a tolerance to them.
I explained to the nice doctor that I have ZERO experience with weed and that I have pretty bad anxiety. The doctor reviewed my medical chart. Which was a print out from my online patient portal from my primary care physician, listing all my documented medical diagnoses. I also brought the most recent CT scan of my crumbling facial bones. He asked me a few questions about my anxiety and I answered them all honestly. I take medicine for it, no it’s not always under control, and yes I go to therapy for it.
Keeping that in mind, my doctor advised me on which strands to stay away from and which ones to try first. I got my written certification, now I need my license. In Maryland, you need a written certification and a license from the state as well. As soon as that came in the mail, I went to my local dispensary.
Become Buddy-Buddy With Your Budtender
I am lucky, a good friend of mine is a budtender (the person who works the counter at a medical marijuana dispensary), so I made sure he was there the first time I went. Jason (my buddy) knows all about my pain issues and even more than that, he knows what it’s like to be a pain patient. In fact, most if not all budtenders are medical marijuana patients themselves. That’s what makes these people so special, they get it.
I love my dispensary, it’s called Kannavis and it’s part medical marijuana dispensary and part CBD shop, called Kannavis Trading Co. You all know how much I love CBD, so clearly, I feel right at home browsing the shelves.
Outside of Kannavis and Kannavis Trading Co.
Inside Kannavis’ Dispensary.
I explained to Jason what I’m looking for: a magic product that will take away my pain but won’t leave me on my ass giggling and forgetting where my feet are. He directed me to about twenty products. Who knew there are so many ways to take marijuana? I bought a tincture I can put under my tongue, a salve I can put on my face, and a thing of mints for when I’m feeling super anxious. Yeah, cannabis mints, that’s a thing.
The People I’ve Encountered
You may be thinking that I’m constantly surrounded by “potheads” and people who clearly just want to get high legally and there’s nothing wrong with them, right? Well, that’s not only wrong, but it’s also offensive to the people like me who need these products and finally get to take them. I’ve been to pain management doctors. I have talked at length with my primary care doctor. There is no magical pill I can buy from the CVS pharmacy that can treat my pain effectively and leave me clear-headed. This IS medicine. Each product comes with a prescription label.
I saw mostly older people, baby boomers and older, at both the dispensary and when I went to Urbn Holistic to get evaluated. I’ve seen cancer patients who need all the benefits that cannabis has to offer. I’ve also seen people in wheelchairs, walkers, and braces. I see people. Everyday people.
Is medical marijuana the end all be all medicine for everyone? No. It’s not. It can help millions of people, but there is still a percentage of people that are allergic to it or that suffer from severe side effects. Some people just don’t want to take it. And that’s OK. In my opinion, it’s up to the comfort level of the patient to decide how to proceed with their health care.
Do you take medical marijuana? How was it getting certified for your license?
*Please look up the laws pertaining to your state. Every state is different with their medical marijuana program.