Are dispensaries cash only?
Yes. Because marijuana is still federally illegal, there are many banking limitations. At this time payments cannot be processed using credit cards. Some dispensaries do take debit cards.
How much does an appointment cost?
Initial appointment: $199. This covers our initial exam, recommendation and your six month follow up appointment to ensure continuity of care. There is a $50 non-refundable fee for appointments not canceled within 24 hours of the appointment. If you are not certified and your information is accurate on your intake form, you will be refunded the $199 minus the $50.
Renewal appointment: $100. This cost also includes a six month follow up appointment. There is a $50 non-refundable fee for appointments not canceled within 24 hours of the appointment. If you are not certified and your information is accurate on your intake form, you will be refunded the $149 minus the $50.
Returning Patients: $50. When you become a patient with Cannabis Care Consultants, we follow you for a year after your appointment and hopefully for years to come. Our doctors want to continually evaluate your condition and discuss how medical marijuana has been helping or not helping. So if you certified or renewed your card with Cannabis Care Consultants last year, your appointments for years to come are only $50. Stop doctor shopping and join the Cannabis Care Consultants family today!
Follow up appointment: We recommend a follow up visit at 6 months which is included in the yearly consultation cost. Follow up appointments an essential aspect of good medical care.
Can I go to a dispensary before my card arrives?
No. Patients need a state issued medical marijuana card to enter dispensaries. To get a card, patients must have a qualifying condition, register with the state, and obtain a recommendation from a registered medical marijuana physician. This is were Cannabis Care Consultants can help. Once certified by a physician, the state will issue the medical marijuana patient card needed to enter and purchase marijuana from a dispensary. You cannot go to a dispensary before your card arrives.
Where do I start? How does the Medical Marijuana Program work?
Medical marijuana is sold at dispensaries located throughout the state. To enter, you must have a Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Patient Card and a valid Pennsylvania ID such as a driver's license.
To qualify for a medical marijuana card, you must be a resident of Pennsylvania and have at least one of the 23 qualifying serious medical conditions. The Pennsylvania department of health issues the medical marijuana patient cards that are required to purchase medical marijuana.
Thus, you must register with the department of health medical marijuana program. Your information is private and protected. The state will not share your information with JNET, the state background check network. Law enforcement and employers cannot verify a patient's participation in the program.
Once registered, you need schedule an appointment with a medical marijuana physician at Cannabis Care Consultants who will discuss your condition and determine if you may benefit from medical marijuana. The physician will create a certificate in the department of health website.
Once certified by the physician, you must return to your account at the Pennsylvania department of health and pay the state fee ($50) and the state will mail you your card. This takes 1-3 weeks to process.
Once you have your card, you may go to a medical marijuana dispensary. Don't be alarmed by the armed guards at the door, it is a normal safety measure at most dispensaries. Usually during your first visit you will consult with the dispensary pharmacist or technician about your medical conditions and the products available. They can answer many of your questions. We recommend that you keep a journal and document how you feel in order to find what works best for you. A great advantage of medical marijuana is the ability to choose products that work for you.
How long does it take to get a medical card?
If approved, our doctors certify patients registered with the PA Medical Marijuana Program during their appointment. Patients must complete the process by then paying the state $50 fee. Once paid, the state will issue your card and mail it to you. This can take 1-3 weeks.
What should I expect at my appointment?
After you schedule your appointment, you will receive email reminders with a link to your telehealth appointment. A few minutes before your appointment, click the link and wait for your doctor to join. During your appointment, the doctor will:
- review your medical history and perform a relevant physical exam.
- review any medical records and diagnostic tests provided.
- discuss advantages, disadvantages, alternatives, potential adverse effects and expected response to treatment.
- help you understand how medical marijuana can treat your medical condition.
After the appointment, your doctor will monitor the response to treatment and any adverse effects - a follow up appointment is included in your consultation fee.
What happens after my appointment? Where do I go? What do I buy?
During your exam, if you qualify, your physician will IMMEDIATELY add you to the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Registry. This is why you must register with the Pennsylvania Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program prior to your appointment.
To get your card and begin treatment, you must then return to your Pennsylvania Department of Health Medical Marijuana Program account and pay a fee to the state. Patients who receive Medicaid, PACE/ PACENET, CHIP, SNAP and WIC are eligible to have the required $50 annual fee issued by the dept. of health to be reduced to $25. The state will then mail your card. This may take up to 21 business days.
Once you have your card, visit a medical marijuana dispensary in Pennsylvania and begin your journey to relief. Schedule a consultation with a pharmacist at your dispenary to discuss which strains of cannabis will best treat your condition.
Do doctors prescribe marijuana?
Medical marijuana is not prescribed. It is available at dispensaries where educated pharmacists/consultants can advise patients on the various strains of cannabis that are available. Our team of Pennsylvania registered medical marijuana physicians can certify you for a medical card if you have an approved condition and the doctor determines you may benefit from medical marijuana.
Do I have be concerned about any privacy issues if I receive an evaluation or recommendation?
No, your physicians visit is protected under the privacy laws of HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act). The only individuals who will have access to your records are those who you choose to share those records with.
What is your refund policy?
We aim to be as transparent as possible with our refund policy. It is as follows:
- Cancel within 24 hours before your appointment — 100% refund. Reschedule/no-show/cancel appointment less than 24 hours prior – $50 fee.
- If your intake information is accurate and you are not certified, a refund will be issued minus the non-refundable $50 deposit. If the physician finds that the information provided has been falsified/is not accurate and does not issue a certification, a refund will not be issued.
Once a certification is issued after your exam, our services are non-refundable in any way.
Does a medical marijuana card protect you from drug testing in the workplace?
Cannabis and the Workplace
Despite medical cannabis being legal in 33 states, it is still federally illegal. However, legality is not necessarily the issue. Employers have both an economic as well liability stake in ensuring that employees are not intoxicated at work. While a company can fire an employee for being intoxicated with alcohol on the job, determining whether an employee is using marijuana on the job is more difficult. Unlike alcohol, if a drug test is positive it is very difficult to determine if that is a result of usage during work. Therefore, it is just easier to have a zero-tolerance policy on using drugs. That said, employees have a right to medically legal therapies. This has placed many employers, especially those with a zero-tolerance policy on using drugs in a precarious situation. While some states have protection for medical cannabis patients and some courts have ruled in favor of employees fired for using medical marijuana, because marijuana is federally illegal companies can maintain their policies. Understanding that using marijuana does not equate to poor performance some companies have stopped pre-employment testing or eased up on zero-tolerance policies. Still, federal laws require substance testing for certain employees such as truck drivers, federal agencies, or companies with federal contracts.
So what to do? If your company has a drug policy, you can be terminated for using marijuana even if it is legal in your state. Pennsylvania does protect medical marijuana patients and caregivers from employers from firing or threatening to fire or discriminating or retaliating against an employee just because the individual is certified to use medical marijuana. However, Pennsylvania does not currently have any protections for medical marijuana users whose employers require drug testing as a requirement for employment or who may be terminated from their job if they test positive for marijuana. Some patients claiming medical necessity have been successful in court, but others have not. That is something you have to determine is worth pursuing. It is a perplexing situation for both employers who want to protect their business but also stay competitive by hiring the best candidates who might use marijuana as well as employees who want to work but also rely on medical marijuana to treat their serious medical condition.
What conditions qualify for a medical cannabis recommendation?
There are 23 qualifying conditions in Pennsylvania:
- Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.
- Anxiety disorders.
- Cancer, including remission therapy.
- Crohn’s disease.
- Damage to the nervous tissue of the central nervous system (brain-spinal cord) with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity, and other associated neuropathies.
- Dyskinetic and spastic movement disorders.
- HIV / AIDS.
- Huntington’s disease.
- Inflammatory bowel disease.
- Intractable seizures.
- Multiple sclerosis.
- Neurodegenerative diseases.
- Opioid use disorder for which conventional therapeutic interventions are contraindicated or ineffective, or for which adjunctive therapy is indicated in combination with primary therapeutic interventions.
- Parkinson’s disease.
- Post-traumatic stress disorder.
- Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain.
- Sickle cell anemia.
- Terminal illness.
- Tourette syndrome.
Am I guaranteed to receive a medical marijuana recommendation?
NO. While we do offer a money back guarantee minus the non-refundable deposit of $50 if you do not receive a recommendation, we DO NOT guarantee that you will receive a recommendation. You can only receive a recommendation if our doctors determine you have a qualifying condition as defined by Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program, and that the benefits of using medical marijuana outweigh the risks.
Do I have to pay an evaluation fee if I do not qualify for a medical marijuana recommendation?
If you do not receive a recommendation AND you have filled in your intake form correctly with accurate information, you will be refunded your money minus the non-refundable $50 deposit.
Gun Permits and Medical Cannabis...
This is a very gray area in Pennsylvania. The federal government considers medical marijuana an illegal substance. As such, they require that Pennsylvania MMJ card holders mark that they are an “unlawful user of or addicted to any controlled substance” when completing the carry permit form. In doing so, you will be denied a permit. The Pennsylvania Department of Health does NOT POST patient names to JNET, the background check portal used by law enforcement agencies. As well, Pennsylvania MMJ cards are not scanned into any state databases. Law enforcement does not have access to a database listing those who have a medical marijuana card. Patients registry in the MMJ database will not appear on a background check. So, while federal law prohibits purchase of a firearm by anyone using medical marijuana, the patient's status in the Program will not be verified during the background check.
What is the difference between medical marijuana and medical cannabis?
Cannabis is the genus of the plant species that encompasses what we think of as marijuana and hemp. According to US Law, the term marijuana refers to the dried flowers and leaves of the cannabis plant. Marijuana contains both THC and CBD though the concentration vary among strains. The hemp plants are cultivated to have high CBD and must contain less than 0.3% THC. So both hemp and marijuana are cannabis.
Interestingly, the term marijuana is actually somewhat controversial. It comes from the Mexican word "mariguana" used for the plant in the early 1900's. Through what many claim was negative propaganda campaign to ban cannabis as well as villainize minorities, the term marijuana became the more common nomenclature. Thus, despite its popularity, the term has many detractors.
Will medical marijuana interfere with my medicaitons?
Research is limited as to the interactions between medical marijuana and other medications. However, we do not advise using medical marijuana with medications that are CNS depressants such as benzodiazepines or opiates, with alcohol, or with anticoagulant or anti-platelet medications. As well, we advise caution when using medical marijuana with selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors (SSRI) medications.