Many people wonder how much a medical marijuana card costs in Pennsylvania. The answer is, it depends. To obtain a medical card, patients with a qualifying condition must register with the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Program. Then they must obtain a certification from a registered medical marijuana physician.
We will talk about that cost a little later. Once certified, patients must pay the state $50 to issue the medical marijuana card. Patients who receive Medicaid, PACE/ PACENET, CHIP, SNAP and WIC are eligible to have the required $50 annual fee issued by the department of health to be reduced to $25.
Cost of Marijuana Medicine, P.C. (Pre-COVID)
Prior to COVID finding a medical marijuana physician was difficult and the price of an appointment was cost prohibited for many people. Most physicians were charging $300-$500 per visit for both initial certifications as well as renewals. This price was in part to make money, but also the result of the costs of running an office and/or traveling around the state to certify patient, in areas where there were no registered doctors. Starting a practice has a high overhead cost and in areas with smaller populations, the risk was too high.
Many areas of Pennsylvania did not have any registered medical marijuana doctors so some doctors would travel the state in a fire like fashion, advertising certification events and rent a room for a couple of days to see patients in a given underserved area. While these traveling medical marijuana physicians provided access to medical cards, the next year patients had to start the search for a physician all over. To further restrict patients from getting a card, the paucity of doctors registered to certify patients meant there were often long waiting times to get an appointment.
Cost of Marijuana Medicine Today
One of the few good things that came out of COVID was the state of Pennsylvania permits telemedicine for medical marijuana certifications. This changed the game. It allowed practices like Cannabis Care Consults to come into being. And while costs for website development, malpractice, HIPPA compliant video conferencing, and electronic medical record software is not small, telemedicine opened the door for doctors to see patients all over the state.
Physicians didn’t need an office or to travel all over the state. Even better, patients even in remote areas could now have access to a medical marijuana physician.Moreover, those limited by their medical condition or by their ability to find transportation or by their ability to take time off work could receive quality care from the comfort and safety of home. Today the cost of a physician consultation for a “new card” appointment is between $150- $199 and “renewal” appointments between $75-$150.
Cannabis Care Consultants physician consultation fee is $199 and renewal consultations are $100. The Some medical marijuana doctor practices will team up with dispensaries to offer discounted certifications other’s work with Veterans groups to provide discounted or free certifications. Cannabis Care Consultants, for example, are works with Balanced Vets to provide free certifications to qualified vets every month.
The legalization of medical marijuana has been a blessing for Pennsylvania and we must respect the laws. Some companies contract out physicians to do certifications and make
promises that you don’t pay if you aren’t certifed. This creates a moral hazard for physicians by putting pressure to certify patients who may not qualify. Furthermore, often times, proper medical records are not being kept by those doctors and the doctors do not stay with the organizations for the long haul.
So it is very likely that they are not complying with the Pennsylvania Medical Marijuana Act, which states that the doctor may not falsify information, the patient must be under the continuing care of the doctor for the year the card is issued, and the doctor must keep a medical record.
Should the state crack down, there will be serious implications. The state may impose more stringent regulations making it more difficult to get a card or worse shut down the program. So if your are getting your card, do your research, don’t make a decision on price alone. Make sure that you choose an actual medical group. Make sure that they keep HIPPA compliant medical records. And be wary of those who make “guarentees.”
The laws exist to protect you and companies that certify and forget their patients to make a buck put the Program and you at risk. At Cannabis Care Consultants, returning patients pay only $50 each year they renew. This is to deter patients from doctor shopping. We want to have a long lasting relationship with our patients.
We want to see them through and help them on their journey to wellness. This low cost is possible because the doctor now knows you and has established a relationship and a medical record has already been created. This means the physician needs less time reviewing your medical history and records, and less time creating a record.
The annual state card issuing fee is $50 or $35 for patients who qualify. Doctor consultation costs vary practice to practice, but in general an initial certification appointment will cost
between $150-$200 and a renewal certification appointment between $75-$150. Beware of where you get your certification because it matters! You have decided to become a legal cardholder so do it right and choose a legitimate medical marijuana practice.
Tags: Medical Marijuana Card