In order to qualify for a medical cannabis card, you need to be certified by a physician. In order for a physician to certify you, they must determine whether you suffer from one of the qualifying conditions your state recognizes (and every state is different) in their medical marijuana program. However, a Leafwell physician cannot ‘diagnose’ you as having one of these conditions. But that doesn’t mean you can’t get certified for medical cannabis.
How a physician certifies a cannabis patient
In order to sign off on a person’s medical cannabis certificate, a healthcare provider must be satisfied that the person in question qualifies for that specific program under the state’s law. Each state has a list of qualifying conditions and the physician must only certify a patient if they are confident, from a professional standpoint, that the person has one of those conditions.
While every state is different, this is a typical process by which a physician certifies a cannabis patient:
- The patient registers with Leafwell
- The patient has the option (in some states it is required) to upload medical records which support their existing diagnosis
- The patient completes an intake form which includes questions related to their qualifying condition (e.g. symptoms, how long they’ve been affected, current medications)
- The physician reviews all these documents before the telemedicine call
- During the telemedicine consultation, the physician can ask follow up questions related to the qualifying condition
- If satisfied with the existing diagnosis, the physician can certify the patient for the listed qualifying condition within the state medical marijuana program
However, this certification is not considered a diagnosis. While it is confirmation that a healthcare professional considers this patient to suffer from a specific medical condition, the medical certificate will not be valid proof of diagnosis. It can, however, enable you to become a medical cannabis patient.
If you do not have medical records at this time, we recommend you request them from your primary care physician. Medical records which support your diagnosis should include your full name and can be uploaded as part of your application with Leafwell. Our system is 100% HIPAA compliant. The following states legally require physicians to review medical records before certification:
Proving a qualifying condition
Some medical conditions are ‘easy’ to prove. If you have been diagnosed with cancer, for example, you will have records from an oncologist. If you have documentation from a specialist which confirms that you have been diagnosed with a condition, we recommend you upload this as part of your application with Leafwell, even if it is optional in your state to provide records. The more information you provide, the better our healthcare providers are able to help and advise you.
However, there are myriad conditions which don’t have a traditional diagnosis. Anxiety, for example, manifests itself differently in everyone and often doesn’t come with paperwork. That’s ok. You don’t need to worry about trying to prove how you are feeling. Instead, you can simply fill out our forms and then have an honest, compassionate assessment by one of our physicians. Talk to them about how you’re feeling and as a healthcare professional, they’ll be able to help you decide if cannabis is the right medical choice for you.
Getting diagnosed for your medical marijuana card
Leafwell physicians cannot provide an official diagnosis. But they can review existing diagnoses and discuss symptoms and experiences of as yet undiagnosed medical conditions. While our telemedicine consultations are not ‘diagnoses’, many patients find that these candid, compassionate talks make them feel heard and listened to for the first time.
Our physicians recognize the power of medical cannabis and are working to educate patients and eliminate stigmas. Sign up with Leafwell today and get your medical marijuana card online.