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    Role of Telemedicine In Missouri Medical Marijuana Card Applications

    Missouri, known as the “show-me state,” is home to over 6 million people. In Nov 2018, the state passed Amendment 2, which has allowed its many residents to use medical marijuana within their legal rights. 

    Although in the start, health professionals were a bit hesitant in performing medical evaluations for issuing medical marijuana cards, the use of digital platforms for this purpose has eased the whole process for patients and doctors. Missouri residents are now realizing the potential of telemedicine in this regard. It has helped increase accessibility, reduced waiting times, zero travel expenses, and whatnot. 

    This article will discuss how you can use telemedicine to apply for a Missouri medical marijuana card. 

    Laws Concerning The Use Of Medical Marijuana In Missouri 

    Missouri’s Amendment 3, proposed in Nov 2022, made adult recreational marijuana usage legal nationwide. It also enhanced medical marijuana laws and regulations, enabling changes in medicinal usage and employment laws. 

    Coming into effect from Feb 2023, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services states that adults of age 21 and older can possess marijuana up to 3 ounces. They can also cultivate their cannabis if they get a non-commercial permit. 

    The new law also helped in striking out the criminal records of a large Missouri population sentenced to non-violent marijuana offenses. This has helped in the employment of the marginalized communities usually affected by such criminal laws.

    Nonetheless, selling, distribution, trafficking, and cultivation without any authorized permit are still illegal within the state boundaries and punishable with serious penalties. 

    Furthermore, the laws concerning medical marijuana use state that patients suffering from certain qualifying conditions can purchase up to 6 ounces of unprocessed cannabis every 30 days from a state-licensed dispensary only. If your medical marijuana requirement exceeds the allowed amount, you must submit additional certification forms with proof supporting your need from two doctors. 

    Patients are also allowed to cultivate up to six flowering plants, which can only occur in a closed and locked facility after obtaining an identification card from the health department.

    How To Obtain a Medical Marijuana Card In Missouri?

    It is quite easy for patients suffering from a genuine medical condition to obtain a medical marijuana card in Missouri. There are three main conditions for the issuance of the card:

    1. Patients must be 18 years old or older. 
    2. Patients must be a resident of the state of Missouri.
    3. Patients must have a qualifying medical illness that has to be certified by a health professional through an official form. 

    Qualifying medical conditions stated in the Missouri medical marijuana constitution can be:

    • Alzheimer’s disease 
    • Autism
    • Cancer
    • Crohn’s disease 
    • Chronic pain/ neuropathy
    • Epilepsy 
    • Glaucoma
    • Hepatitis C
    • HIV/AIDS 
    • Cachexia or wasting syndrome 
    • Huntington’s disease 
    • Irritable bowels syndrome
    • Intractable migraines 
    • Lou Gehrig’s disease 
    • Multiple sclerosis
    • Opioid substitution
    • Parkinson’s disease
    • PTSD
    • Tourette syndrome
    • Sickle cell anemia
    • Seizures
    • Any debilitating psychiatric disorder
    • Any “other chronic, debilitating or other medical condition” that may be alleviated by marijuana “in the professional judgment of a physician.”

    The online registry of the Missouri Department of Health exclusively accepts applications for medical marijuana cards. The online application requires biodata like your name, date of birth, social security number, email address, home address, and a copy of some official document showing proof of your Missouri residency like an identification card or driver’s license, physician certification form issued by a Missouri medical license-holder health professional in the last 30 days, color photograph of the patient taken in the last 3 months, and an attestation statement verifying the patient’s identity. 

    Non-emancipated qualifying patients should have a parent or legal guardian consent form ready. Furthermore, you will be required to submit an additional statement if you want to obtain a permit to cultivate medical marijuana.  

    As a patient, you have to submit a fee of $25. For caregivers, it is also $25. However, $100 is the fee for medical marijuana cultivation. 

    Can You Use Telemedicine To Obtain A Medical Marijuana Card In Missouri?

    Yes, Missouri has permitted telemedicine to obtain a doctor’s approval for a medical marijuana card. 

    According to the state’s website, a patient can use the facility of virtual consultations with a licensed doctor as long as the “standard of care doesn’t require an in-person encounter”. This decision was made with the approval of the Missouri Board of Registration for the Healing Arts, which overlooks the licensing procedure for professional medical doctors. They believe that if telemedicine can be adequate in many other exams, why should it not be used for medical marijuana card issuance too? 

    Several online health platforms are providing online consultations to determine whether you qualify for a Missouri medical marijuana card or not. 

    After only 15-20 minutes of online evaluation that usually takes place through a phone or video call, you can easily get your written certificate even on the same day. This certificate can then be used to apply for a medical cannabis card -an online procedure. 

    The online evaluation process must be done by a licensed doctor practicing medicine registered with the Department of Health and Senior Services of Missouri. The evaluation process usually consists of assessing a patient’s medical history, reviewing any health documents that the patient can provide as proof of their medical illness, and determining whether the patient qualifies for the medical marijuana card. 

    How Does Telemedicine Benefit Missouri Patients?

    Telemedicine is revolutionizing the healthcare industry for not only the patients but also the doctors for sure. The introduction of this technology in obtaining medical marijuana cards has facilitated the lives of Missouri patients by a great deal. 

    From the ease and comfort of your home, you can smoothly get evaluated and certified by a health professional by using your smartphone, laptop, or tablet. This way, you don’t need to wait for extended waiting times to book appointments for traditional face-to-face doctor visits. 

    Similarly, people in rural areas or areas with faraway cannabis clinics can also have access to medical marijuana through the convenient use of telehealth as they can get virtually evaluated for the use of medical cannabis by authorized doctors. 

    Moreover, most of the health facilities offering telemedicine checkups for medical marijuana cards in Missouri also offer to return the consultation fee in case you don’t get the physician’s approval, which is a monetary plus for many of the patients. Grab a Medical Card in Missouri online.

    Conclusion

    Although marijuana is legal for adults in Missouri, acquiring a medical marijuana card has its benefits. With this card, you can have safe access to it with fewer taxes and much-relaxed laws. 

    Telemedicine has made the lives of both patients and doctors reasonably convenient. Mainly, obtaining a medical marijuana card in Missouri has never been easy.

    As the state allows virtual appointments for the evaluation and examination of qualifying medical conditions, you can easily get your written physician certificate without even leaving the comfort of your home.

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