Montana is one of America’s more forward-thinking states when it comes to cannabis, with both medicinal and recreational marijuana legal. The Treasure State initially legalized marijuana for medical purposes in 2004, while adult use marijuana finally became legal in November 2020.
Although recreational use is allowed, there are several benefits to joining the state’s medical program. Some of these include, lower costs, higher purchasing and possession limits, and access to a larger range of high-quality products.
In order to shop at a medical dispensary, you will need a Montana medical marijuana card issued by the state. Only those with a listed medical condition are eligible for the state’s MMJ program and can obtain a card. A doctor will need to evaluate you to determine your medical condition and decide whether you can benefit from using marijuana.
Below, we explore finding the perfect MMJ doctor and obtaining a Montana medical marijuana card.
Who is Eligible for Montana’s MMJ Program?
Every state has its own list of qualifying medical conditions that make a person eligible for its MMJ program. If a doctor evaluates you and determines you suffer from any of these conditions and marijuana treatment may be beneficial, they will write a recommendation to the state asking that you be approved for the MMJ program.
To be eligible for a Montana medical marijuana card, here’s the list of qualifying conditions:
- Multiple Sclerosis (MS)
- Crohn’s Disease
- Intractable nausea or vomiting
- Chronic pain
- Muscle spasms
- Admittance into hospice
Additionally, patients must be 18 years or older to qualify for Montana’s MMJ program.
If you meet the above criteria and a doctor recommends you for the program, you can apply for a Montana medical marijuana card. As part of the application, you must submit a copy of your ID, proof of residency, and a passport photo, along with the doctor’s recommendation. You can register a profile and submit your application online.
Finding an MMJ Doctor in Montana
Consulting with a doctor is arguably the most important and often intimidating part of getting approved for an MMJ program.
Although any Medical Doctor (MD) or Doctor of Osteopathic medicine (DO) physician licensed in Montana can write a marijuana recommendation, it’s often best to consult with one that specializes in medicinal marijuana.
Your primary doctor may not know much about marijuana as a treatment and be unwilling to make a written certification recommending you for the MMJ program. On the other hand, medical cannabis physicians are well-versed in marijuana’s therapeutic properties and can give a lot of insight and advice. They also likely know all the requirements for obtaining a Montana medical marijuan card.
Here are a few tips for finding an MMJ doctor that perfectly fits your needs and preferences.
Research and shortlist MMJ Doctors in your area
There are many online resources and tools to help you find MMJ doctors in your area. For instance, sites like Veriheal streamline the process for getting a Montana medical marijuana card, and will put you in contact with an MMJ doctor.
Check out all the different options and make a list of doctors that appeal to you. Then do some research to get some insight into these doctor’s specialties and reputation among other patients to find your perfect fit. Reading testimonials is a great way to get a feel for a doctor.
Ask for Referrals
If you have a family member or friend that’s part of the MMJ program, ask if they have a doctor they can recommend. Or perhaps there’s a friend of a friend or someone that works in a medical cannabis dispensary who can recommend an MMJ doctor.
Consider Online Options
There are many MMJ doctors operating in the online space, conducting “e-consultations.” Not only is this more convenient than having to travel to a doctor’s office, you may also be more comfortable and open since you’re in your own space and comfort zone.
What to Expect from Your MMJ Doctor
Your health and safety is the primary concern of any doctor, including a medical cannabis one. Just because you think you have a qualifying condition and should be approved for the MMJ program, the doctor may not agree.
There are certain risk factors, such as mental health conditions like schizophrenia, heart or liver disease, and previous drug abuse, that can make using marijuana dangerous. In these cases, the doctor may not write you a MMJ recommendation. As frustrating as it may be, it’s for your own good. Upstanding doctors will only approve medical marijuana treatment for patients they truly believe could benefit from it.
As part of your consultation you will be required to submit a full medical history with previous medical records. It’s important to be completely honest with your doctor to ensure they can make a safe and informed decision.
If the doctor determines that you have a qualifying condition and can benefit from MMJ, they will write a recommendation with their approval. This is an important step in getting your Montana medical marijuana card.
From there, you can register with the state’s online MMJ program and submit all requested documentation and medical records. Once the state has reviewed your application, they will deny or approve your request. If approved you will receive your MMJ card and be free to shop at medical cannabis dispensaries across the state.
Consulting with an MMJ doctor is one of the key steps in obtaining a Montana medical marijuana card. It’s important to find a doctor you trust and are comfortable with to ensure the best possible outcome. Do your research, make a shortlist, and ask for referrals to find the perfect fit for your MMJ needs.
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