One of the major setback to the world of medical marijuana has been attributed to a few doctors offering to work with the program. For a state such as Maryland, it has 16,000 doctors who treat patients, but only 1 percent of the doctors have signed up for the state’s marijuana program. These are the doctors that would have to prescribe medical marijuana for the patients. The worst part is that two hospitals have banned their physicians from participating in the program even if they wanted to do so.
Well, the lack of enthusiasm from the doctors can lead to undermining of the program. This means that there will be a hard time to see a doctor and get to a drug that you need. With studies showing that medical marijuana can relieve pain and help with other conditions, it is surprising to see other doctors not taking up the chance to use it.
MedChi CEO Gene Ransom claims that there are not going to be enough physicians to get the job done with the level of demand expected to rise. That being said, he is yet to take a position on the use of medical marijuana.
According to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, only 172 doctors have registered with the regulator. This simply means that many patients would not see their own physicians when it comes to prescription of medical marijuana. The worst can be for those in rural areas where accessing a physician or medical marijuana will be hard. The doctors who have agreed to prescribe medical marijuana will work in the city. So if you are in the rural area, you have to get to the major towns to access a physician.
The doctors who have signed up for the program came from various specialties. We have some from family care, reproductive medicine, tattoo removal, emergency medicine, weight loss, among many others. Even psychiatrists have been involved in the process thus it would be easier for them to recommend marijuana for patients with chronic pain. This could help with dealing with the addiction to opioids.
Some of the doctors would be recommending medical marijuana to patients as a separate practice. Some doctors would work at the consultancies being set up to make it easy for patients to find doctors who can prescribe medical marijuana for their various conditions.
One problem still stands out for many doctors. This is where the patient has to be diagnosed by one doctor and then head to another for medical marijuana certification. Inevitably, this could lead to some misuse of medical marijuana certification at some point. Another thing is that many doctors are afraid of liabilities as the drug is still illegal under the federal law. With also not much information about the healing capabilities of marijuana, it is possible for some doctors being skeptical.
It is expected that more physicians are likely to sign up for the program with time. This is especially when a patient would want to know more about the certification process.
The lack of physicians has not been the only problem for most states. There is the licensing process. Many companies often sue the commission in charge of the marijuana control for awarding the licenses unfairly. Most commissions would want to control the amount of pot in the store making sure it does not flood the market creating a problem. This might not always go down with various growers who also want a piece of the marijuana sector.
For Maryland state, there have been a few delays in the kickstarting of the process, but they seem to be solving them. The commission in charge of marijuana control says that they aim in providing the patients with safe and effective medical cannabis. In order for the doctors to register with the body, they have to make sure that their license is active and they have been registered to prescribe controlled substance.
Prescribing medical marijuana is not just about offering your patient with the drug whenever he or she is in pain. It is a process that might involve reviewing the medical records, conduct a few evaluations, and still monitor the patients while they are using marijuana for the prescribed condition.
The Maryland program is limited to the patients suffering from chronic diseases such as glaucoma, PTSD, and many others. It is expected that several conditions might be added to the list with time. With many people sharing their success stories on using medical marijuana, it is no doubt that more will soon accept prescribing marijuana to their patients.
The idea of having few doctors prescribing medical marijuana does not come as a shock to many people especially with experiences from other states. Those states who legalized medical cannabis also faced the same issue, but with time things changed. We can hope for the best from our doctors who are still hesitant to prescribe marijuana.