Google Chat for Ganja: Medical Marijuana Telemedicine Is Growing In Popularity
Transforming how patients get care across the country.
The COVID-19 pandemic accelerated a trend in healthcare toward telemedicine, allowing patients to talk with doctors and clinicians through video chat, FaceTime, or phone calls. That trend continues as the pandemic slowly loosens its grip on the country, especially in rural areas where residents face long drives to visit a physician's office.
Increasingly, medical marijuana patients are also using telemedicine to meet with doctors. A telemedicine platform called NuggMD has emerged as one of the biggest companies in this burgeoning field, starting its service in Montana, where medical marijuana use remains strong even after the state legalized recreational marijuana.
How medical marijuana telemedicine works
NuggMD started in 2015 and has connected over 1 million medical marijuana patients to a physician in 17 states. Montana is a bit different in that it presents advantages to medical marijuana use instead of recreational use.
For example, medical marijuana users in Montana can purchase cannabis with higher levels of THC at a cost that does not include the 16 percent tax charged on adult-use marijuana, according to NuggMD. They also can cultivate twice as many plants as recreational users.
"It's easy to see why so many Montanans still carry medical marijuana cards, despite recreational legalization," Collin Mann, CEO and NuggMD Co-Founder, said in a press release.
Many medical marijuana users may not know that the law in many states allows them to sign up or renew their state medical marijuana card and confer with doctors about medical marijuana via remote communications. NuggMD provides a platform that facilitates these communications. The platform is available from 8 a.m. until 10 p.m., seven days a week. Those not approved for a medical marijuana card through NuggMD will not be charged.
Medical marijuana telehealth systems make it simple to get a medical marijuana card. The platform connects patients with doctors who have signed up with the system. Once approved for the medical marijuana program, the patient's doctor can deliver a recommendation for treatment and instructions for what the patient must do to register with the state's system.
The service is available to millions across many different states. For those interested in the NuggMD platform, it operates in California, Connecticut, Illinois, Iowa, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, Texas, and Virginia.