Colorado’s Medical Cannabis Evaluations Go Back to In-Person

Like many other industries and businesses, Covid-19 brought about a lot of shifts and changes for everyone. Specifically for cannabis, rising demands for products warranted dispensaries and cannabis retailers as ‘essential businesses’ throughout the pandemic. 

As a somewhat new industry among the many impacted, state legislatures and governments had to tweak or adjust policies to benefit the safety and quality of life of medical cannabis patients in their state. 

Today, many policies are shifting and reforming once again as we now charter life post-pandemic. For Colorado, this has recently meant reinforcing in-person consultations for medical marijuana card appointments. 

Learn all that we know about this executive order by the state, and what it means for Relaxed Clarity and the entire Colorado medical cannabis community. 

The State’s Ever-Changing Medical Market 

Colorado has a long history of cannabis – medical marijuana was legalized for patients in 2000 and recreational cannabis was permitted in 2012. Since then, the market has seen ebbs and flows of medical patients consuming cannabis for a variety of medical symptoms and therapeutic ailments. 
With a solid and structured outline of qualifying conditions for medical cannabis card applicants, residents have been scheduling appointments with cannabis doctors to address their medical conditions and determine how cannabis can help. Overall, this and the many other medical cannabis policies put in place over the years have helped to shape the state’s legal medical market into a healthier one.

  • • Included with these required medical marijuana card evaluations, the new law also requires doctors to provide a recommended product with a daily authorized amount and instructions for use. 

Although Colorado is not the only state to be experiencing a minor blow in the legal market, similar states are constantly shifting policies and regulations to fill in the gaps. Many of Colorado’s local cannabis clinics are concerned about a ban on telemedicine further decreasing the access of medical marijuana to patients. 

Colorado’s Post-Poned Ban of Telemedicine Appointments for Cannabis Patients

Even as one of the earlier states to legalize cannabis in the state, Colorado has specifically banned the use of telemedicine appointments for medical cannabis consultations. Lawmakers amended their state’s virtual telemedicine regulations to specifically exclude medical marijuana consults. 

Colorado isn’t the only state to ban telemedicine appointments for medical cannabis – Florida, Illinois, and Washington have followed suit, while states like California have a more lenient approach. 

However, in 2020 many states had to pivot their telemedicine policies to protect the health and safety of patients and physicians. 

During the rise of the Covid-19 pandemic, state lawmakers granted medical cannabis clinics to conduct appointments virtually in consideration of the health and safety of patients and physicians. Since then, appointments for medical marijuana cards have been allowed temporarily under this executive order issued by Colorado Governor Jared Polis, but have still declined to continue once the pandemic is over. 
Colorado’s Bill HB-1058 on banning virtual telemedicine appointments for medical cannabis consultations has been put back into mandate. Officials and lawmakers are working to counter the bill and protect MMJ patients’ access to telemedicine appointments in consideration of the ways it has better impacted or improved their relationship with medical cannabis.

What This Means for Cannabis Physicians & MMJ Patients 

During the temporary pause, cannabis physicians have been able to take medical appointments online, and many are fighting to keep it that way. 

From the perspective of a cannabis physician, many have noticed a drastic shift in their patients going from in-person cannabis consultations to virtual telemedicine appointments. From a medical patient’s point of view, some MMJ cardholders experiencing chronic disease or debilitating symptoms may have difficulty accessing in-person appointments with their cannabis physician. 

Of the numerous cannabis clinic doctors in the state, many cannabis physicians have weighed out the advantages and disadvantages of this state ban on telemedicine appointments. For instance, to qualify for a state medical cannabis card, a patient must have one of the following conditions: 

  • • Chronic pain 
  • • HIV
  • • Cancer
  • • Seizures
  • • Glaucoma 
  • • Nausea
  • • Muscle Spasms 
  • • Autism 
  • • PTSD 

For many cannabis doctors, these qualifying medical conditions don’t exactly require any visual cues or symptoms. A person with PTSD or seizures may not have pain for the doctor to visualize, and both an in-person appointment versus a telemedicine call could be beneficial in this instance. No matter the medical condition, many physicians debate the option should be accessible for both.

Relaxed Clarity: Colorado’s Leading Medical Cannabis Clinic 

As the leading medical cannabis clinic in Colorado, we’re here as a compassionate and judgment-free clinic to provide you access to quality medical cannabis. Our expert staff of cannabis physicians is ready to provide you with the guidance needed to optimize your health and comfort with medical cannabis. 

Come in and visit one of our cannabis clinics in Colorado to receive an in-person medical marijuana evaluation or to speak with a cannabis doctor about renewing your medical card.  

Book an appointment for a medical marijuana consultation today. Stay tuned to our Resources for the latest policy updates on telemedicine appointments for medical cannabis.