BECOMING A CERTIFIED PATIENT
A knowledgeable and compassionate medical marijuana doctor is key to your success as a medical marijuana patient. However, finding medical marijuana physicians can be difficult, particularly because Connecticut has only recently launched the State’s Medical Marijuana Program in the past 5 years.
Before seeking a medical marijuana doctor, take some time to familiarize yourself with local medical marijuana laws. You’ll get more out of your appointment if you already know what laws and restrictions will apply to your use of legal medical marijuana. Click here for CT State Regulations
Once you’re aware of the relevant medical marijuana laws and regulations, you have a choice to make: Talk to your current physician about recommending medical marijuana, or find a medical marijuana specialist.
Talking to Your Doctor About Medical Marijuana
Asking your general practitioner to recommend medical marijuana is a good first step toward becoming a medical marijuana patient. Doctors are legally protected from punishment within Connecticut’s medical marijuana program, so your doctor should be both willing and able to discuss medical marijuana and/or offer a referral to a specialist.
If you suspect that your physician will be reluctant to recommend medical marijuana or to refer you to a specialist, check Connecticut’s medical marijuana program in order to see whether your condition has been included in the program.
If your usual physician is reluctant to recommend medical marijuana for you, or if you’re uncomfortable discussing this matter with your usual physician(s), you may wish to see a medical marijuana specialist.
Seeing a Doctor Who Specializes in Medical Marijuana
Medical marijuana doctors who specialize in this particular area are most easily found through referrals from other doctors or patients. If you’re not able to find a medical marijuana doctor via personal recommendation, looking online is always an option. For example, Canna Care Docs located in Hartford offers clinic hours twice a week. Try to focus on reputable online directories and professional websites. Don’t answer ads related to marijuana on free classified sites like Craigslist.
Once you’ve found a medical marijuana specialist, make the most of your appointment. Take the following steps to prepare yourself for your visit:
Bring a copy of your medical records to your first appointment, including any written referrals to the specialist.
Be prepared to clearly and concisely explain your symptoms and what you hope to gain from using medical marijuana.
Understand that most medical marijuana doctors issue recommendations only to patients who genuinely need to use medical marijuana. Getting an appointment doesn’t mean you’ll get a recommendation.
Have a written list of questions for the specialist, including things like: “How do your other patients acquire their medical marijuana?” and “Do I need to hire a medical marijuana caregiver?”