Twenty years after California became the first state to legalize medical marijuana, a further vote was passed that permits the recreational use of marijuana in the state for any adult over the age of 21. Proposition 64 comes into effect from January 2018.

People currently in possession of a cannabis card are genuinely concerned that their own particular needs might now be overlooked and that the recreational use of marijuana will give it a bad name, thereby making it more difficult for patients to access and consume. They wonder how their rights will be affected and if, indeed, they will still need a California medical marijuana card. There is still a lot of uncertainty as to how this new law will play out – especially as each locality has the right to set its own rules.

We firmly believe that medical marijuana is here to stay and that it’s vital that you hang on to your cannabis card and renew it annually as required. With your card, you will always have access to the marijuana that helps your own particular condition, and access also to help and advice. Recreational use of the drug is something entirely different.

Divan Medical - medical marijuana cigarette

Even with recreational marijuana legalized in California, medical marijuana is here to stay.

Another reason why we believe it’s essential for you to hold onto your card, or to apply for a medical marijuana card online if you don’t already have one, is that recreational use will not be allowed in public. Card-carrying medical marijuana patients, however, are currently permitted and will continue to be permitted to smoke medical marijuana in most places where tobacco smoking is allowed. Furthermore, recreational users will be limited to growing just six marijuana plants at a time on their property, whereas cannabis card holders will still be able to cultivate up to 100 square feet of the plant.

Thirdly, and perhaps most importantly, if you’re a card holder, you will always have access to medical experts to discuss the best dosage and strain for you and to contact for advice.

This is where telemedicine really comes into its own for medical marijuana patients. You may not realize that you’re actually using telemedicine in your lives at the moment! A short chat with your doctor or specialist on the phone, or your X-rays or scans being transmitted from the hospital to your doctor, are just two examples of how telemedicine is being used today.

If you are already in possession of a medical marijuana card, then one way that advances in telemedicine could work for you is that you could arrange a Skype call with your doctor rather than seeing him or her in person. You might not feel like leaving the house, or maybe the thought of sitting in a waiting room with a lot of people freaks you out – so to be able to speak to your doctor privately, but still face-to-face, without leaving your home has got to be attractive. If your doctor is flexible, he/she can schedule this call at a time to suit you.

Another obvious way you could use telemedicine is simply by phoning in your medical marijuana order to your local registered dispensary and arranging to pick it up at your convenience. It will be ready for you, so there’ll be no hanging around or waiting in line.

Divan Medical - woman using smartphone

Telemedicine can help you procure a medical marijuana card stress-free.

If you don’t already possess a cannabis card and feel that you would qualify for one, then the best way to acquire one is to apply for a medical marijuana card online, via MMJ Recs. Application is made easy, thanks to telemedicine! You simply have to complete a standard medical form online and upload your relevant medical documents. You will then be contacted by a medical marijuana specialist, who will carry out an evaluation – either over the phone or via Skype. The physician will ask you questions about your condition and medical history and will also want to know why you think taking medical marijuana will help you. You will be advised as to the best strain and the appropriate amount for your condition and all benefits and associated risks will be made clear to you. You will also have the opportunity to ask any questions you wish. This private, one-to-one consultation is very reassuring and non-threatening. Once approved, your medical marijuana card will be sent to you in the mail. No doubt, in the not-too-distant future, such will be the advances in telemedicine that a card will be dispatched to you electronically!

It’s clear to the relevant experts that medical marijuana is definitely here to stay, despite the new legislation. It is to your advantage to have and to hold onto your cannabis card. Telemedicine plays a vital role in the application mechanism, streamlining the process and making it easier for you to deal with if you can’t face leaving the house or being in a public area with other people. Once you have your card, you can still access the various professionals via phone or Skype for advice or to place an order.

The rapid and on-going advances in telemedicine are only going to help medical marijuana card holders further, as they enable more and more things to be done remotely rather than in a person-to-person situation. Watch this space!