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Need a Medical Cannabis Card? Leafwell Centers Accessibility and Education in Telehealth

Keegan Williams

By Keegan Williams

December 13, 2022

Image of a young man passing a cannabis joint

iStock

While recreational cannabis often takes center stage in conversations surrounding the ever-changing weed market, most cannabis consumers recognize that the comparatively accepting culture today wouldn’t be where it is without the medical market and underlying notion that cannabis is essential plant medicine.

Even recreational shoppers often have medicinal reasons for their cannabis use. Sure, many folks simply like the feeling of being high, but others regularly approach the counter asking questions like, “What is the best strain for sleep?” or “Can you recommend something to mellow out my anxiety?”

It goes without saying that

, and platforms like are working to tackle the problems that still need solving. 

Founder Emily Fisher – Courtesy of Leafwell

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Increasing Access, Education and Cannabis Research

Founder Emily Fisher started

after working with clinics in California for years, witnessing the power and versatility of the plant and its ability to help patients. All the while, she also observed the gaps that still needed filling and the challenges people faced in finding reliable information, navigating products and connecting with knowledgeable healthcare providers.

In fact, many of the patients Fisher met tried cannabis as a last resort. 

Thus, Leafwell was born with the mission of increasing access, education and cannabis research, opening the door for all people who could benefit from the therapeutic potential of the plant. Namely, the platform increases access to medical cannabis by connecting patients with a network of providers, via its telehealth platform.

“The process is quick and easy, and patients can qualify for cannabis in minutes,” said Sarah Locklund, director of outreach and partnerships. “Leafwell’s website is also home to an extensive library of evidence-based information to help patients understand how cannabis can help them or a loved one. Whether you’re at the start of your cannabis journey or want to dig deeper into the

, Leafwell is a reliable source.”

The platform began providing telehealth services at the end of 2019, quickly expanding during the COVID-19 pandemic, as many states began offering telehealth services when they previously hadn’t. Leafwell now serves 33 states across the country, and Locklund said it will continue to expand to “as many states” that will allow its services, even setting sights on international expansion.

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What are the Benefits of Carrying a Medical Cannabis Card?

For those in a medical-only state and already using cannabis, getting a medical card is a no-brainer, given that it offers legal protection for one’s cannabis use and possession within that state. Also, it offers the assurance of knowing the specific products one is purchasing and using, rather than relying on the illicit market.

For those living in legal recreational states, folks may wonder what makes a medical card “worth it” when they can just show ID and pick up what they need without one. 

Leafwell Team in Action – Courtesy of Leafwell

A biggie: Cannabis is more affordable on the medical side. Recreational states typically charge

on all recreational cannabis sales. Depending on where you live, that can be a pretty hefty addition to an otherwise cost-effective bill. 

(States like Michigan have a 10 percent excise tax, while others juggle multiple retail cannabis taxes. Washington has the highest, a whopping 37 percent excise tax on recreational cannabis sales.)

The medical side also offers higher potency and potency limits in individual products. For example, someone with an already hearty tolerance to edibles may seek out a higher dose than say a 10mg single serving for sleep or

Recreational products often “cap out” lower per package. If someone regularly buys edibles in a lower increment and would clearly benefit from a higher dose, the medical side has the solution. Medical products, even by the same brands you might see on the rec side, are allowed to contain far more

, as they are regulated differently. 

That said, medical patients are also generally allowed to purchase and possess a larger quantity of cannabis than recreational users.

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Are There Any Disadvantages to Carrying a Medical Cannabis Card?

While there are plenty of benefits in obtaining your medical cannabis card, there are a number of specific considerations to look into before making the leap.

Restrictions on firearm ownership is often cited as a main obstacle in this conversation. Because cannabis is still illegal on a federal level, medical cannabis patients cannot legally purchase firearms once they officially obtain their medical card.

“The law gets even more confusing if you apply for an MMJ and own a gun,” according to a

on the topic. “You cannot purchase more firearms, but there’s no existing guidance on what to do with your gun — and relinquishing it could open the door to potential prosecution against you.”

Leafwell Leadership Group Photo – Courtesy of Leafwell

Generally, individuals also cannot be a commercial driver’s license (CDL) holder and medical cannabis card holder simultaneously, as explained by another

:

“Every state’s laws are different, but commercial drivers are subject to federal regulations. As cannabis is illegal at the federal level, becoming a medical marijuana patient may put your CDL at risk.”

A medical card could also hinder potential employment, depending on the field. However, as more states continue to legalize cannabis, legislators are also introducing employment protections, allowing folks to consume medical and/or recreational cannabis on their own time, off the clock, without fear of losing their jobs.

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The Importance of Telehealth and Medical Cannabis

It’s admittedly a lot to juggle and can be challenging to face as a potential medical cannabis card holder. As cannabis continues to cement itself into today’s culture, it highlights the need for resources and assistance for consumers and caregivers navigating these conversations in their own lives.

“The key benefit of using telemedicine to obtain a medical cannabis license is the ease that it creates,” Locklund said. “You can get online from anywhere, use any device with a camera and microphone, and speak with a provider in minutes. Not only is it quick and convenient, but it’s also risk-free when you do it with Leafwell — you’re either approved or you get your money back.”

Leafwell helps folks through the process of obtaining their medical cannabis license, though it doesn’t stop there. The platform has a team of dedicated patient care representatives, whom patients can access at any time of day, according to Locklund. The team provides complimentary assistance to help consumers through the state registration of getting a medical card, “one of the most difficult parts of the process,” Locklund said.

In addition to these resources to help ease access to medical cannabis, Leafwell also continually expands its

, publishing new, high-quality each week, which is free for everyone on its website.

While there are plenty of similar services cannabis consumers can use to obtain their medical cannabis cards, in just three years, Leafwell has become the largest cannabis patient base in the U.S. Locklund credited the platform’s proprietary technology, making the patient and healthcare provider experience “seamless,” though she also highlighted Leafwell’s team, technology and overall mission.

“Leafwell is made up of an incredibly passionate group of people committed to better understanding cannabis as medicine,” Locklund said. “We’re a team of patients, advocates, and educators all with our own personal connections to the plant — and that is powerful.”

Courtesy of Leafwell

Moving forward, the Leafwell team will continue gathering data and publishing evidence-based information on cannabis as it continues to grow with the rapidly expanding

. While Leafwell has already seen substantial growth in its initial few years, Locklund said the team and platform are truly at the beginning phases of increasing access, education and cannabis research.

“We believe cannabis will continue to play an important role in medicine and health, and Leafwell intends to be part of that future,” Locklund said. “In 2023, Leafwell looks forward to international expansion, publishing more scientific research, and helping the millions of folks interested in trying cannabis but aren’t yet consumers. We want to be there when they take that first step.”

To learn more about Leafwell, obtain your own medical card and join the platform’s mission of spreading awareness and increasing access to cannabis, check out the

and keep up on and . High There readers can by using the code “HIGHTHERE”.

Keegan Williams

About The Author

Keegan Williams

HIGH THERE MISSION

WE’RE A CREATIVE COMMUNITY — EXPLORING THE SCIENCE, CRAFT, AND CULTURE OF CANNABIS.
WE BELIEVE THAT WE HAVE A COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY TOWARDS ERADICATING THE STIGMA, MISINFORMATION, AND INEQUITIES SURROUNDING THIS PLANT, SO WE CAN UNLOCK ITS TRUE POTENTIAL FOR ALL.

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