NuggMD, the flagship of cannabis telemedicine platforms, has made moves to expand into Oklahoma.
People can utilize NuggMD to locate doctors open to discussing and approving their patients for cannabis treatment. The company running this platform believes that the Midwest direly needs this service.
Problems with Acquiring Medicinal Marijuana Treatment in Oklahoma
Legislation concerning medicinal marijuana protects physicians from reprisal for recommending cannabis treatment. But a concerning number of medical professionals nevertheless refrain from sparking conversations about marijuana therapy with their patients. This partly stems from a cultural stigma that might result in a backlash in case they would suggest cannabis as a medication.
However, the more predominant reason is purely contractual. Many doctors sign agreements with the hospitals and other healthcare organizations under which they work. These contracts often forbid them from talking about cannabis treatment options.
The likes of St. John Health System and Saint Francis are examples of such establishments. Their argument for denying marijuana therapy states that the evidence for its effectiveness is insufficient. They add that implementing these treatments requires compliance from federal and state law.
Obtaining medicinal marijuana in Oklahoma is difficult enough as is. But a worrying lack of doctors in this state only serves to exacerbate matters. The number of primary care physicians in the overwhelming majority of counties is lacking. This underlines the importance of integrating a telemedicine service, especially for more rural communities in Oklahoma.
Alex Milligan, the CMO of NuggMD, considers the American health system to be excessively sluggish. And while he understands the need for it to be wary of novel treatment methods, he has little understanding for the way it handles medicinal marijuana. He claims that using cannabis for medicinal purposes has been around for centuries and that there is no need to be so reticent about, in his opinion, a tried and true method of healing.
The Sooner State’s requirements for healthcare standards are quite demanding. But NuggMD’s platform for telemedicine manages to satisfy them. One of Oklahoma’s demands entails face-to-face meetings with patients in real time, allowing for telemedicine in certain scenarios.
Success in New York
NuggMD has used its video platform to serve around a fifth of New York’s cannabis clientele. NuggMD CEO Collin Mann states that their platform has facilitated a massive increase in medicinal marijuana use.
He recounts that only 14,000 people managed to access the substance legally in 2014, which was when it first became legalized. Few doctors and low visibility contributed to a restricted market, but NuttMD succeeded in burgeoning the marketplace greatly, and New York currently hosts well over 100,000 cannabis patients. The provider hopes for this same kind of flourishing in Oklahoma.
Oklahoma law doesn’t specify which ailments call for medicinal cannabis treatment. Rather, it places the responsibility of electing this therapy on the doctors. NuttMD has shown that it approves of this approach, believing that it ought to serve as a model for the remainder of the U.S. The company cites cases of patients having to wait for months, if not years, to see their disorder legally warrant medical marijuana as a treatment alternative.