Medical Marijuana Program

NOW ENROLLING PATIENTS FOR OUR MEDICAL MARIJUANA (CANNABIS) PROGRAM: Many patients have expressed interest in medical cannabis as a treatment for certain serious medical conditions. Dr. Elliot Schnur is approved to certify appropriate patients for medical cannabis as approved by the state of Pennsylvania. Learn more about this program by reading the information below. Certification to existing patients will occur on a first come first serve basis. Please review all details of the program prior to submitting your request.

The term medical marijuana refers to the use of the cannabis plant or its extracts to treat symptoms of medical illness. The cannabis plant contains more than 140 chemicals that may alleviate symptoms caused by various medical conditions. This has led to the legalization of medical marijuana in the majority of states throughout the nation, and on April 17, 2016, the state of Pennsylvania passed legislation to legalize medical marijuana. The medical marijuana program is in the process of being implemented through licensure of growers, dispensaries, and physicians. With the assistance of a physician with special certification, patients may now register with the state to obtain their medical marijuana card.

With a valid marijuana card, patients will be able to get medical cannabis at a licensed dispensary. The Pennsylvania law does not allow the smokable form of marijuana. It allows dispensing of medical marijuana only as a pill, oil, tincture or liquid; in a topical form, such as a gel, cream or ointment; or in a form medically appropriate for vaporization or nebulization. Your physician will make a recommendation for the form of marijuana as well as the appropriate route of administration. In order to obtain medical marijuana, you must have one of the following “serious medical conditions:”

APPROVED DIAGNOSES:

  • Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis.
  • Autism.
  • Cancer.
  • Crohn’s Disease.
  • Damage to the nervous tissue of the spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity.
  • Epilepsy.
  • Glaucoma.
  • HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) / AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome).
  • Huntington’s Disease.
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease.
  • Intractable Seizures.
  • Multiple Sclerosis.
  • Neuropathies.
  • Parkinson’s Disease.
  • Post-traumatic Stress Disorder.
  • Severe chronic or intractable pain of neuropathic origin or severe chronic or intractable pain in which conventional therapeutic intervention and opiate therapy is contraindicated or ineffective.
  • Sickle Cell Anemia.

What medical documentation do I need to gather before my medical cannabis consultation?

We will need copies of official documentation from a physician who has been treating you for your qualifying “serious medical condition” under Pennsylvania law. While we do not need your entire medical record, we do need documentation that clearly states the diagnosis of your “serious medical condition”. If your “serious medical condition” is “severe chronic or intractable pain”, then it will be most helpful if your documentation also includes at least some of the conventional therapies that you have previously tried. Appropriate types of documentation include progress notes, consult notes, and letters from physicians on official letterhead. If you received your relevant medical care with a member of Doylestown Health Physicians, we do have access to their electronic medical record systems.

IF THIS DOCUMENTATION IS NOT PROVIDED, WE WILL NOT BE ABLE TO CERTIFY YOU AT YOUR APPOINTMENT.

You can fax your documentation to us at 215-230-7993 or mail it to us at the following address: Doylestown Health Primary Care – Spruce Street, 300 Spruce St., Doylestown, PA 18901

HOW TO APPLY FOR A MEDICAL MARIJUANA CARD:

To obtain a medical marijuana card, you must complete four steps as highlighted below:

  1. First, visit the Patients and Caregivers Registry and create a patient profile in the Department of Health’s patient and caregiver registry.
  2. Next, obtain a physician’s certification that you suffer from one of the 17 serious medical conditions.
  3. Then, return to the Patient and Caregivers Registry and pay for a medical marijuana ID card.
  4. Obtain medical marijuana from an approved dispensary in Pennsylvania.

PHYSICIAN CERTIFICATION:

In order to obtain a medical marijuana card, you must have a certification from a qualified physician. Participating physicians are approved by the state, and they have undergone extensive training on medical cannabis. In order for a physician to provide a certification to a patient, the patient must be under continued medical care by that physician.

Medical cannabis is not covered by insurance. Therefore, the cost for medical cannabis and the cost for the certification visit are both out-of-pocket.

ENROLLMENT PRICES:

Insurance does not cover the cost of your visit for medical marijuana in any of the states including Pennsylvania. In fact, insurance has never covered the cost since the first state legalized medical marijuana in California in 1996.

The cost for medical cannabis and the cost for the certification visit are both out-of-pocket. Doctor visits for patient certification are $200.00, and the certification must be renewed annually. Follow-up visits are required every six months in order to monitor effectiveness and safety, and the cost of a follow-up visit is $100.00. 

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:

What do I need to qualify for the medical marijuana program in Pennsylvania?

You must have proof of Pennsylvania residency and a qualifying medical condition to apply for your medical marijuana card. Acceptable documents to prove your residency in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania include a Pennsylvania state I.D. or passport. If these documents are not available, you may present other documents such as utility bills, bank statements, etc.

Where do I obtain medical marijuana once I receive my medical marijuana card from the state?

Dispensaries are licensed throughout the state to dispense medical marijuana to patients. These can be found on the state website.

Does the Medical Marijuana Program protect against federal prosecution?

The short answer to this is “no.” Even though the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has legalized marijuana for medicinal purposes, marijuana remains a schedule one narcotic according to the Drug Enforcement Agency. This means that the federal government considers marijuana illegal. During the Obama Administration, the Department of Justice published the “Cole Memo,” which de-prioritized the use of federal funds to enforce cannabis prohibition.

On January 4, 2017, however, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice rescinded the “Cole Memo” and other Obama era policies. This move represents a shift in federal policy to one in which prosecutors across the country may decide how to prioritize the enforcement of marijuana possession, distribution and cultivation.

At the time of this writing, it is unclear what this policy shift means for Medical Marijuana Programs across the country.

Can I designate another person to obtain medical marijuana for me from a dispensary?

A patient can designate up to two caregivers to obtain medical marijuana on their behalf. A caregiver must also apply for a medical marijuana identification card.

How do I setup an appointment with Dr. Schnur to get my required marijuana certification?

To setup your appointment, you must call the office at 215-230-7800 or by clicking on “Contact Us” and submitting on line form. Already established patients of Dr. Schnur will be required to have a consultation for marijuana certification with Dr. Schnur. This consultation must occur independent from your normal patient visit since the service is not covered by insurance. Appointments will be granted on a first come, first serve basis.