9/13/17: Medical Marijuana E-News Update for PA, DE and the USA
Information on Medical Marijuana Access for Patients, Physician Training Certifications, and Approved Healthcare Conditions for Use
Hey everyone! It's Dr. Roman here. This e-newsletter is something special I've been working on, and I hope that the time it's taken me to create it makes it easy to click on the topics important to you. That way, patients across state borders can stay informed quickly. I know that many of you are eagerly awaiting a Pennsylvania medical marijuana card. Click on Topic 2 below to jump ahead and read more on that.
- Approved Healthcare Conditions for Use of Medical Marijuana: DE, PA, USA
- Information for Patients (legal status, timeline of availability, scheduling an appointment): DE, PA, USA
- Information for Physicians: Physician Training Certification Info
- Recent Media Interviews and Links of Interest
- Contact Matthew Roman, MD (primary care physician and medical marijuana expert), for Questions
(1) Approved Healthcare Conditions for Use of Medical Marijuana: DE, PA, USA
The below table provides a detailed list of the over sixty healthcare conditions for which medical marijuana has been approved throughout the U.S.
Dr. Roman's Commentary and State Medical Marijuana Awards:
- Condition with Most State Approvals: As mentioned above, over sixty conditions are listed and currently approved for medical cannabis treatment in non-recreational use states.
- The condition with the most states supporting treatment with cannabis is ... [drum roll please, pause, pause ...]. There is a tie for first place: AIDS (HIV and AIDS) and Cancer are approved by a whopping 22 states for medical marijuana physician care, and this list doesn't include states with recreational liberties (eight additional states + DC).
- A close second: Trailing by online one state, medical marijuana is currently approved as a treatment for Epilepsy in twenty-one states.
- State Medical Independence Award: This great accolade goes to the state that has achieved medical cannabis status as independently as possible from medical oversight.
- As of August, 23th, 2017, the winner is Rhode Island, which claimed a decisive win with its effort to approve muscle spasms. Rhode Island has won our hearts by linking it to conditions near and far to logistical reasoning. Physicians are reminded that muscle spasms may be "characteristic of multiple sclerosis or Crohn's disease." How considerate of Rhode Island to include Crohn's disease, despite its absence from the state's official condition list. What a better time to provide patients medical marijuana, than when Crohn's disease causes uncontrollable muscle spasms? Great job, Rhode Island!
- The Overzealous Young Grasshopper Award: The most coveted accolade of them all. The prize for the state with the greatest passion for medical marijuana treatment.
- Some states just can't wait to legalize marijuana use recreationally, and their medical marijuana programs reflect it. Take North Dakota, for example. There, any "dementia" works regardless of type or cause. They slipped "spinal stenosis" in as well. This year's winner, however, isn't a state at all. It's Puerto Rico! The island that everyone loves has approved favorites like fibromyalgia and chronic pain, as well as migraines, where it stands alone. But, the greatest umbrella-condition of them all that has been approved for medical marijuana use - and the condition for which Puerto Rico wins this year's Overzealous Young Grasshopper Award - is anxiety! Well done, Puerto Rico. Well done (2).
(2) Information for Patients (legal status, timeline of availability, schedule and appointment): DE, PA
Update on legal status and timeline of availability in PA:
- Medical marijuana has been approved by the State of Pennsylvania for the following healthcare conditions: Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), Autism, Cancer, Crohn's Disease, Damage to spinal cord with objective neurological indication of intractable spasticity (muscle spasms proven on testing), Epilepsy, Glaucoma, HIV/AIDS, Huntington's Disease, Inflammatory Bowel Disease (i.e., Ulcerative Colitis & Crohn's 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 (i.e., "chronic pain"), and Sickle Cell Anemia.
- The list of physicians who have completed the state's required training certification for prescribing medical marijuana will be posted online soon, on the PA Department of Health's Medical Marijuana website.
- Matthew Roman, MD, received Pennsylvania state approval for completion of the state's medical marijuana training (and, notification from the state that he was the first physician to do so).
- Dr. Roman's Pennsylvania medical clinic location (131 N. 4th St., Philadelphia, PA 19106) is open and seeing patients, and Dr. Roman is available to answer questions for other physicians. They can call him at his office phone number (855) 420-DOCS [420-3627].
- Available days for Pennsylvania appointments: Mondays and Tuesdays in Philly. Hours are 10-4 PM, for now, but he will be expanding clinic hours to evenings as well as possibly Fridays and weekends, depending on demand.
- Conditions worth noting that have not been approved in PA are: Alzheimer's disease, other autoimmune diseases, other psychological conditions like anxiety and depression. These will have to be petitioned to be added in the future, if Pennsylvanians are to be treated for them. Some autoimmune conditions, like rheumatoid arthritis, cause pain and can be treated in conjunction with the suffering of chronic pain from such serious illnesses.
- Expected Next Steps: The next steps for PA patients are speculative, and an educated guess is all Dr. Roman can offer. He thinks that because he has registered online and can sign-in to the Department of Health website, patients may be asked to create their own username and logins. There may be a way to link the patient accounts with Dr. Roman's account, so he can verify patients for their medical marijuana cards online. Eventually, patients will need to get a medical marijuana card. If these will be photo-IDs, patients will have to either upload a photograph online so the card can be sent, or visit a location to have a picture taken and a card printed, as is done in Delaware (see DE news, below). Given the size of the state and the speed at which this operation has to come into effect, Dr. Roman's best prediction is that the cards will be left without photographs, like in Michigan, for example. That would allow cards to be sent to patient addresses, so they can be processed more quickly. The New York online marijuana registration system might be what Pennsylvania's medical marijuana registration system will be based on. Again, these are all speculations right now.
- Our Philly Nature's Way Medicine clinic location is located within walking distance to the Liberty Bell and Independence Hall, the Betsy Ross House and the National Constitution Center, and located within 1-2 miles of South St. (and Jim's Steaks!), Essene Market, Whole Foods Market, and many other historical sites and restaurants!
Update on legal status and availability in DE:
- Medical marijuana is approved by the State of Delaware for the following healthcare concerns: ALS, Alzheimer's disease, Autism, Cancer, Cirrhosis (decompensated), Chronic Pain, Epilepsy, Failure to thrive (cachexia, wasting syndrome), HIV/AIDS, Multiple Sclerosis, muscle spasms (including, but not limited to, those characteristic of multiple sclerosis), Nausea, PTSD and Terminal Illness.
- More recently, a petition to allow PTSD approval by all physicians (not just psychiatrists) has passed, and patients can now be seen by their own physicians, and can be approved for their PTSD medical marijuana treatment without having to see Dr. Turgeon. Having said that, Dr. Roman still prefers to focus on non-psychiatric conditions and refers clients to Dr. Marc Turgeon, DO, who has much more experience in treating PTSD patients with cannabis, and he specializes in this field. Follow ups with him for 6 month check-ups and card renewals are being scheduled for September 23rd, so call Nature's Way Medicine to set that up if you haven't already. Follow-ups, including renewals, are only $100.
- Currently, there are dispensaries in Lewes and Wilmington. A third dispensary is planned to open in Kent County by a company named Columbia Care, which has dispensaries in eight other jurisdictions, including a recent bid that was approved in neighboring Pennsylvania. Dr. Roman expects their selection to add variety to the medical cannabis strains available in Delaware.
- Dr. Roman's Delaware medical clinic location (1224 N King St., Wilmington, DE 19801) is currently seeing patients in Delaware on Wednesdays and Thursdays. Hours have been extended into the late evening to be more accessible to patients unable to make it during typical business hours. Dr. Turgeon will be seeing new patients every fourth Saturday, and he currently still has available openings on September 9th.
- Anxiety did not pass as a qualified medical condition for medical marijuana treatment in Delaware.
- Additional note: CPR classes are regularly taught in a conference room adjacent to our Delaware clinic location (at the same address) by Yolanda Johnson, LMT, 5 year American Heart Association certified CPR Instructor. Courses offered: BLS (Basic Life Support) Provider and Heartsaver First Aid CPR AED (Automated External Defibrillator). Classes are typically offered on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, 4:15 to 8:15 PM, and Saturdays and Sundays, 9:30 AM to 1:30 PM. Heartsaver training is only held on weekends, from 9:30 AM to 3:30 PM. Group discounts are available, and company trainings are also available. Contact Yolanda Johnson for questions and course registration: 302-275-4052, coolwatermindbody (at) verizon.net.
(3) Information for Physicians: Physician Training Certification Information
- Physicians can join the Pennsylvania medical marijuana physician registration list by registering online and taking the mandatory 4-hour training on medical marijuana.
- The two training providers approved by the state of Pennsylvania are The Answer Page (www.TheAnswerPage.com), which provides online training, and Extra Step Assurance (www.CannabisExpertise.com), which will be providing in-person education for physicians across the state. Check out Dr. Roman's blog for more details.
- Delaware physicians are not required to take any training prior to approving patients for medical marijuana. These days, most are happy to refer their patients to Nature's Way Medicine, as they would to any other specialist. This is in stark contrast to the initial attitude by physicians when Dr. Roman was just starting on Lawyer's Row in Delaware in 2015!
- Physicians have shown interest in using Nature's Way Medicine's Philadelphia, PA location address (131 N. 4th St, Philadelphia, PA 19106) for registering themselves on the Pennsylvania Department of Health medical marijuana physician online portal. As evidenced by their concerns, listing an office address is a deterrent from joining the physician registry. Instead, they have asked to list Nature's Way Medicine's address, so that they can see some of their own bona fide patients at our clinic to approve them for cannabis. Physicians interested in such an arrangement can discuss this in detail with Dr. Roman by contacting the office or emailing him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(4) Recent Media Interviews and Links of Interest:
Fox News, Philly - Article and Video Interview, 11/15/16: Pennsylvania’s First Medical Marijuana Practitioner Sets Up Shop In Old City
Interview with Dr. James A. Duke on 7/25/17: Health and medicinal properties of hemp/cannabis/medical marijuana. Dr. Duke is the author of The Green Pharmacy and over 30 other books on medicinal plants. He received his PhD in ethnobotany, and he worked as for 27 years as an economic botanist with the USDA. Currently, he serves as distinguished herbal lecturer with the Maryland University of Integrative Health (http://www.muih.edu/ncc). Dr. Duke is considered one of the world's foremost authorities on the medicinal, nutritive and healing properties of plants. Dr. Duke's websites: https://thegreenfarmacygarden.com, http://greenpharmacy.com and https://phytochem.nal.usda.gov/phytochem/search. Outstanding upcoming event, 9/13/17, 1-5 PM: The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA; http://www.ahpa.org) and American Botanical Council (ABC; http://abc.herbalgram.org) HerbWalk participants will visit Dr. Duke's Green Farmacy Garden for a guided tour of its botanical garden, which features over 300 healing and medicinal plants from throughout the world. Full event details...
American Botanical Council article on Cannabis and Seizures (coming soon): The American Botanical Council (ABC; http://abc.herbalgram.org) is one of the world's leading organizations providing information to consumers, healthcare professionals, researchers, educators, industry and the media on the safe and effective use of herbs and medicinal plants. ABC produces a quarterly journal highlighting research and news on herbs and medicinal plants, called HerbalGram (2). In the upcoming August-October HerbalGram issue (#115), an article on hemp/cannabis/medical marijuana's healing properties for seizures will be featured. See ABC's home page for the cannabis and seizures article, and ABC's member options page for a full list of the educational and business resources available to ABC members. New book on hemp/cannibus/medical marijuana: Smoke Signals: A Social History of Marijuana - Medicinal, Recreational and Scientific, by Martin Lee, Director of Project CBD (https://www.projectcbd.org). This book received ABC's Book of the Year Award, an award given in Dr. Jim Duke's name.
Additional News and Media Articles:
- News Journal - Article and Video Interview, 9/2/16: Delaware Medical Marijuana Patients in Limbo
- Daily Local News – Article, 5/8/17: Experts at Pennsylvania Conference Say Cannibus Can Help Fight Opioid Epidemic
- Lyme disease article published by Dr. Roman: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4274401/
- Marijuana concentrates for beginners and Pennsylvania residents (raw marijuana flower not yet allowed)
- W. B. O’Shaughnessy and the Introduction of Cannabis to Modern Western Medicine, O'Shaughnessy's Online
- Americans for Safe Access: Advancing Legal Medical Marijuana Therapeutics and Research
- FDA Declares CBD (Cannabidiol, a component of hemp/cannibus/medical marijuana) "Beneficial," Wants Your Input ASAP
- Add your comments on the FDA website on the health effects of cannabidiol by 9/13/17.
(5) Contact Matthew Roman, MD (primary care physician and medical marijuana expert) for questions
Wishing you the best of health!
Matthew Roman, MD
Nature's Way Medicine
Delaware: 1224 N King St., Wilmington, DE 19801
Pennsylvania: 131 N 4th St., Philadelphia, PA 19106
Clinic: 855-420-3627 (855-420-DOCS)
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