Missouri legislators are back at it … At the end of February, Elevate Holistics—along with a patient, a doctor in our network, and a veteran activist—was interviewed about the legislation introduced by Missouri Rep. Jon Patterson that would ban already-approved telemedicine appointments for medical marijuana patients. Without a doubt, such a move would limit access to medical marijuana.

This bill (HB 1896) has been adopted by the House and is now in the process of being adopted by the Senate as SB 764.

Telemedicine is when patients have doctor visits via video. It allows medical marijuana access to rural, disabled, elderly, and veteran communities that might not otherwise receive treatment.

Not only does the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) already allow a physician to certify patients through telemedicine, but Article XIV explicitly prohibits legislators or (the Department of Health and Senior Services) from enacting any laws that would cause an undue burden on patients.

Now, consider what that undue burden entails if someone from this community has to go to a doctor’s office during this coronavirus landscape?

The SB 764 amendment that would ban telemedicine mirrors the House amendment. It states that the following must happen for a medical marijuana patient’s certification:

b) The physician met with and examined the qualifying patient in-person, reviewed the qualifying patient's medical records or medical history, reviewed the qualifying patient's current medications and allergies to medications, discussed the qualifying patient's current symptoms, and created a medical record for the qualifying patient regarding the meeting;

That one little first clause could change treatment accessibility and options for countless patients in Missouri.

In this video of Senator Onder presenting the bill to the Senate, it is clear that no consideration is even given to the burden to patients this would cause.

The whole point of medical marijuana is to offer an alternative to patients that traditional medicine has let down, and safe access to people who might not otherwise have it. This includes innumerable homebound and rural patients, who struggle to make it to appointments, or whose condition is so debilitating that they can’t.

And at Elevate Holistics we know that the consequences of a ban on telemedicine for medical marijuana patients are far more significant than how a legislator “thinks” about it—without considering the patients.

Then again, perhaps they’re not worried that these constituents will get out to vote. It’s time to contact our legislators, people. If you don't know who your legislator is or how to reach them we can help you find them now

If you want to show your support by getting your medical marijuana card through an online appointment we can help you Schedule Your Appointment Now