Medical Cannabis Card in PA - Medical Records
August 8, 2019 8:40 AM   Subscribe

I have anxiety, which just recently became an approved condition for medical cannabis in PA. What is an MMJ doctor going to need in terms of medical records?

I have anxiety. I have historically discussed this with both my PCP and my psychiatrist. There are a couple of factors that seem like they might make this more complicated:

1. Comorbidity. I also have ADHD and bipolar II. Currently I take adderall for the ADHD (prescribed by my PCP) and Lamotrigine and Latuda for the bipolar II (prescribed by my psychiatrist.) In other words, I am not currently taking any anxiety medication. I do have a history of taking Lexapro for anxiety, but that was about 5 years ago (it was prescribed by my PCP.) To make a long story short, I don't know to what extent either my PCP or Psychiatrist would have any documentation about anxiety. If they did it would be on the older side. I don't know if that would be sufficient for what an MMJ doctor is looking for.

2. Either doctor's views on the subject. I honestly have no idea what my PCP thinks about MMJ. My psychiatrist is very against me using marijuana and has made that clear.

To bring this all around to an actual question: What are MMJ doctors looking for in terms of documentation, and does anyone have personal experience with this, particularly in PA? The doctor closest to me has this on their website:

(all conditions require health notes/ official diagnosis from doctor/ progress notes, etc.)

Secondly, if I were to, say, talk to my PCP about this, what would I request, exactly?

Thank in advance. Throwaway email:
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (3 answers total)
I don’t know the laws in PA but as a side note I think you have two options: 1. Seek out MMJ and a new cooperative psychiatrist or 2. Keep your psychiatrist and do not get an Rx for MMJ.

It seems unlikely that you could have success with your current psychiatrist if you added medication that she did not approve of.
posted by OrangeVelour at 9:03 AM on August 8, 2019 [2 favorites]

You should start by talking to your PCP, who may already be on the approved physician's list. If they're not, they will need to provide documentation of your anxiety to someone who IS on the approved physician's list, so this is another thing you can talk to them about.

See here to find out why your shrink doesn't want you to take it, and why they might be right. According to that link, "It is recommended that patients avoid the use of marijuana ... if they are treated for ... bipolar disorder, as the cannabinoids ... can produce psychotoxic effects and may exacerbate psychiatric disorders." But there's more, you really should check it out.
posted by ubiquity at 9:10 AM on August 8, 2019

In PA, the doctor signing off on you mmj card should be following you for the condition. In other words, if the mmj doctor is a family medicine or internal medicine doctor, you dhould switch to them as your pcp. If they are a psychiatrist then you should begin seeing them as your regular psychiatrist.
That all said, i have not seen this aspect of pas mmj law enforced in any way, nor does the law define what "follow" means specifically (i.e. how often should you have a check up with this doc).

As far as documentation, your visits from your pcp or psychiatrist where you discussed anxiety with them should have a diagnosis code for anxiety attached, whether they prescibed something or not. For the mmj doc your most recent visit records where you discussed anxiety with your current doctors should be sufficient.
posted by WeekendJen at 1:49 PM on August 10, 2019

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