How to Avoid Fake Medical Marijuana Card Providers
When medical marijuana cards were legalized in Arizona in 2010, several fake MMJ card scams cropped up as well. These scams remain abundant even in the age of recreational marijuana, so it’s important to protect yourself. Fortunately, there are several things you can do to make sure your medical marijuana card is legitimate.
1. Search for an Actual Address
Make sure that the clinic has an actual address listed on their website. In addition, check sites like Google and Yelp to confirm their physical location. When Google-searching the name of the clinic, you should ideally see a Google My Business listing in the right column of the Google search results. This listing should reveal the company’s name, address, hours, website, and verified reviews.
2. Contact the Clinic
You want to make sure that you can actually speak with a representative when you call. Most importantly, you want to ensure that the representative is able to answer all of your questions in a meaningful way without seeming wishy-washy. They should be able to lay out their processes clearly and accurately, explain the laws about marijuana for medical use, and help you to set up an appointment with minimal hassle.
3. See the Physician Face to Face
A reputable clinic will require a physician to visually see the patient for a physical exam—whether in person or via a telemedicine MMJ appointment. They’ll review any medical records and get to know your situation. This is necessary to ensure that you have a qualifying Arizona medical condition and would benefit from the use of medical marijuana. If the clinic offers to issue a card via just a phone call or web form, you’re not dealing with a reputable provider.
4. Check Trusted Cannabis Websites
When researching a clinic, be sure to check out trusted cannabis websites like Leafly, AZ Marijuana, and Weedmaps. If the clinic isn’t listed on any major cannabis sites, that may be a sign that you should pursue your medical cannabis card somewhere else.
5. Make Sure the Clinic Has Multiple Years’ Worth of Reviews
You don’t want to trust a clinic with no track record. One of the best ways to confirm the trustworthiness of a clinic is to determine how long they’ve been around and what people have said about them through the years. When checking reviews, pay careful attention to how far the reviews go back.
6. Make Sure the Clinic Is Transparent About Pricing
You want to work with a clinic that doesn’t hide pricing information. They should be transparent not only about their own fees but about the total cost of getting certified. The Arizona Department of Health Services always charges an application fee of $150 (except for SNAP recipients), and anyone not showing that information is hiding the true costs.
7. Make Sure They’re Knowledgeable About the Law
There are constantly new, fly-by-night offices popping up. These medical cannabis clinics are often unfamiliar with the rules or processes required to ensure that patients get their applications for a card approved by the Health Department. In some cases, they may have no customer service representatives to speak with if there is a problem. If you cannot talk to someone before seeing a doctor, can you really expect them to be there if there is a problem?
Reputable Medical Marijuana Doctors Make It Possible to Get a Legitimate Medical Card
If you want to get your medical marijuana card and access privileges not available to recreational users, options are available. There are some excellent cannabis doctors out there, and they can even help you to obtain a same-day medical marijuana card in many cases.
The key is to look for an MMJ clinic that has been in business for years, provides a wide variety of availability, has a staff that is able to answer their phones and provide accurate answers, has a great reputation on the major review sites, and provides clear pricing and process information. As long as you do your homework, you’ll be in good hands.