UMKC pharmacy student Jana Lappin and her partner Darby Cook have launched a startup for a cannabis clinic in Kansas City. Set to open in mid-to-late June, Missouri Cannabis Clinic aims to connect patients with state-licensed physicians so they can obtain a physician certification to apply for their medical marijuana license.
The two were inspired by Randy Cook, Darby’s father, who was involved in a traumatic incident that resulted in PTSD. Randy found himself searching for a cure until he discovered cannabis.
“Throughout pharmacy school, I’ve seen a lot of patients who have benefitted from cannabis,” Lappin said. “With the passage of Amendment 2, I was really excited because I thought this would open up doors for a bunch of patients throughout Missouri to get help for their chronic conditions.”
When Amendment 2 passed in November, the Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) determined there are nine medical conditions patients can have to obtain a medical marijuana license: cancer, epilepsy, glaucoma, intractable migraines, severe muscle spasms, debilitating psychiatric disorders, HIV, prescription medication addiction, any terminal illness and any other medical condition a physician determines to be chronic.
Patients who have one of the nine conditions can go to Missouri Cannabis Clinic with their medical and prescription records and have a consultation with one of the physicians on site. The doctors then go over the patient’s medical records to determine if they would qualify for the physician certification. The certification is then taken and used to apply to the DHSS.
“I’ve noticed through my experience that there are a lot of misnomers and not a lot of education to doctors, physicians and other health care providers about medical marijuana and its benefits,” Lappin said. “A lot of physicians are not willing to write certifications, so we’re trying to make that easier for patients who do qualify.”
Currently, physician certifications are only good for 30 days. The DHSS is not accepting applicants until July 4, meaning any certification before that date would be considered invalid. While this creates obstacles with Lappin’s clinic, she still aims to connect as many patients with physicians as possible.
“That’s kind of the crazy thing about cannabis, it has such a wide reach,” Lappin said. “So many people can benefit from it, even kids. There are kids with seizure disorders that highly benefit from cannabis. On the flip side of that, there are veterans who can benefit from it because they have PTSD or chronic pain.”
For more information on whether or not you qualify for a physician certification visit the clinic’s website at https://www.missouricannabisclinic.com/