Navigating the Medical Marijuana Process Q&A with Samuel Adetunji, Co-Founder of Veriheal
Thejointblog.com had the privilege interviewing Samuel Adetunji, the co-founder of Veriheal, a healthcare technology company with a mission to provide personalized cannabis education and wellness to everyone around the world. He provided us some great insights for those looking to leverage marijuana for medical purposes.
Can you explain the process of getting a medical marijuana card right now?
With Veriheal, the entire process is easier than ever. Prospective patients simply come to our website to explore the regulations in their specific state where we will guide them through the general steps and processes that their state mandates. When they are ready, they can then book an appointment to see a doctor in our network at a time that is most convenient for them. We even offer on-demand appointments in most states where patients can have a consultation that same day.
Once a patient has their consultation with the doctor, typically through a HIPAA-compliant video conference, the doctor will ultimately make the decision to recommend them or not for medical cannabis.
One of the best parts about Veriheal is that we offer a money-back guarantee for those that are not approved. We have an extremely high success rate, over 95%, since we help pre-qualify patients before they even book the appointment.
Finally, when a patient receives their recommendation, they will either be granted immediate access to medical dispensaries in their state or apply with their state’s medical cannabis program, often through the DOH. The state will review the application and approve the patient for the state’s program and either mail them a physical medical card or provide a digital one to be used at dispensaries. And that’s it!
What are some of the biggest issues’ patients face while going through this process?
The biggest issues have and continue to be access and education. Most of our customers discover Veriheal without even knowing that they could qualify for medical cannabis, or that it’s available at all. When someone does ultimately decide to take action and try to get approved for medical cannabis, the process can seem extremely daunting. Finding a doctor that will work with you and understand your specific health needs and how medical cannabis might influence your conditions is a difficult task. Veriheal has streamlined all of this.
Also, I would like to add that the industry is still in its infancy, and because of that, knowledge and education is in short supply. Finding a brand and general information that you can trust can be extremely hard. We are here to bridge that gap for the nuanced cannabis patient as well as the long-time user.
How hard is it to find a dispensary once I’ve gotten a medical marijuana card?
This really depends on the state. States like Virginia and Missouri have had programs now for a long time, and just finally getting around to opening medical dispensaries. Then you have states like Maryland and Pennsylvania where dispensaries are in no short supply. The problem still remains however at finding a dispensary that will work closely with you and have a steady supply of products that you need to better your life. We work very closely with the patients that use our platform to get them educated and directed to a dispensary that makes sense for them.
During this pandemic, is it possible to have virtual appointments with a doctor?
Oh yes. Pre-COVID, our appointments were about 50-50 online and in person. Now they are over 90% online. Luckily, we have been preparing for this, and leaning towards the at-home-care model for quite some time. We had the protocols in place to quickly expand our offering to states that supplied some leniency towards telemedicine during these times where they previously would not necessarily have allowed it. Our platform now supports anywhere from 300-400 appointments per day.
If I suffer from chronic illness, is getting a medical marijuana card a valid option for me?
It certainly is. This is a decision that is ultimately up to the full discretion of the recommending physician, but many states do indeed have a long list of qualifying conditions from which many chronic illnesses are present. We see a lot of patients come through our platform that have chronic pain, PTSD, anxiety, sleep disorders, and a plethora of other conditions that ultimately get approved for medical cannabis use.
What happens for patients living in states that haven’t legalized medical marijuana yet? Are there other online options for me?
Last year we launched our personalized consultation service. This allows anyone in any state to take a deep dive into what products are available for them and how they may benefit from them. We have a great network of deeply knowledgeable cannabis coaches that understand a plethora of cannabinoids, like THC and CBD, and can help steer someone, in any state, towards holistic options currently available to them.
About Samuel Adetunji:
Tech leader, Sam Adetunji is Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Veriheal; a partner of “Change Lives with Cannabis” mantra and personal advocate to the miraculous benefits of the plant.
From business building to foreign currency exchange, Sam brings a salesman hustler’s swagger to this industry having previously held positions at Western Union Business Solutions, The Knowland Group, and Palisade Corporation.
A native New Yorker, with purposeful parents, Sam is committed to hard work. As a world-traveled master communicator, Sam invests in entrepreneurs including acting as the chief advisor to the Veriheal Cannabis scholarship. “Entrepreneurship means freedom to me.
Going into the cannabis business can be risky; people closest to you will tell you things to discourage you from not knowing the opportunities that exist in the cannabis industry.” He is dedicated to cultivating underdeveloped participation in the trade. Sam earned his Bachelor of Science in Marketing from The Virginia Commonwealth University and resides in San Diego, California.