The cannabis plant contains chemicals that may help treat a range of illnesses or symptoms. This has prompted a growing number of states – including Pennsylvania – to legalize cannabis for medical use.
Despite federal obstacles to medical cannabis research, dozens of studies support its safety and efficacy.
We believe that education and community outreach can change the way medical cannabis is viewed and help people understand its benefits. But to have a successful medical cannabis program, there needs to be a relationship between research, physicians, and patients.
CAMO is the bridge that connects them.
CAMO has been educating patients and physicians alike throughout Western Pennsylvania since 2014. Our physician advocates include pain specialists, neurosurgeons, oncologists, autoimmune specialists, and more. It is our goal to provide information and education to the community so they can make the best decisions regarding their health and treatment.
Our years of knowledge and professional experience within the medical industry sets CAMO apart as we educate the community. One of our main goals is to bring forth findings that are accurate, duplicable, and useful to the community at large.
Pennsylvania’s medical cannabis program includes funding for research institutions to study the use of medical cannabis to treat other serious conditions. The act also establishes an advisory committee that serves as a review board for research findings and for making any necessary recommendations for change.
In addition, the law also provides revenue to the Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs for community programs such as drug abuse prevention, counseling, and treatment services. Funds are also given to the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency for distribution to local police departments, serving the community as a whole.
We want to teach as many people as possible about the benefits and drawbacks of medical cannabis. We believe patients receive the best care when they are educated about all of their options.
Though CAMO aims to provide the highest quality education to all patients, we have a special focus on the brave men and women of our military. Our veterans face the same challenges as civilian patients, but there are some important differences. Most notable is the prevalence of wartime-induced post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and the high risk of addiction from narcotic treatment for injuries incurred at war.
Patients with qualifying conditions and a doctor’s certification can apply for a cannabis card with the Department of Health. If their application is accepted, they (or their caregiver) will be issued an identification card, which will allow them to buy medical cannabis from a state-permitted dispensary. If they are found in possession of medical cannabis in a form and quantity that their certification allows, the card also shields them from arrest and conviction.
Still, there are some restrictions on their use of medical cannabis. Patients may not
- Grow cannabis.
- Drive under the influence of cannabis.
- Give or sell cannabis to anyone.
- Possess cannabis on a school bus or school grounds.
- Use cannabis in public.
- Smoke cannabis.
- Use dried leaf or whole plant cannabis.
- Use medical cannabis in the workplace while performing specific dangerous activities.
- Buy food or drinks infused with cannabis.
Since 2014, CAMO has been educating patients and physicians alike throughout Western Pennsylvania. Our physician advocates include pain specialists, neurosurgeons, oncologists, autoimmune specialists, and more. Together, we connect with more than 50,000 patients.
Before doctors can recommend medical cannabis to patients, they must participate in a four-hour course developed by the Department of Health. After a doctor has done so and registered with the department, they can write recommendations for patients who suffer from qualifying conditions.
After receiving their doctor’s recommendation, a patient will then register with the department to receive certified access to state-permitted dispensaries.
According to current information, no doctors have ever been prosecuted for recommending medical cannabis in states with medical cannabis programs.
To make a certification, a doctor MUST
- Be currently licensed and in good standing.
- Be responsible for the ongoing care of the patient.
- Include a diagnosis of a qualifying condition in the patient’s medical records.
- Complete a four-hour course developed by the Department of Health.
- Register with the Department of Health.
To make a certification, a doctor CANNOT
- Conduct an exam using telemedicine technology.
- Receive pay from or refer patients to cannabis businesses.
- Conduct an exam at a location where medical cannabis is sold.
- Have a direct or indirect economic interest in a cultivator or dispensary.
- Advertise in a cultivation center or dispensary.
- Help patients obtain cannabis or offer advice on usage.