Even before the start of the pandemic, the medical marijuana industry was already one of the fastest-growing sectors, statistics showing that 48% of Americans had used marijuana in their lifetime. But, with the pandemic, the industry grew even more, and telehealth has had a significant role to play. In the past months, virtual doctor’s visits have been critical in reducing the spread of the novel coronavirus, and federal governments and insurers have covered them financially. At the same time, over 20 states have approved the use of telehealth for medical marijuana prescriptions. Before the pandemic, it was relatively rare for states to allow the prescription of medical marijuana after conducting online virtual appointments, but that changed when many states classified dispensaries as essential businesses during the lockdown. According to the Marijuana Policy Project, most practitioners now allow telehealth services, but some still require in-person visits first.
As for patients, the feedback seems to be overwhelmingly positive, thanks to the advantages of telehealth. For example, they explain that they feel much better knowing that they don’t have to go to the doctor’s office in person, and the appointment itself consists of just talking. At the doctors’ end, the telehealth model is more flexible because it allows them to provide personalized counseling for people who want to navigate getting a medical marijuana card in Missouri and other states.
Telehealth volume estimated to stay the same even after the pandemic
Digital transformation has taken by storm all industries in the past few months, medicine