State now approving medical marijuana cards same day

Medical Marijuana patient and advocate Vikki Higgins says better access is great news for new patients [Jami Seymore | KSNV]

The state of Nevada is now making it easier for new medical marijuana patients to get the medicine they need.

A new application office just opened up in Las Vegas where a patient can get approved for a medical marijuana card in just one day.

"I just talked with somebody the other day who said they sent their paperwork in. Five months later and she's in a panic," Vicki Higgins, a medical marijuana patient and advocate, said.

She says when the medical marijuana program first began in Nevada it took a while for patients to get the medicine they needed.

"When you apply for that and it takes three to five weeks to get back it can be a very anxiety-ridden time period for a patient," Higgins said.

Here's how the process worked before: you fill out an application and take it to a doctor who recommends marijuana for a qualified condition. You send those documents to the state for review. Once that's done you get a temporary approval while you go to the DMV for an official patient card.

Riana Durrett is the executive director of the Nevada Dispensary Association, a group pushing for patient access to medical marijuana.

"Usually, it probably takes about two weeks," Durrett said.

With the new process, you start at a participating dispensary, they help you complete the application and advise you on where to get a doctor's recommendation.

You make an appointment at the new application office and if approved, you get your temporary permit on site.

While a DMV visit is still required, Durrett says that step might also disappear in the near future.

"So it is possible if you have a qualifying medical condition to receive your patient approval on the same day," Durrett said.

It's something that puts medical marijuana on par with pharmacies.

"Prescriptions are usually filled in the same day. Somebody with a qualifying condition like cancer or multiple sclerosis should be able to obtain their medicine on the same day," Durrett said.

If you're considering medical marijuana as an option and need it quickly, the best place to start is at a participating dispensary.

For a full list of participating dispensaries, CLICK HERE.

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