States that have a medical marijuana program create specific laws around the program. Many states use a process that includes an approved medical marijuana doctor making a recommendation for medical marijuana for the patient. The patient pays the state registry fee and obtains an MMJ card that is required to purchase medical marijuana at dispensaries in that state. The MMJ card must be renewed as per the guidelines developed by the state.
The Texas Way
Texas uses a different system. While a medical marijuana doctor is still required to approve the South Houston patient with qualifying medical and psychological conditions, the MMJ doctor does not make a recommendation for the use of medical marijuana. Instead, the MMJ doctor writes a prescription that is stored in the CURT or Compassionate Use Registry of Texas, which is a secure database. Patients do not need to show an MMJ card to place a prescription order. Instead, the dispensary accesses the CURT to verify the prescription and fill the order.
As there is no initial medical marijuana card provided to the patient, there is no MMJ card renewal requirement. Instead, patients in the South Houston area meet with their MMJ doctor on a phone call via a telemedicine appointment, both for the initial prescription as well as for the MMJ card renewal/prescription renewal process.
Rather than the traditional MMJ card renewal, patients in Texas speak with their MMJ doctor via telemedicine appointment. The information from the dispensary in Texas will provide information on the remaining refills. Should the patient not there are no further refills, an appointment with the MMJ doctor is required before the next prescription can be filled.