Why Won’t a Doctor Prescribe Medical Marijuana to a Patient and What To Do?


It’s believed medical cannabis can treat symptoms of over 20 ailments. Specifically, the use of marijuana provides effective relief from side effects of chemotherapy, prevents nausea and vomiting, relieves pain and increases appetite.

Unfortunately, not all physicians are open to prescribing cannabis as an option. This is often because they have not educated themselves on the potential benefits of medical marijuana.

Doctors may recognize their patients require more than just pharmacy prescriptions. But because of the way the laws are written, they’re hesitant or perhaps even fearful of prescribing marijuana. Implementation of the law may mean the doctor is fined, arrested, loses their license, or all three.

Physicians take a malpractice risk whenever prescribing any medication. This risk increases when prescribing medications off label from FDA guidelines. If a patient suffers from a side effect after receiving a prescription of an FDA Schedule I medication (heroin, LSD, marijuana), there would be no legal defense. Furthermore, prescribing a Schedule I medication would be breaking federal law unless under a very unusual circumstance or in a FDA-controlled study.

When cannabis is federally legalized and studied by the FDA, we could then have proper medical education for our physicians who can then prescribe it with less fear of clinical errors and legal ramifications. A study in 2016 revealed that none of the American medical schools had a structured course in endocannabinoid science.


Typically, doctors are very uneducated about medical cannabis. The vast majority of physicians have little to no knowledge of it. And because they’re responsible for their patients’ health care, doctors can be very unwilling to recommend something they aren’t sure of.

Some doctors believe cannabis isn’t legitimate medicine, no matter what the research says, and you’re unlikely to change their mind. What can you do if your doctor has said no?

Get a Referral

One thing you can do if your doctor says no to medical cannabis is to ask them for a referral. Your doctor may be willing to refer you to a medical cannabis clinic for further follow-up. This is likely if your doctor isn’t sure of the latest research or isn’t comfortable authorizing medical cannabis due to limited knowledge.

If your doctor is unconvinced medical marijuana can be a legitimate treatment for your condition, they may not wish to refer you to a clinic. Some clinics allow patient self-referral. You can schedule a medical cannabis consultation with the staff at the clinic for further follow-up. If nothing else, this can give you peace of mind.

Make Sure Marijuana Is Available in Your State

Most states have launched medical marijuana programs, but the medicine is not available in all states. If you’re interested in accessing marijuana to treat your condition, you first need to find out what your state law says regarding the use of weed.

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Research Pre-approved Conditions

You will not qualify for weed because you want to use it for recreational purposes. Medical marijuana is only available to patients with pre-approved conditions.

What Happens at a Consultation?

During a medical cannabis consultation, the medical professionals at the clinic will discuss medical marijuana as an option for you. You can ask them questions, and they’ll likely ask you about your medical history and why you believe medical cannabis might be the right choice for you.

At the end of the consultation, the medical practitioner will likely give you their opinion. They may send you back to your doctor with a recommendation for cannabis. In some cases, they may issue the authorization themselves. In other cases, they may agree with your doctor that medical cannabis isn’t the right choice for you.

This is similar to seeking a second opinion. Your doctor is knowledgeable and you likely trust them to look after your health. They don’t know everything, however, so following up with an expert who deals with medical cannabis patients on a regular basis could give you more insight.

Seek Out Prescriptions From Our Physicians

Make an appointment with a physician and discuss your ailments along with your desire to use medical marijuana. If the doctor thinks your condition can be improved by medical marijuana, you’ll be able to get a prescription. You can use this prescription to register as a legal user with your state and purchase medicine from any of the dispensaries in our directory.

Register As a Medical Marijuana User


Depending on what state you live in, registering as a medical cannabis user may be voluntary or mandatory. The main purpose of registration is to identify you to law enforcement as a registered user of medical marijuana. Another reason for registering is to avoid being arrested. This means you can always take marijuana without getting arrested by the police.

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