OKLAHOMA CITY — Skipping the traditional doctor’s office visit, a growing number of medical marijuana patients are turning to providers who promise quicker, more convenient appointments from the comfort of home.
Brightly colored billboards are popping up along major roadways advertising the ease of virtual house calls to obtain the needed medical marijuana physician recommendation.
And some businesses offering telemedicine access say Oklahomans are showing a ton of interest. They’re seeing month-over-month percentage growth in the number of people signing up for appointments.
“Every month there are just more and more people,” said Kyle Powers, CEO of PrestoDoctor. The telemedicine platform has posted several bright yellow billboards around the state and plans to add more. “I think more and more people are finding out about the program.”
On good days, the company’s 15 to 20 licensed physicians are seeing more than 100 patients a day, six days a week, he said. The company charges $139 for an appointment and always gives the state’s two-year maximum physician recommendation, Powers said. The state’s license application fees are additional.
PrestoDoctor also offers virtual visits in California, Nevada, New York and Missouri.
“Everyone these days is too busy to take two hours out of your day to sit in a doctor’s office,” Powers said. “It’s not very convenient when you can just do the appointment at home.”
Rhys Wescott, an account executive with MarijuanaDoctors.com, which maintains a nationwide physician directory and provides free information for patients, said virtual visits are a pretty popular option. They typically vary in cost with more expensive doctors offering additional services. Medical insurance typically does not cover the visit, he said.
Wescott said although medical marijuana is legal in 33 states, only seven or eight — including Oklahoma — allow virtual physician approvals.