BUTLER (KDKA) — People in Butler County are one step closer to having access to medical marijuana.
A national, medical cannabis health care network just opened an office in Downtown Butler. It’s called Compassionate Certification Centers. The new branch is located on East Cunningham Street.
Before they can have access to medical marijuana, patients need to get approval from a doctor.
“Patients will be able to receive the best medical cannabis treatment care,” says Melonie Kotchey, the CEO of Compassionate Certification Centers. “They’ll see a physician, we’ll go over their medical records, and if approved, they’ll be able to get their medical card in roughly a week.”
The new center will be open five days a week.
It is not a dispensary, but there is one nearby. Cresco Yeltrah is located on Pillow Street. It was one of 52 locations in the state which were given medical marijuana permits. It has already passed its health inspection. Soon, it will be able to start selling medical marijuana. They’re just waiting on the products to be delivered.
“We’re really excited about providing the service to patients that really don’t have an alternative,” says Dr. Anu Anand of Compassionate Certification Centers.
In order to be given access to medical marijuana, patients must have one of 17 qualifying health conditions.
To see a full list, click here: pa.gov/guides/pennsylvania-medical-marijuana-program/#PatientsandCaregivers
“Most of our patients are all over the place,” says Dr. Anand. “You could have Chrohn’s, seizures, epilepsy, chronic pain is a very big one, PTSD.”
It’s estimated that nearly 200,000 patients in Pennsylvania qualify for medical marijuana cards.
“We’ll determine, based on their medical history and their previous records, if they do qualify for cannabis and provide them that certificate and allow them to go to a dispensary and pick up their appropriate medication,” says Dr. Anand.
That includes things like medical marijuana pills, creams, oils or vapors – not the kind of marijuana which can be smoked.
Doctors who work at the center believe that by providing patients access to painkiller alternatives, it may help curb the state’s opioid addiction crisis.
“We want to try everything we can do reduce the number of opioids, as well as provide alternatives for patients that have chronic seizures, are on medications that cause them to be tired,” says Dr. Anand. “Medical cannabis really does help alleviate all those symptoms, and has been shown in other states to reduce opioid use by 30 percent. So if we do that here in Butler, it would be a great asset to the community.”