The legislation is passed, the Oak Park dispensary location is picked — 1140 Lake St. — and now medical cannabis patients just need to register for the program with a recommendation from their doctor.

Sounds easy enough, right? 

Not so much, said Amy Lee, a licensed clinical social worker with Seven Point, the new Oak Park dispensary run by entrepreneur Brad Zerman.

Lee told Wednesday Journal that doctors, as well as patients, need to be educated on medical cannabis.

She said Seven Point has been reaching out to doctors’ offices and hospitals in an effort to gauge their interest in recommending medical cannabis. Seven Point sent a survey to a couple dozen doctors in and around Oak Park and received responses from about 40 percent, she said, noting that many doctors are unaware of the various applications of medical cannabis and which illnesses it is used to treat. The ailments it is used for in other states include HIV-AIDS, hepatitis, lupus, infectious disease and cancer, among others, she said.

“Doctors are the biggest challenge,” Lee said.

Seven Point is providing informational sessions with doctors in the area; they also are offering to fund online continuing education courses for doctors to attend classes through the University of California San Francisco’s Medical Cannabis Institute. The classes are accredited and count toward continuing education coursework that doctors must get every year to maintain their medical licenses.

She added that doctors do not prescribe medical cannabis but must recommend it to a patient. Such recommendations do not come with a dosage amount like a typical prescription for a pharmaceutical drug, she said, which makes doctors nervous.

“[Many doctors] are not confident recommending something to their patients without giving more guidance,” Lee said.

In addition to educating physicians, Seven Point is holding informational sessions with prospective medical cannabis patients to teach the science of medical cannabis and what patients need to do to get a card.

The group also has set up a website (www.oakparkdispensary.com) for patients to get more information.

Contact: tim@oakpark.com

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