• July 12th 2010


The state of Montana has seen a dramatic rise in the number of people using marijuana for medicinal purposes over the past few years. To illustrate, at the end of June 2008, there were 842 people on the medical marijuana patient registry, while at the end of June 2010, there were roughly 20,000 people on the medical marijuana patient registry.

What’s was the reason behind this dramatic increase in the number of Montana residents using medical marijuana?

For over a year, the Montana Caregivers Network has been hosting daylong clinics in hotel conference centers across the state. The purpose of these clinics is simple, for a fee of $150, a person can meet with a licensed physician who is willing and able to prescribe them medical marijuana (if they meet the necessary medical requirements).

These clinics have proven immensely popular and profitable. The lines of people waiting to see a physician for medical marijuana is often incredibly long, and the Montana Caregivers Network has earned more than $1 million over the past year.

However, these clinics have recently drawn criticism from a variety of sources, including the Montana Board of Medical Examiners and the state government.

The Montana Board of Medical Examiners has condemned the assembly line approach of these clinics and recently released a position paper indicating that all physicians who prescribe/recommend medical marijuana are required to follow accepted standards of medical care.

According to the position paper, "The Board cautions physicians that a mass screening format or group evaluations, whether for student athletes or those desiring medical marijuana, inherently tend towards inadequate standards of care. A physician involved in mass screening settings or clinics offering group evaluations for medical marijuana certification must meet the standard of care which the people of Montana rightfully expect and deserve."

To be continued …