Two Canadian companies have collaborated to create a cannabis app that has the potential to digitize and expedite the process of obtaining medicinal cannabis in Canada. Namaste Technologies and OCannabis have collaborated to develop NamasteMD, an app that connects Canadians who need medicinal cannabis to doctors who are willing to provide it.
With legalization around the corner and cannabis sure to be accessible and affordable for all a prescription for medicinal marijuana might seem like a redundancy.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. It all goes back to accessibility and control.
Why Improving Medicinal Marijuana Matters
Scientists have demonstrated that cannabis has an unrivaled potential as a medicinal substance. A diverse array of patients require it for a diverse array of conditions. From those who require it for mental health disorders such as anxiety, PTSD, and depression, to those using it to treat cancer, epilepsy or traumatic brain injuries.
Many in need will require many different solutions which is why a cannabis app for prospective patients has a market for traction.
For these people, doctors will serve an essential role post-legalization. Which strain is most effective for their condition? What is the most effective dose? Are different strains better for different times of day? Smoking, vaping, edibles or concentrates? The word of cannabis can be a difficult one to navigate… Even more so for new users who may have been reluctant to partake prior to legalization.
For medicinal marijuana users, a more scientific approach is necessary. They require a medical professional to guide them through this world which is full of misinformation and potential complications.
With so much documented evidence behind the effectiveness of marijuana, it might be surprising to learn that many physicians, even within Canada, are against prescribing patients their essential medicine. A recent, heated meeting of the Canadian Medical Association showcased that post-legalization, many physicians will remain opponents of cannabis and will refuse to prescribe it.
Accessibility is Key – the Cannabis App
With many Canadian doctors persisting in their refusal to prescribe weed, an app such as NamasteMD has the potential to fill an essential gap in the market. A Canadian cannabis app connecting patients to cannabis doctors will streamline and expedite the process of getting a prescription.
For a country such as Canada, with such a sparsely distributed population, NamasteMD might be the only possible way for those living in remote locations to have access to their medicine.
Especially if the few doctors in town happen to be anti-cannabis.
This type of cannabis app has an even greater potential for markets such as Quebec. Here federal legalization might mean little as the Couillard Government has assumed full control of the cannabis industry. The provincial Liberals have planned to roll out only 15 dispensaries in a province with 8.5 million.
Demand will undoubtedly exceed the supply and thus many people will require a doctor to acquire legal weed. A cannabis app that allows for easy access to a green card prescription, can provide much-needed consultations to patients that would not otherwise receive that valuable information.
Another factor to consider is that cannabis remains a stigmatized substance. Older patients and those from more conservative communities might feel uncomfortable letting their family doctor and other members of the community know they consume marijuana. For these patients, discretion is key.
Here NamasteMD could fulfill an essential role as a cannabis app connecting patients to cannabis doctors.
How Does NamasteMD Work?
The NamasteMD cannabis app essentially digitizes and expedites the entire process of getting a cannabis prescription. Potential patients will have access to medical professionals from their phone or computer.
A consultation will then take place over a video call with a nurse who judges whether or not the candidate is eligible to proceed and receive a medical marijuana prescription.
Those who qualify receive a unique online prescription code. This code can be taken to any licensed producer and the patient may then receive their medical cannabis. The cannabis can be picked up in person or shipped to the door of the recipient.
Effectively this means that the entirety of the medicinal cannabis process can be conducted remotely, without having to leave home.
The Potential for the Recreational Market
Currently, a number of cannabis delivery services exist for recreational purposes. To name a few: the Chrono and lifted bud have been supplying Canadians cannabis needs for a number of years.
However, like the dispensaries that currently thrive across Canada, these websites exist in something of a ‘grey market’, and the cannabis app is an untapped market. Strictly speaking, these businesses are illegal, but more or less tolerated by law enforcement.
This is of course aside from the occasional police raid. With cannabis legalization approaching in October of 2018, it will be a scramble for many cannabis enterprises to get in on the revenue and take a slice of the rich…dank…THC laden pie.
One can only hope that many of these grey market enterprises will be allowed to transition into fully regulated and legitimate businesses. However, Justin Trudeau has been noncommittal on what he plans to do with these marijuana businesses… And has stated that those charged with trafficking during dispensary raids might be barred from participation in the marijuana industry.
Even if these grey market enterprises are allowed in, NamasteMD will have a running head start on them. As the only, currently operating, fully legitimate weed business of its kind, the app will have its foot in the door for creating a fully legal delivery service for recreational marijuana.
When other apps are able to get in on the game, they will either have to start from scratch or wait for an unspecified… But it will undoubtedly be a long amount of time to debut on the legitimate market.
With legalization around the corner, many potential cannabis industries are will emerge. By creating a cannabis app connecting patients to cannabis doctors, NamasteMD may have struck gold. They have set themselves up to supply a valuable niche in the cannabis market and have their foot in the door as a legitimate cannabis delivery service come legalization in October 2018.
By: Stefan Hosko