Stone Lotus Featured in Ann Arbor's Current Magazine

Cannabis Consultants Offer Education, Support

. June 30, 2019


Since medical marijuana was legalized in the state of Michigan in 2008, a gap has emerged in the health care system. For patients wishing to legally use marijuana as medication, the first step is the doctor’s office. Any licensed medical doctor can certify a “debilitating medical condition” and recommend marijuana as a treatment in Michigan. Unlike in some other states, no specialized training on the medical uses of cannabis for the doctor is required, so doctors may not have enough information about the plant’s chemistry to be able to recommend particular dosages or strains.

While most budtenders at provisioning centers/dispensaries are knowledgeable about products and strains, they aren’t trained to diagnose a patient’s condition or to consider other medications the patient may be taking.

The Role of Cannabis Consultants

Colleen Kennedy is a yoga teacher and long-time cannabis enthusiast who now runs Stone Lotus Cannabis Consulting, a small startup out of Ypsilanti. She went through the medical card process herself as a patient seeking treatment for an autoimmune disease, but found that there was a limited variety of products at that time and a great deal of stigma in the community around using THC. She now makes her own natural medibles (medical marijuana edibles) and cannabis balms. She cannot legally sell her products, but she teaches classes so others can learn to make them safely at home.

“Because of the stigma that is still associated with cannabis, many people prefer to talk to a trusted consultant about using medical cannabis, instead of their regular doctor,” Kennedy said. Cannabis consultants provide an intermediary step between the doctor’s office and the provisioning center, as well as a friendly face for patients in the treatment process.

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