Patients struggling to find medical marijuana doctors: Dr Bennett can help.
LATHAM, NY (WRGB)–In Latham, there’s a doctor’s office that’s a little different.
Patients can meet with therapy dogs, and if they’re looking for medical marijuana, they can actually get it.
“It does feel like its a secret as to who is prescribing these medications,” says Dr. Jacqueline Bennett.
Dr. Jacquelyn Bennett is one of the only doctors in the Capital Region who is searchable for patients looking for medical marijuana.
Patients like Karen Rodriguez.
“Everything’s kind of hush hush. Doctors don’t want their names out there on the internet and I’m not sure why,” said Rodriguez.
Rodriguez suffers intense pain from neuropathy and rheumatoid arthritis.
She decided to try medical marijuana as an option to get off painkillers.
But when she went online to look for a qualifying doctor, she says she couldn’t find one.
“It took us days, hours, you cant find them anywhere online,” said Rodriguez.
The reason it’s so hard to find a doctor is there aren’t a lot of them, and the state protects doctors who don’t want to be listed as medical marijuana providers.
Of the 23 pot doctors in the Capital Region, DOH confirmed only 9 are searchable through the state’s health commerce website- a website only available to doctors.
Even though those 9 local doctors have consented to have their names searchable, the state doesn’t have their names listed publicly online.
The only way to find a doctor is by getting a doctor referral, through a few private websites, or by word or mouth
Another roadblock is Google doesn’t like the word marijuana, meaning even doctors who want to be listed can’t be found easily .
“When we went to them to ask them to allow people if you just said “medical marijuana Albany” or “medical marijuana Latham” they wouldn’t do that.” said Dr. Bennett.
Google confirmed Monday that it doesn’t allow ads for marijuana, or medical marijuana, preventing doctors from popping up in online searches.
The Department of Health told us doctors want to stay hidden, partially due to concerns criminals may try to target them for the drug.
To be clear, medical marijuana is only kept at state dispensaries.