Special to the Times

Carson City – The Division of Public and Behavioral Health has made getting a medical marijuana card faster and easier for southern Nevada patients.

Beginning June 15, 2016, prospective cardholders can go to a state-certified dispensary for assistance with the process.  Specially trained dispensary staff will assist patients by reviewing applications to ensure they are properly and thoroughly filled out.  Patients must still get a recommendation from their physician.

Any MD or DO licensed in Nevada may recommend the medical use of marijuana for an approved condition.

More good news for southern Nevada patients is that by appointment with the state (the pre-screening dispensary makes the appointment), patients can submit their applications in person and receive an approval letter on the spot.

Approval letters may be used to purchase medicine in Nevada dispensaries for 60 days from the date on the letter.

The 60-day grace period bridges the gap between receipt of the approval letter and receipt of the actual Medical Marijuana card from the Department of Motor Vehicles.

“We are pleased to expedite, improve and simplify this process to make the medical use of marijuana more readily accessible for patients,” says Deputy Administrator Joe Pollock from the Division of Public and Behavioral Health.

The Medical Marijuana Registry in Carson City has reduced turnaround times (from application to approval letter) to less than a week for an initial or renewal approval letter. This is down significantly from the statutorily required 30 days. Furthermore, same-day approvals are not uncommon, depending on circumstances such as current volumes and whether the application is complete and accurate.

Problems with incomplete and/or inaccurate applications are the main cause of delays; hence pre-screening at dispensaries will further improve turnaround times.

The Medical Marijuana Program updates its Establishment and Patient Registry homepages weekly, including the list of open dispensaries.

The Division website is http://dpbh.nv.gov/; follow the Medical Marijuana prompts to the desired page.