SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — MyMarijuanaCards.com is holding a “Marijuana Spring Fling” event April 26, 27 and 28 in Sioux Falls, offering South Dakota’s first-ever mass patient screening event for medical cannabis.
The event, taking place at the CNA building in downtown Sioux Falls, located at 101 South Reid Street, is set up to offer eligibility screenings for patients who have not yet received the certification necessary by state-approved physicians for a medical cannabis card in South Dakota.
KELOLAND News dropped by to visit with MyMarijuanaCards’ CEO Molefi Branson about his company and the event.
“We help patients get their medical marijuana cards,” Branson said. “We also do PTSD evaluations and emotional support animals as well.”
Branson gave a breakdown of how this event came about. “It all started through our initiative of trying to find practitioners here in South Dakota,” he explained. Currently, MyMarijuanaCards has two physicians working for them.
“We had to get our doctors from other states — they fly in and travel in,” Branson said. “They work busy schedules, so they come when they can.”
Branson says that the difficulty has been with trying to get South Dakota’s licensed doctors interested. As of March 2022, KELOLAND News found that only 90 doctors had been approved to recommend medical marijuana in South Dakota.
Come July 1, 2022, that process may become easier, as a new law broadening the definition of practitioner to add physician assistants and advanced practice nurses will take effect. “Just this week we received over 5,000 visits from South Dakotans to our website.”
Though MyMarijuanaCards.com has generally practiced in telemedicine in recent years, they are on the ground in South Dakota. This is due to a provision in the state laws governing medical marijuana which states that patients must meet in-person with their physician.
“Game changing,” said Branson when asked about the effect of physician assistants and advanced practice nurses being able to recommend medical cannabis.
By about 2:30 p.m. on the 2nd day of the event, Branson says they have seen about 200 patients. “We think we’ll most likely double the patient count by the end of our event [Thursday],” he said.
Prior to this event, Branson says the company has helped around 50-60 South Dakotans get medical cards, meaning that this event has been a big boost.
“Our biggest obstacle is just practitioners, earnestly,” said Branson. “Since day one the community has welcomed us. Patients have been incredibly interested in getting medical marijuana cards — the problem has been finding practitioners that want to be the one that’s labeled as ‘I am that medical marijuana doctor’ or potentially risk their jobs at whatever health system they work for.”
Despite being the CEO of an interstate company, Branson is in South Dakota, helping with the day-to-day processing of patients, something that was commented on during the interview. “I always like to be grassroots,” he said. “I always like to get my hands dirty. The only way you can teach somebody is by doing it yourself.”
MyMarijuanaCards.com is of course a business. If you schedule your consultation and are determined to be qualified for a card, it will cost you $279 for the evaluation by MyMarijuanaCards.com, and then a fee of $75 to the state for the application process. However, Branson does note that patients will not be charged for their consultation if they are not approved by the doctor.
MyMarijuanaCards.com will be holding more events in the future across South Dakota, and Branson says the biggest thing patients can do to help themselves is have their medical records put together. “Medical records are key,” he emphasized. “that’s the only difference between you getting your medical marijuana card and not.”
You can schedule a consultation or find more info at MyMarijuanaCards.com, or by phone at 605-9615711.