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How to Apply for the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Program

Oklahoma voted medical marijuana into law on June 26, 2018, and has since signed granted over 145,000 patient and caregiver licenses. Patients licenses are valid for up to two years, and unlike other states, applicant’s need not have a “qualifying condition” to be approved.

To apply for a patient license in Oklahoma, you will have to provide the following:

  • Your full name
  • Your place of residence and mailing address
  • Your date of birth
  • Your contact information, including telephone number and email address
  • Your doctor’s information and recommendation
  • Your signature, which must be dated within 30 days of the date of application
  • A full color digital photo of your head and top of shoulders taken on a white, or off-white background. (The photo must have been taken within the past 6 months.)

Keep in mind that only Oklahoma residents will be approved for a regular state license, although temporary licenses are available for visiting patients from other states. Applicants for a regular state license must prove they’re residents by providing a valid driver’s license, utility bills, or other accepted documents.

There is an application fee of $100. Medicaid (also known as SoonerCare) or Medicare applicants pay a reduced fee of $20. You must use a MasterCard, Visa, or Discover credit or debit card for payments. Prepaid cards from stores are also accepted.

Your transaction may include additional processing fees, which are non-refundable. Unapproved applicants are not subject to a refund.

Additionally, the application must be submitted within 30 days of the doctor’s appointment to be valid.

After the Application is Submitted

The OMMA reviews all submitted applications. If it meets all requirements, the OMMA will issue an approval letter with your license. Then your card will be mailed within 14 days of the date you submitted your application.

Incomplete applications will receive an email which details the reason(s) the submission is incomplete. You can log back into your account to make the needed corrections.

If the Department denies your application, you will receive a denial letter listing why it was rejected within 14 days of the date of submission.

You Can Include a Caregiver if You Need Help

Caregiver licenses are available for those who wish to take care of certain patients who need assistance with their treatment. This documentation can be obtained by filling out the Adult Patient Physician Recommendation Form. An application can be provided when submitting your application, or at a later date. The form can be accessed online using your OMMA account. A patient is allowed one caregiver at any given time.

The caregiver must be 18 or older and must submit proof that they are a resident of Oklahoma. There are no other parameters to qualify.

You can change your caregiver. Patients must submit a Patient Withdrawal of Caregiver Form to withdraw the first person before designating another caregiver. The patient is required to sign and submit a new Adult Patient Caregiver Designation Form for their desired new caregiver.

What Conditions Qualify for Medical Cannabis Treatment in Oklahoma?

Unlike other states, there’s no list of qualifying conditions in Oklahoma – making it a rather unique and unrestricted program.

Oklahoma’s State Question 788, the initiative that legalized medical cannabis, says “There are no qualifying conditions. A medical marijuana license must be recommended according to the accepted standards a reasonable and prudent physician would follow when recommending or approving any medication. No physician may be unduly stigmatized or harassed for signing a medical marijuana license application.”

While there are no qualifying conditions in Oklahoma, you must still be able to show that you will benefit from the use of cannabis. When visiting the doctor, be sure to have documents to demonstrate your medical needs. Documents include:

  • Patient records and charts in detail
  • Records of any physical therapy
  • Current prescriptions being taken
  • All hospital visits made by the applicant
  • Medical test results

Once approved by their physician, applicants will need to apply through the state’s online system. Applications and payment are collected via To login, applicants must use a valid email address which will be used to receive notices.

Submit Your Application at the OMMA Website

Applications are only being accepted at

The following unexpired, valid documents can be used when submitting proof of residency online:

1) Proof of state residency – Digital, color copies of any of the following can be used:

  • Oklahoma driver’s license (front and back is required)
  • Oklahoma identification card (front and back is required)
  • Voter I.D. license
  • Certain utility bills. The calendar month must precede the date of the application. This excludes cellular telephone and internet bills
  • A deed to any residential property in Oklahoma
  • A current in-state rental agreement for residential property

2) Proof of identity – Digital, color copy of any of the following will suffice:

  • Oklahoma driver’s license (front and back)
  • Oklahoma state I.D. (front and back)
  • U.S. passport or other U.S. government issued I.D.
  • Tribal I.D. cards, which must be approved for identification purposes by the Oklahoma Department of Public Safety.
  • U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs identification card

3) A digital photograph of your full face

4) An Adult Patient Physician Recommendation Form that is dated 30 days or sooner than the application’s submission. NuggMD will provide users with the form.

5) SoonerCare (Medicaid) or Medicare I.D. card or enrollment documentation if you’re applying for the discounted registration rate of $20.

The NuggMD Process

When applying with NuggMD, applicants take the following steps:

1) Create a NuggMD account at

2) Choose the state in which you wish to apply.

3) Enter your required information, including age, name and address.

4) Fill out your medical history. Provide as much detail as you can to ensure your doctor will have all the information they need to evaluate your condition.

5) Input your payment info while waiting in the NuggMD virtual waiting room.

6) Once available, the physician will begin the medical evaluation using NuggMD’s telemedicine platform. The session can be as long or short as needed. Don’t hesitate to ask questions about your prognosis, how cannabis will fit into your treatment plan or anything else related to your visit.

A few of the more common questions asked during consultations include:

  • Should I take CBD as well?
  • What’s the best method of ingestion for me?
  • Should I use more than one method of ingestion?
  • What dosage should I use?
  • How often should I consume?
  • Will any other medications or herbs I’m using affect my cannabis treatment?
  • Are there any health risks I should be concerned about?

Give your doctor a complete understanding of your health. Tell them about every medicine, supplement and vitamin you are taking. Doing so will allow them to warn you of any possible adverse drug interactions to be aware of.

NuggMD patients only pay $99. This is in addition to the cost of the online application.

Those who are approved receive instructions on how to complete the state registration. The instructions will arrive via email.

Don’t worry if you get confused during the process. Our expert customer service team is here to help you through the process.

What Cannabis Consumption Methods Are Available in Oklahoma?

All methods of consumption are available. This includes:

  • Smoked or Vaporized Cannabis: The effects typically take moments to minutes and can last two to three hours at a time.
  • Concentrates: These oils are versatile in usage. They can be added to smoking flower, used in edibles or even done in a dab. Keep in mind that extracted cannabis oil is much more potent than dried flower. When smoked, the effects should appear in a few minutes.
  • Edibles: Often taking a half hour to two hours to kick in, edibles are longer-lasting options. They are incredibly potent, but due to their delayed onset effects, many overconsume. Be sure to start on a low dose and go slow from there.
  • Topicals: Cannabis can penetrate the muscle but not into the blood with creams and balms. Taking near immediate effect, topicals are a popular choice among many users with body pains.

What Does Cannabis Feel Like?

If you’ve heard that cannabis will make you giggly, happier and relaxed, then you have a broad understanding of how marijuana feels. Depending on the strain, these effects and others can be more or less prominent in the experience. Other common effects of cannabis include:

  • Changed perception of time
  • Decreased energy, colloquially called “the couch lock”
  • Giggles
  • Happiness
  • Increased energy
  • Loss of concentration
  • Relaxation
  • Temporary memory loss

There’s also the occasional horror story depending on tolerance and/or dose. If you’ve had a little too much, you may feel somewhat disconnected from reality or experience some paranoia, possibly even hallucinate on a rare occasion. You may find yourself becoming more introspective and less outgoing. This may be coupled with a burst of creative energy.

In truth, both positive and negative effects vary from person to person. Until you know how you’ll react to cannabis, plan pleasant activities. Be around people you are comfortable with when you consume. Consider being in a place that makes you feel happy and comfortable as well.

And do NOT drink alcohol. It’ll most likely create an unpleasant effect of being way too intoxicated, resulting in a headache, room-spinning and even vomiting. Some may know it as being crossfaded.

What to Do if I Consume More Than I Should?

One of the most common and unpleasant side effects of marijuana overconsumption is anxiety. Individual levels vary by person, with stronger tolerances playing a factor. Remember, just because one friend can consume 25mg or more doesn’t mean you need to in order to feel the same effect. If you consume more cannabis than your tolerance allows, you’re very, very likely to become anxious.

Do your best to remain calm if you find yourself in this situation, and don’t be embarrassed. You aren’t alone. Many cannabis patients can tell you exactly what it feels like to have a panic attack after consuming a heavy dose.

Once you’re back to your normal self, call your doctor and have your dosage adjusted. Believe it or not, some people get extremely high from doses as small as 2.5mg THC. Each person metabolizes cannabinoids at varied rates. At the same time, consider having some CBD oil on hand. For some, it can help offset the effects of THC during these rare occasions.

Be sure to use the old cannabis adage “start low and go slow”! We can’t say this enough. You can always consume more, but you can never consume less. So, don’t rush it. Be patient. Listen to your physician’s instructions for ideal results.

Let’s Discuss Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome

It’s true that no one has died of an overdose from cannabis. However, you run a chance of developing Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome. If you experience symptoms such as severe vomiting, be sure to seek medical attention. Excess vomiting can cause dangerous dehydration and metabolic imbalances, so this really is a medical emergency.

And not to state the obvious, but if you’re under the influence of cannabis, get a ride to seek medical attention. Never attempt to drive yourself.

Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome is on the rise as more consumers take more significant doses of THC. The cause of the condition is unknown. It’s believed by some that CHS is the result of the over-stimulation of the body’s CB1 and CB2 receptors brought on by large doses of THC.

Cannabis Hyperemesis Syndrome seems to happen in three stages:

  • The Prodromal stage is most mild nausea and pain in the stomach. In some cases, this can lead to a brutal cycle where patients consume more cannabis thinking it will relieve the condition. This is a process that can last for months, even years.
  • The Hyperemesis stage is where the patient begins vomiting in larger amounts. They may suffer from dehydration and malnourishment due to an inability to hold anything down. A hot shower is often considered the only temporary source of relief from the nausea. See a doctor right away if this occurs.
  • The Recovery stage begins after cannabis use ceases. Relief tends to come in days once the person stops consuming. That said, it can take months to fully recover. If cannabis use is reintroduced, the symptoms run a high probability of returning.

It is not certain why some consumers develop the condition and others do not. Meanwhile, some continue to dispute its validity.

That said, this is the state of cannabis today. It is a biphasic drug that offers varying effects at different dosages, and that threshold varies from person to person. This is  why it is vital to consume cannabis cautiously and responsibly.

Scientists can’t yet pinpoint who is likely to develop cannabis hyperemesis, as it can be a months-long process to develop. So, again, be sure to start low and go slow, listen to your body, and contact the doctor as soon as possible if you start to notice nausea or stomach discomfort.

Following the Law in Oklahoma

Oklahoma has the highest prison population per capita. Not just in the U.S., but the world. So, it’s best to remain on the right side of the law.

The state’s medical marijuana laws say that if you don’t have a patient license, but can show that you have a medical condition, then possession of up to 1.5 ounces without a valid card is a misdemeanor offense with fines not exceeding $400. Possession of any more can result in possible jail time. That said, drug paraphernalia remains illegal for non-card holders, who could face jail time. Card holders are exempt from the law.

Counties are allowed to determine how they prioritize non-violent cannabis offenses, which means people can still end up in jail for marijuana. In some cases, DAs have reportedly refused parolees the right to use medical cannabis, even if they have a card. Reports have also claimed that some DAs are instead steering offenders towards opiate-based options.

According to H.B. 1441, those driving under the influence of a Schedule 1 substance will be jailed for anywhere from 10 days to over a year, with their license possibly suspended for up to three years. This prohibition against driving under the influence applies to medical cannabis users as well. So your card won’t save you if you’re driving while high. Oklahoma also allows for property and vehicles to be seized in cannabis cases.

Additionally, while employers can’t discriminate against patients, consumption at work can still be restricted by the employer. The same goes for consumption in public places, just like tobacco and alcohol.

You cannot buy your cannabis anywhere but from an OMMA licensed medical marijuana dispensary, and you can’t sell your cannabis to anyone unless you’re a state-licensed dispensary. You also can’t give away your cannabis, not even for free to another patient, as unfair as that seems. And don’t even consider taking it out of state, whether or not that state allows cannabis use. It’s a federal crime to transport medical marijuana across state lines, and the penalties are very severe.

Need Help? Nugg’s Here for You

Nugg’s eager customer service team answers hundreds of questions each and every day via live chat and email. They think outside the box to help solve your cannabis problems. If there is a solution, they’ll find it to the very best of their abilities.

On the rare chance that Nugg is unable to help, the list below has information and links to Oklahoma legislators, regulators and some of the more active cannabis advocacy organizations. If you know of any other organizations we could add to this list, we’d love to hear from you.

Also, consider using this list to become more active in medical marijuana legislation. We’ve made great strides with legalization, but the battle for freedom of choice still rages on. It’s not time to rest on our laurels at this point. Please consider joining the marijuana community as we endeavor to end the War on Drugs once and for all.

Additional Resources

Medical Marijuana Registry

Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority

PO Box 262266

Oklahoma City, OK 73125-2600


State Legislature contacts

State Senate members

Governor Kevin Stitt

Activist Organizations

Frequently Asked Questions About Medical Cannabis in Oklahoma

Where can I read the law for myself? 

Visit here for the full text:

How long does my patient’s license last?

Your license can last for up to two years before it needs to be renewed, unless your doctor establishes a shorter timeline for use.

Can I use my medical marijuana card from another state?

Out of state patients can obtain a temporary license for up to a month. The out of state license will cost $100, regardless of participation in public health programs or financial need. Do not make the mistake of using cannabis in Oklahoma without this license. The penalties for unlicensed possession can include jail time. It may seem unreasonable to pay the state $100 for the right to legally use cannabis for a short trip, but this expense is nothing compared to legal costs of defending yourself against illegal possession charges. To apply for your temporary card, go to the state’s website here and follow the instructions:

How do I find a medical cannabis doctor?

You can find a list of approved physicians on this list provided by the OMMA, or simply head over to NuggMD to complete the entire process online:

Is home growing allowed?

Yes, all licensed patients are able to cultivate at home. For specifics on amounts, check the question below.

How much cannabis am I allowed to possess for medical purposes?

Under Oklahoma laws, qualified patients or caregivers can legally possess up to three (3) ounces of medical cannabis. Approved patients are allowed to own six (6) mature plants as well as one (1) ounce of cannabis concentrates. They can also possess up to 72 ounces of edibles in addition to having up to eight (8) ounces of cannabis at their house.

What are the requirements for a minor to obtain a license?

Minors can obtain their medical marijuana license to possess, use and grow cannabis in Oklahoma. The minor must have signed recommendations from two different physicians as well as the signature of their parent or guardian. To learn more, visit

Will my information be kept private? 

Both your patient records and all inventory tracking records containing your patient information must comply with federal and state laws, including HIPAA, and inventory tracking records can’t be retained for more than 60 days. You can read the full text of protections provided under HB 2612 here in Sec. 7.

Will every dispensary sell the same products?

No, unlike other stores, dispensary supplies will vary. If you’re looking for a specific product, consider calling ahead to make sure the dispensary has the product you need.

What documents do I need to fill out my Oklahoma medical marijuana card application?

To apply for a medical marijuana card, you’ll need:

1) Proof that you’re an Oklahoma resident, which can be one of the following:

  • Oklahoma driver’s license or ID
  • Oklahoma voter ID card
  • A utility bill from the month just before your application (cell phone and internet bills excluded)
  • A deed to residential property that you own in Oklahoma
  • A current residential rental agreement in Oklahoma (your name must be on the agreement)

2) Proof of your identity, which can be one of the following:

  • Oklahoma driver’s license or ID
  • Oklahoma identification card (front and back)
  • U.S. passport or other photo ID that’s been issued by the U.S. government
  • Tribal ID that’s approved by Oklahoma for identification purposes, including US Bureau of Indian Affairs ID or Oklahoma tribal photo IDs.

3) A clear digital, full color picture of your full face on a white or off-white background
4) Your Patient Physician Recommendation form that has been signed within 30 days of your application submission
5) Proof of SoonerCare or MediCare enrollment or 100% disabled veteran status if you’re applying for the discounted application fee of $20.

How long does it take to receive a state medical card?

It can take up to 14 days for your application to be approved after completing your online application. You should check your email frequently during this time as the OMMA may need additional documentation to complete the process. If you do not provide any missing information within the time limit, your application would be denied and you’d have to begin the process again. There is no refund for the application fee.

How much does a state card cost?

The application fee is $100. SoonerCare and MediCare patients and 100% disabled vets can apply for a discounted fee of only $20.

Is there a discount for purchasing medical marijuana in Oklahoma?

Unfortunately, no. Most states that offer recreational cannabis do have a tax discount, or no taxes, for medical marijuana purchases. Oklahoma is a medical marijuana only state though, and the state taxes all sales at the rate of 7%

Am I required to register with the state to become a medical marijuana patient?

Yes. You must first register with, and receive approval and a license from the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana Authority before using cannabis for medical purposes: “Patient”or”Qualified patient”means a person that has been properly issued a medical marijuana license pursuant to Title 63 O.S. § 420 et seq. and these rules. (Emergency Rules page 4)

Can employers still fire me for testing positive for cannabis on drug tests?

According to HB2612 page 23, your employer can’t fire you solely for your status as a medical marijuana patient unless:

  • they are required to by federal law in order to obtain federal funding,
  • the employee doesn’t have a valid medical marijuana license,
  • they consume medical marijuana while at work, or
  • the position involves a “safety sensitive” job.

The OMMA defines a safety sensitive job as “any job that includes tasks or duties that the employer reasonably believes could affect the safety and health of the employee performing the task or others including, but not limited to, any of the following:”

  1. the handling, packaging, processing, storage, disposal or transport of hazardous materials,
  2. the operation of a motor vehicle, other vehicle, equipment, machinery or power tools,
  3. repairing, maintaining or monitoring the performance or operation of any equipment, machinery or manufacturing process, the malfunction or disruption of which could result in injury or property damage,
  4. performing firefighting duties,
  5. the operation, maintenance or oversight of critical services and infrastructure including, but not limited to, electric, gas, and water utilities, power generation or distribution,
  6. the extraction, compression, processing, manufacturing, handling, packaging, storage, disposal, treatment or transport of potentially volatile, flammable, combustible materials, elements, chemicals or any other highly regulated component,
  7. dispensing pharmaceuticals,
  8. carrying a firearm, or
  9. direct patient care or direct child care

(H.B. 2612 page 24, section K)

Does the state provide electronic cards immediately with applications?

Unfortunately no. Your state application can be submitted online, but the state then has up to 14 days to review your application. If your application is missing any pertinent information, the state will email you requesting the corrections, which you can also submit online. Those who fail to complete all requirements of their application will receive a rejection letter after 14 days explaining why their application was denied.

Can I use medical marijuana in public?

Not only can you not smoke cannabis in public, but you can’t vaporize it either. All smoking and vaporizing is subject to the same restrictions as cigarette smoking.

(OMMA Regulations Sec. 310:681-2-11)

Can I use cannabis while on parole?

Oklahoma’s state law doesn’t prevent medical marijuana patients from using cannabis while on parole, but the district attorney in your county may still prevent it. The only way to know if you’re safe to use cannabis while on parole is to ask your parole officer what your county’s rules are.

Does Oklahoma law provide parental protections to MMJ patients?

The state recently passed SB 811, which will be in effect on Sep. 20, 2018. Sec. 425 says:

  1. No medical marijuana license holder may be denied custody of or visitation or parenting time with a minor, and there is no presumption of neglect or child endangerment for conduct allowed under this law, unless the person’s behavior creates an unreasonable danger to the safety of the minor.

What is the Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act?

HB 2612, which is named The Oklahoma Medical Marijuana and Patient Protection Act is also colloquially known as the Unity Bill, and it both clarifies some ambiguous areas of SQ 788 (the MMJ legalization bill) and makes changes that were necessary to conform with other laws. For instance, employers are still prevented from firing or refusing to hire medical marijuana patients, but there’s an exception now for so called ‘safety sensitive jobs.’ The bill can be read in full here:


  • How to Get a Medical Marijuana Card in Missouri (2020 Guide)

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    If you told Missourians two decades ago that medical cannabis would become legal in the state, 99% of the people would have laughed at the notion. The other 1% were hard at work to make the dream a reality.

    The program is off to a bit of a dodgy start, with the state already granting medical marijuana cards but no market to supply them; but it IS starting. There are already 22,000 medical marijuana patients in MO and applications are rapidly picking up pace.

    The state isn’t expected to have a legal supply of cannabis for sale at dispensaries until March 2020 at the earliest, but there are still advantages to having a card before the first dispensary opens. One advantage is that you can grow your own cannabis at home if you get the additional cultivation certificate from the state. You’ll also be among the first to be able to buy legal cannabis at dispensaries once they open.

    Read below to find out everything you need to know to navigate the new Missouri medical marijuana landscape. Whether you’re just beginning to use cannabis or have been using it for years, we want to make sure you have accurate and reliable information so you can find the relief you need and the happiness you deserve.



    How Do I Become a Medical Cannabis Patient in Missouri?

    Becoming a medical marijuana patient in Missouri is the only way to legally use cannabis in the state. Fortunately, it isn’t hard to qualify and the process of becoming a patient is simple.

    1) Find out if you qualify for cannabis treatment

    2) See a doctor who can give you a recommendation

    3) Apply for your card with the state

    It’s that easy!

    NuggMD has Missouri-licensed physicians available 7 days a week so you can see a doctor today.


    Who Qualifies for Medical Cannabis in Missouri?

    To find out if you qualify for medical marijuana card in Missouri, you’ll need to examine state residency, medical condition and age.



    You must be a resident of Missouri in order to get a medical marijuana card there. To prove your residency, you’ll need:

    1) A statement that the qualifying patient resides in Missouri and does not claim resident privileges in another state or country, and

    2) One of the following:

    • a copy of a valid Missouri driver’s license,
    • a Missouri Identification Card,
    • a current Missouri motor vehicle registration, or
    • a recent Missouri utility bill;

    If none of these proofs are available, the director of the program may accept “some other evidence of residence in Missouri, which shall be approved or denied by the director of the medical marijuana program as sufficient proof of residency.” Be aware that this denial or acceptance is at the sole discretion of the director though.


    Qualifying Conditions

    Missouri has a list of qualifying conditions, but the list is very open:

    (A) Cancer;

    (B) Epilepsy;

    (C) Glaucoma;

    (D) Intractable migraines unresponsive to other treatment;

    (E) A chronic medical condition that causes severe, persistent pain or persistent muscle spasms, including, but not limited to, those associated with

    • multiple sclerosis,
    • seizures,
    • Parkinson’s disease, and
    • Tourette’s syndrome;

    (F)  Debilitating psychiatric disorders, including, but not limited to, post-traumatic stress disorder, if  diagnosed by a state licensed psychiatrist;

    (G)  Human immunodeficiency virus or acquired immune deficiency syndrome;

    (H)  A chronic medical condition that is normally treated with a prescription medication that could lead to physical or psychological dependence, when a physician determines that medical use of marijuana could be effective in treating that condition and would serve as a safer alternative to the prescription medication;

    (I) Any terminal illness; or

    (J) In the professional judgment of a physician, any other chronic, debilitating or other medical condition, including, but not limited to,

    • hepatitis C,
    • amyotrophic lateral sclerosis,
    • inflammatory bowel disease,
    • Crohn’s disease,
    • Huntington’s disease,
    • autism,
    • neuropathies,
    • sickle cell anemia,
    • agitation of Alzheimer’s disease,
    • cachexia, and
    • wasting syndrome.

    Under these rules, most residents of the state who are over 18 and seek cannabis treatment will qualify.



    A medical marijuana patient must be 18 or older to apply to the program. Parents or guardians who have a minor child who needs cannabis treatment, such as a child with Dravet’s or epilepsy, will need to be their child’s caregiver, and the card for a minor patient will only be issued to the patient’s parent or guardian.


    How to Find a Doctor for an Evaluation

    It’s not necessarily easy to find a physician who’s willing to talk about marijuana as a medical option. Fortunately, you do have options if your family physician is unwilling to discuss the issue. It’s important to find a legitimate doctor for your medical marijuana recommendation.

    NuggMD works with state-licensed Missouri medical marijuana doctors who can give you an honest evaluation of your condition and help you decide if cannabis is an option worth trying.

    Whichever doctor you choose for your evaluation, it will be helpful, although it’s not required, to have your medical records on-hand for your medical evaluation. This will ensure you receive the most appropriate evaluation and recommendation for your condition. The records you might want to gather include, but aren’t limited to:

    • Patient charts
    • Current prescriptions
    • Physical therapy records
    • Medical test results
    • Hospital records

    If you dread the thought of sitting around at the doctor’s office, or you just don’t have enough time in your day, you can conduct your medical marijuana evaluation entirely online. Simply enter in your web browser and relax while you get your evaluation from the comfort and privacy of your own home.


    The NuggMD Process

    Here’s the NuggMD process:

    1) Create an account at NuggMD

    2) Input your basic information, including your name, age and address

    3) Enter your medical history with as much detail as possible

    4) Enter your payment information while you wait in your virtual waiting room. Your wait shouldn’t be long

    5) When your new physician is available, they will conduct your evaluation via NuggMD’s online telemedicine platform.

    Once you’re approved, the doctor will complete your recommendation and email it to you via the NuggMD platform along with specific instructions to complete the registration process. You won’t need to worry that it will be a confusing process because NuggMD’s support staff can help if you get stuck  along the way.


    What to Expect When Talking to the Doctor

    Your video consultation can be as long or short as you need it to be, so don’t be afraid to ask your new doctor any questions you may have about your condition and how medical marijuana might fit into your treatment plan.

    NuggMD’s physicians are passionate about cannabis as medicine and want to work with their patients to achieve the best treatment plan.

    Here are a few questions you might like to consider asking your doctor:

    • Which form or forms of delivery should I consider?
    • Should I use higher CBD strains?
    • What dose and frequency should I use?
    • Will cannabis interact with any other medications or herbs I’m currently taking?
    • What side effects, if any should I watch for?

    Be sure to tell your new physician about all herbs and supplements you’re taking as well as your medications so they can assess any possible interactions.

    As a NuggMD patient in Missouri, you’ll pay only $99 for your medical cannabis evaluation. If you’re not approved, your evaluation is free, so you’ve got nothing to lose!


    How to Apply for Your Missouri State Medical Marijuana Card

    Once you’ve been evaluated and approved for medical marijuana treatment by your doctor, your physician will email your recommendation to the address you provided, along with instructions for how to apply for your card using the state’s online application system. You must fill out your state application within 30 days of receiving your recommendation from your doctor.

    • First, make sure you’ve entered your CORRECT SSN and date of birth during your NuggMD registration process. Your doctor will need this to complete your recommendation. You can’t go back and fix this yourself if you or your doctor make a mistake on your state application paperwork or recommendation. Instead, you’d have to submit a help ticket to request the Department to fix it, causing a delay in your application. So make absolutely sure you’ve entered the correct number.
    • Wait for your doctor to send your recommendation to you via email. It should only take between 24 and 48 hours to receive it.
    • Next, you’ll create an account at the state’s application portal.
    • Fill out the requested information.
    • Once you read the terms and conditions and confirm that you’re not a robot, you’ll finish up your registration and wait for your verification message in your email. It shouldn’t take long.
    • Once you verify your email, you can click the link to sign in and complete the rest of your application. You can find detailed walk-through instructions here.

    If you get stuck on your application or have any questions about the process, feel free to reach out to our customer service team.



    Missouri’s Cannabis Cultivation Rules

    During the application process, you’ll notice under the “Questions” tab that it asks if you wish to cultivate your own cannabis. Qualifying patients can cultivate their own cannabis in Missouri if they want to. The rules are very strict and must be followed to the letter to avoid problems with the law.

    • Patient cultivation MUST take place in an enclosed, locked facility.
    • Under no circumstances is a patient allowed to cultivate, or have someone cultivate for them, more than 6 flowering marijuana plants. 6 plants per patient is the absolute limit.
      • A patient may only cultivate up to 6 flowering plants, 6 non-flowering plants up to 14 inches tall, and 6 clones under 14 inches tall at any given time.
      • Two qualifying patients may share the same enclosed, locked facility for up to 12 flowering plants, 12 non-flowering plants and 12 clones.
      • If one of the qualifying patients is also a primary caregiver for another qualified patient, they may cultivate up to 6 more flowering plants, 6 more non-flowering plants, and 6 more clones for a total of 18 each.
    • A patient can’t cultivate in a place where they are prohibited by state law or private contract.
    • The plants must be clearly labeled with the qualifying patient’s name.
    • The cultivation authorization must be displayed in close proximity to the plants and list the name of the qualifying patients or primary caregiver they are being cultivated for, and the address of the facility in which the plants are being cultivated.

    You do not need additional certifications or paperwork from your doctor, but you will be required to answer extra questions on your online application and allow the Department to access your growing facility if and when they request to see it.

    To apply for the additional cultivation certificate, go to the “Questions” tab and click “Yes” on the cultivation question. Below it, you’ll fill out the information required. You’ll need to describe the cultivation area you will be using, what security measures it will have, and who will have access to the area. You’ll also need to indicate whether others will be sharing the cultivation facility with you and provide details about them if applicable.

    The state will require an additional $100 fee if you’re approved for a cultivation certificate.


    What Types of Marijuana Consumption Methods are Available in Missouri?

    Different states have different rules about the types and concentrations of marijuana that can be made available to patients. For instance, in New York patients are prohibited from smoking marijuana, but are allowed to “vape” marijuana concentrates or flower. Some states only allow low THC products, while others allow very high potency products. Each state’s laws are different.

    In Missouri, your consumption methods aren’t limited. You can smoke it, eat it, use concentrates, tinctures, topicals or whatever method you and your doctor think is appropriate.

    There are 3 main consumption methods to consider when deciding which method or methods are best:

    • Inhalation
    • Oral ingestion
    • Topical application

    Let’s explore each in more detail.


    This is the most common, and fastest form of ingestion. Inhaled cannabis enters your bloodstream directly through your lungs. This can be accomplished by smoking joints, blunts or bongs, or by using vape pens, dab rigs or table top vaporizers. There are dozens of ways to inhale cannabis. You can discuss with your doctor which method is best if you choose this route.

    The effects of inhaled cannabis usually peak around 30 to 90 minutes and wear off within a few hours, depending on metabolism and tolerance. This makes it one of the more preferred methods for pain because of its rapid effect. It’s also preferred by novices because inhaled cannabis usually has a less potent high than eating it and wears off faster if the user accidentally ingests more than they are comfortable with.

    Note that no one has ever died from a cannabis overdose, but being too high can be a very uncomfortable experience for a new user. In such a case, the faster it wears off, the better.

    So, inhaling cannabis is an ideal method of ingestion for many patients because of its quick onset and shorter half-life. But there are a few notable downsides and risks. It’s hard to look at the news today without hearing about the vaping crisis. Currently, the CDC believes that additives in illegal vape cartridges, namely Vitamin E Acetate, are causing severe lung injuries.

    So far, more than 2,506 people have been hospitalized  and 54 people have died from these vaping lung injuries. Therefore, you should NEVER buy a vape pen from a black market source. It’s very difficult to know what additives are in the oils and they may be dangerous.

    This has many patients turning back to smoking flower, but even if this is legal in your state (and it is in Missouri) smoking is not entirely without risk either. Those with asthma, COPD or other lung disorders might not be able to tolerate smoke and it’s generally agreed that smoking anything isn’t good for anyone.

    There is another alternative. Dry herb vaporizers come in desktop and handheld models, and they’ve advanced a lot over the past few years as cannabis users have increased demand for this option. Some even allow users to heat both concentrates and flower.

    Dry herb vaporizers heat cannabis flower to temperatures just below combustion. This allows the cannabinoids in the plant to heat up and be inhaled without adding the chemicals and tar that result from combustion. If you think this might be a good alternative form of ingestion for you, ask your doctor during your visit.


    Oral Ingestion

    Eating cannabis results in a very different high than inhaling it. When we inhale cannabis, we absorb delta-9 THC into our lungs and then our bloodstream, but when we eat it, the THC is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC in our livers before it is absorbed into our bloodstream through our guts. 11-hydroxy-THC induces a much more potent and longer lasting high. Even people who’ve smoked cannabis for years can be surprised by the potency of an edible.

    And if you take too much, it will take a very long time to wear off. Generally, the onset of the effects of edibles will be felt between 30 and 90 minutes and will last up to 8 hours or even longer for a particularly potent dose.

    In other words, edibles are extremely unpredictable.

    Tolerance for edible doses is extremely varied as well. 10 mg is a commonly recommended first time dose, but many first timers find that as little as 2.5 mg is more than enough. If you don’t know what your tolerance for edibles is, then the motto is “go low and slow.”

    This means that you may need to take a few days to find your dose. Many a novice cannabis user has taken a 10 mg dose, and when it didn’t kick in after waiting an hour, they took more. If they are one of those people that metabolizes cannabis more slowly, it usually ends up in a very unpleasant high or even vomiting and delirium.

    So, if you’re inexperienced with edibles, be patient. You might want to consider trying just 2.5 mg and then waiting five or six hours before taking a larger dose.

    Remember this always when trying a new ingestion method: you can always take more, but you can never take less.


    Topical Application

    Topicals are a great option for patients who want to use medical marijuana without experiencing the psychoactive effects. Topicals deliver cannabinoids through the skin, but very little THC absorbs into the bloodstream.

    Be aware that transdermal patches are the exception to this rule because the cannabinoids are combined with agents to make them more easily absorbable through the skin. So you can actually get high from some transdermal patches. Be sure to ask before you use a new kind of patch or topical if this is a concern.


    What Does Marijuana Feel Like?

    If you’ve never had marijuana, it’s a bit hard to describe. You’ve probably heard stories about food cravings, euphoria and giggle fits. Most of these stories are true. As a matter of fact, it’s a good idea to keep some healthy munchies on hand so you don’t end up devouring an entire bag of potato chips or a box of Twinkies. Most people find it to be a pleasant experience, although there are some who dislike the feeling and can’t tolerate it well enough to derive a medical benefit from cannabis.

    Until you know how you’re going to react to cannabis, plan pleasant and distracting activities during use. You might even want to have someone sit with you for the first time. This is because if you take more than you can tolerate, you can feel disconnected from reality or paranoid. You can even hallucinate, although this is very rare. Everyone is different.

    Do NOT drink alcohol with marijuana.

    Common side effects of marijuana are:

    • Changed perception of time
    • Loss of concentration
    • Relaxation
    • Giggles
    • Happiness
    • Increased energy
    • Decreased energy (A.K.A. couch lock)


    What if My Dose is Too High?

    The side effect of cannabis that no users enjoy is anxiety. Anxiety is almost inevitable if you take a dose that’s too high for your tolerance. Some people get anxious on doses as low as 5mg, while others can chow down 100mg candy bars and barely feel it. This means you can’t use your friends or local budtender as a compass for your own tolerance. And having a tolerance that high is very rare unless you’re a long-time cannabis patient.

    A new cannabis patient who ate a 100mg, or even a 50mg edible would likely feel like they need a padded room and be turned off from the prospect of ever taking cannabis again. In fact, many people who mistakenly say they’re allergic to cannabis just took too much their first time.

    If you find that you’ve taken more cannabis than you can comfortably tolerate, stay calm. Remember that no one has ever died of a cannabis overdose. Also, don’t be embarrassed. You’re not the first person, and you won’t be the last, to suffer a panic attack or anxiety from consuming too much cannabis.

    If you do experience this problem, be sure to call your doctor as soon as possible to have your dose adjusted. Remember, 5mg or even 2.5mg is a perfectly reasonable dose for a first time consumer. It’s ok to break those commonly-found 10mg doses in half or even quarters. And if you can find microdose products available in 2.5mg, 3.7mg or 5mg doses for your first time use, try them out! You may be surprised to find that this is more than enough.



    *While no one has ever died of a cannabis overdose, you can develop a condition called Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome. If you start to experience any abnormal symptoms like severe vomiting that will not go away, call 911 or head to the nearest emergency room.


    What is Cannabinoid Hyperemesis Syndrome?

    People are using larger and more potent doses of THC. Lately, a poorly understood syndrome has occurred with cannabis users called cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome. No one knows what causes cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome, but current theories are that it results from over-stimulating CB1 and CB2 receptors with very high doses of THC.

    According to current medical understanding, this condition only appears to affect people who have been using cannabis at least once a day for years, and is very rare even in this small subset of people. But because this condition can lead to death due to dehydration in very rare cases, it’s appropriate to warn all cannabis users of this condition.

    The condition seems to occur in three distinct stages:

    Prodromal: This stage can last for a few months or even years. During this stage, the patient will suffer mild nausea and stomach pain. Unfortunately, this tends to lead to a person taking more cannabis to relieve the symptoms. If you begin to notice this type of persistent nausea, notify your doctor immediately because you may need to quit using cannabis for a while.

    Hyperemetic: During this stage, the patient will vomit profusely and can become dehydrated and malnourished as a result of the constant nausea. Some patients may find relief from a hot shower. It’s absolutely vital to see a doctor if this happens if the patient hasn’t seen a doctor already because this is a very serious and potentially fatal condition.

    Recovery: The only known treatment that works for cannabinoid hyperemesis syndrome is to quit smoking marijuana. The symptoms generally go away in a day or two after the patient stops using marijuana. If cannabis use starts again, the symptoms will almost certainly return.

    No one knows yet why some people get CHS. Most people don’t. It’s still a very rare condition. There’s no way to tell ahead of time who can develop the condition and who won’t. So, be patient. Use the minimum amount of cannabis necessary to treat your condition according to your doctor’s instructions. And always, always call your doctor and report any unexplained symptoms of nausea, belly pain or vomiting.


    Need Help? NuggMD’s Here for You

    NuggMD’s knowledgeable customer service team is here to answer your questions every day via email and live chat. It’s their mission to think outside the box and creatively solve problems so you can have the best experience possible.

    Of course, the laws aren’t perfect, so there are some things that can’t be fixed (yet). In those cases, we can reach out to advocacy organizations, state and local legislators and our communities. Below, we’ve included a list of local advocacy organizations that you can reach out to. If you know of any other organizations we can add to this list, we’d love to hear from you.

    Missouri Norml
    15 N. 10th St.
    Columbia, MO  65201

    Marijuana Policy Project
    P.O. Box 21824
    Washington, D.C. 20009

    New Approach Missouri
    2025 Zumbehl Rd, #291
    St. Charles, MO 63303

    Missouri Cannabis Industry Association
    15 N. 10th St.
    Columbia, MO 65201

    Missouri Medical Cannabis Trade Association
    1015 Grupp Rd, #31674, St. Louis MO, 63131
    Phone: (800) 766-0599
    Andrew Mullins, Executive Director
    PR – Media Inquiries: Jack Cardetti (573) 680-4009


    Frequently Asked Questions


    Is it legal to possess cannabis even though there are no dispensaries yet?

    Yes, but only if you have a medical marijuana card.


    How much cannabis am I allowed to possess?

    You can purchase and possess up to four ounces, or the equivalent in concentrates. If you are cultivating cannabis (with permission from the Department) you may possess up to a 90 day supply at one time so long as the cultivated cannabis stays on the cultivator’s property and in their possession.


    How much is the state card application?

    The application is $25 for patients and caregivers. There is an additional charge of $100 for those who wish to cultivate their own.


    How long does it take for the state to process a medical marijuana card application?

    As provided by Amendment 2, Sec. 3(19), the state has up to 30 days to process your application. If they don’t finish processing it within that time, then your physician recommendation would serve as your card. This is highly unlikely to happen though because the Department’s been processing cards very quickly. In some cases, patients are receiving their state certifications via email within 48 hours. And since you will print out your patient identification card instead of waiting for it to arrive in the mail, the process is even faster.  As applications begin to pick up at the beginning of 2020 in anticipation of the first dispensaries opening, it may take a bit longer.


    How long does my certification last?

    A patient must recertify at least annually. A physician is also within their rights to require their patient to return for certification more often if they feel the patient’s condition requires closer monitoring.


    Will my health insurance cover my certification?

    Amendment 2 states: “Nothing in this section shall be construed as mandating health insurance coverage of medical marijuana for qualified patient use.” Because cannabis is still federally prohibited, it’s unlikely that insurance companies will be covering it soon. Some insurance carriers make an exception for Epidolex, which is approved at a federal level.


    Is there a tax on cannabis sales?

    Yes, your retailer will be required to charge an additional 4% tax for your purchase. There may be other applicable local taxes as well.


    Can I purchase cannabis in Missouri with an out-of-state card?

    No. Missouri doesn’t have reciprocity with any other state cannabis program. The only way to legally purchase cannabis in Missouri is to present a Missouri Department-issued patient identification card. However, if you have “equivalent identification card or authorization issued by another state or political subdivision of another state,” you are not subject to arrest for possession of less than 4 ounces or the equivalent. You should talk to a lawyer before attempting to possess cannabis in the state with out out-of-state card because your out-of-state authorization may not be considered equivalent.


    Can I get a card if I have a criminal record?

    Yes. Criminal records don’t disqualify applicants from getting patient identification cards. However,  your card can be denied if you:

    • Lie or provide false or misleading information on your application,
    • Provide incomplete information on your application, or
    • Don’t apply for a state card within 30 days of your certification date.

    Your card can be revoked if you:

    • Violate any provisions of the program’s rules,
    • You possess more marijuana than your card allows (likely 1 year suspension),
    • You sell or traffic any drugs (guaranteed permanent removal from the program).


    Can a nurse practitioner or dentist recommend cannabis?

    No. Only a state licensed physician or osteopath can write a cannabis recommendation.


    I have a caregiver who cultivates for me. Can I cultivate also?

    No. Only your caregiver or you can cultivate for you. You can’t both cultivate at the same time.


    Can I be fired for using marijuana if I have a Missouri Patient Identification Card?

    Amendment 2, Sec. 7(1)(d) states that a cannabis patient can’t “bring an action against any employer, former empoyer, or prospective employer for wrongful discharge, discrimination, or any similar cause of action or remedy based on the employer, former employer, or prospective employer prohibiting the employee, former empployee, or prospective employee from being under the influence of marijuana while at work or disciplining the employee or former employee, up to and including termination from employment for working or attempting to work while under the influence of marijuana.”


    Can my landlord prohibit marijuana use in my residence?

    Missouri’s laws didn’t just concentrate on protections for patients. The built in protections for landowners and employers as well. Just as Missouri’s rules allow employers to fire or not hire cannabis patients, the rules allow the barring of cannabis use by contract. If your lease prohibits use or cultivation, this is a contract. If you agree to the contract, then you can be evicted for breaking this contract. Therefore, you need to ensure that your potential or current landlord will approve this use first.


    Can I be denied an organ transplant if I become a medical marijuana patient?

    Not in Missouri. Amendment 2 provides specific protections for organ transplant patients. Specifically, the law says “No patient shall be denied access to or priority for an organ transplant because they

    hold a Qualifying Patient identification card or use marijuana for medical use.


    How many patients can a primary caregiver have?

    “No individual shall serve as the Primary caregiver for more than three Qualifying Patients.” (Amendment 2 Sec. 7)


    How many plants can be cultivated in a single locked patient cultivation area?

    A single patient may have 6 seedlings, 6 immature plants, and 6 flowering plants to provide a continuous supply. Two patients may cultivate together for a maximum of 12 seedlings, 12 immature and 12 flowering plants. If a patient is also a caregiver, they may grow an additional six plants  of each type for their patient. Under no circumstances can a single, enclosed, locked facility cultivate for more than three people. That’s a maximum of 18 seedlings, 18 immature and 18 flowering plants.


    Can I use cannabis in public?

    No. Amendment 2 Sec. 7 (7) says “No Qualifying Patient shall consume marijuana for medical use in a public place, unless provided by law. Violation of this prohibition shall subject the violator to sanctions as provided by general law.”


    Can I make extracts with butane or other volatile materials?

    No. Only those with a state-issued manufacturing license can use flammable gasses or dangerous materials for extraction.

  • Oklahoma Christmas Gift Guide 2020

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    Before you put a bong or a bag of weed in your friend’s stocking this Christmas, you should know that it’s 100% illegal to give away cannabis in Oklahoma–even to another patient. That doesn’t mean that you don’t have any options for celebrating cannabis with a gift though! Here are a few options to inspire you.


    The Gift of NuggMD

    This one is at the top of the list for a reason.  If you know a friend or a loved one who uses cannabis, but does not yet have an Oklahoma medical marijuana card, then they are at great risk of their freedom.


    Just because it’s medically legal in the state, doesn’t mean it’s recreationally legal. If your friend or loved one is caught with illegal cannabis, they are risking fines and jail time. Not to mention the damage it will do to their ability to find a job, get funding for school, and more.


    Why take all these chances when it only costs $99 to get a medical cannabis evaluation from NuggMD?  And yes, you can pay for someone else’s recommendation. So if you’d like to give the gift of legal protection for your fellow cannabis users this Christmas, just head over to and talk to customer service today!


    Beautiful Windproof Ashtray

    This is an absolutely gorgeous ashtray for a backyard patio or den. The cap comes off to reveal the tray, which can then be flipped open to dump the ashes into the chamber below. It’s made of  zinc alloy that is nickel, lead and cadmium free. Less smoke, less flyaway ash, and such a beautiful ornament that it’s almost a shame to use it.


    Cooking with Cannabis

    Oklahoma has very generous possession limits, with patients able to possess up to three ounces of cannabis on their person, eight ounces of marijuana in their residence, one ounce of concentrated marijuana, 72 ounces of edible marijuana and up to six mature marijuana plants and up to six seedling plants. This leaves plenty of cannabis for cooking experiments, and a lot of cannabis patients find that edibles are definitely the way to go. So, what better way to learn how to cook with cannabis than with Laurie Wolf, “The Martha Stewart of Marijuana Edibles?”


    Pot Leaf Candy Molds

    This is for your budding canna-chef friends. They can try out their new infused chocolate recipes with these adorable silicone pot leaf candy molds.


    Cannabis Scented Candle  

    Some people actually like the smell of cannabis. This cannabis scented candle by Free Spirit Alchemy will fill your home with the scent of perfect purple haze. Just don’t try to smoke it or eat it. It’s got zero THC or CBD.


    Refrigerator Magnets

    This 12 pack of weed magnets is perfect for the fridge in the man cave.


    Marijuana Leaf AirPods Case

    This is a cool, but subtle and classy way for your friend to show how much they love weed. The case is slim, lightweight, and compatible with both AirPods 1 and AirPods 2.


    Ganjaland Board Game

    It’s the Candyland of weed  😀


    The Cannabis Encyclopedia

    If you know someone who’s about to become a budtender, or maybe they just wanted to know everything there possibly is to know about the sacred herb, this is the perfect book. Written by Jorge Cervantes, this amazingly thorough guide shows readers how to identify, cultivate and prepare cannabis, so first-time growers will really appreciate this guide. It has 516 positive reviews on Amazon so far, which is a pretty great track record.


    Funny Socks

    Do you have a friend who likes to kick their feet up and toke a bowl at the end of a long day at work? They’ll get a real giggle when they see the bottoms of these socks 🙂


    Helmet Head Locking Stash Box

    This smell-proof stash box is water resistant and small enough to fit into your fridge. Unlike other stash boxes, it has several zipper pockets and compartments inside, so you can store your gear and carry it without jumbling up the contents. Best of all, it comes with a lock to keep little hands away from the contents. This could be a huge help for patients that are also parents.


    Hemp Resin Ring

    These rings are beautiful and made from actual cannabis suspended in epoxy resin. Sizes 4.5-9.5 come with rounded edges, and 10 and up with flat edges.

  • New York Christmas Gift Guide

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    Christmas is here again, and even though Black Friday is over, it’s a good bet there’s still a few gifts to get. Too bad cannabis isn’t an option in New York because it’s still illegal to give away. California regularly sees a massive uptick in cannabis sales around the holidays.


    But just because we can’t give cannabis or paraphernalia to our fellow patients in New York, doesn’t mean that we can’t find great presents for them. There are hundreds of cannabis-inspired gifts that will show your stoner friends you care.


    Here’s a few gifts that we hope will inspire you this Christmas!


    Funny Weed Socks

    These cute men’s socks turn the table on the stoners in our life.


    Bong Appétit: Mastering the Art of Cooking with Weed

    Inspired by the Viceland show of the same name, this book by the editors of Munchies delves deep into the science of cannabis infusion and culinary arts.


    Marijuana Pot Leaf Cookie Cutters

    Ready to try out your new recipes?  This cookie cutter will take the cake. Makes a great stocking stuffer for your favorite cannabis foodie too!


    Smell Proof Stash Jar

    This little smell proof stash jar can attach to your backpack or keychain. It’s waterproof so it protects your bud till you get where you need to be.


    Retro Weed Man Sign

    If you’ve got a friend who loves retro “Reefer Madness” type merch, they will LOVE this metal sign. It’s perfect for a man cave, she shed or garage.


    Marijuana Periodic Table

    Your favorite science buff will have a lot of fun with this periodic table. The elements coincide with the actual periodic table, so it’s accurate. But of course, it’s all about the bud.


    Cannabis Apron

    This one’s for your bud who likes to bbq.


    The Gift of Knowledge

    This informative, 144-page book by Mickey Dee covers the recent research and progress in cannabis treatment for a wide variety of ailments. If you have a friend who’s thinking about trying cannabis for their medical condition, but wants to learn more before they take the leap, they could benefit in a big way by reading this.


    Silicone “Pot” Holders

    The perfect pun. This gift is great for a giggle.


    Marijuana Leaf LED Light

    This table lamp/night light runs on 3 AA batteries and changes colors as it glows.

    The Gift of NuggMD

    If your friend qualifies as a medical marijuana patient, but hasn’t applied to the program yet, NuggMD can help. A medical cannabis evaluation only costs $149 in New York and takes just minutes from the comfort of their own home. If you’d like to help a friend or loved one receive an affordable New York medical card this Christmas, please contact customer service today at

  • California Cannabis Gifting Guide 2020

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    Legal Disclaimer: This article is provided for informational purposes only. It was not written by an attorney. Although every reasonable effort is made to present current and accurate information, Nugg and all authors make no guarantees of any kind and cannot be held responsible or liable for any outdated or incorrect information. The information contained herein is not provided in the course of and does not create or constitute an attorney-client relationship, is not intended to convey or constitute legal or regulatory advice, an interpretation of law, an advisory opinion or rulemaking of any kind, and is neither a substitute for nor does it release you from your responsibility to review applicable law and, if necessary, obtain legal advice from a qualified attorney.


    Did you ever wonder as a child what the world would be like in 2020? Maybe we’d have flying cars, or transporters, or we’d all have instant communicators.

    …wait, that one came true.

    Most likely, the one thing we never imagined is that we’d be contemplating gifting cannabis for Christmas. It really is a new day, and giving the gift of Christmas cheer has taken on a whole new meaning with legal marijuana.

    So, without any further ado, here’s your guide to gifting cannabis, to help bring a little green into your Yuletide this year.

    First, THE RULES

    Possession Amounts: Just because it’s legal to give away cannabis doesn’t mean we can give away unlimited amounts. Recreational patients can possess up to 28.5 grams of flower OR 8 grams of concentrate or the equivalent contained in edibles. You’re also only allowed to give away up to an ounce at a time. So, don’t go overboard and try to do all your Christmas shopping at once. You can buy quarters for up to 4 friends at once, or eighths for up to 8 friends at once or 8 1 gram cartridges for example. Don’t go over that.

    *Note: Medical patients can carry up to 8 ounces or that equivalent in concentrates or edibles at once.

    Also, make sure the person you’re gifting to isn’t already maxed out on their own stash. You don’t want to put them over their own possession limit either.

    Age Limit: The person you’re gifting cannabis to must be 21 or older if they don’t have a medical card. This may seem obvious, but there are certain gifting situations where this is a concern. For instance, if you’re participating in a white elephant, it’s a bad idea to throw cannabis in the mix unless you know that everyone in the circle can legally possess cannabis, and actually wants cannabis as a gift.

    For your own safety, and theirs, don’t give cannabis to a younger person even if they say they have a medical card. This is because there are serious legal consequences involved in giving cannabis to a person under the age of 21, up to and including jail time, and you most likely don’t know if their recommendation is up to date. Keep it to 21 and over to be safe.

    Transportation: It’s not legal to send cannabis through the U.S. Mail or any other postal carrier (yet). The best way to deliver cannabis to a friend if you can’t deliver it yourself is to have it delivered to them by a nearby dispensary. You can order cannabis for delivery in most parts of the state at Remember, at no time should you have more than an ounce in your possession should you choose to deliver cannabis presents to yourself.

    Consent: Make sure the person you’re gifting cannabis to actually wants cannabis for Christmas. You might be surprised to find out which of your friends love to receive the gift of weed and which friends don’t. They may be abstaining because they have a safety sensitive job for which they are drug tested, or they may be in certain types of recovery programs that don’t allow use of any substances. They may also be in a specific court program or on parole, or in another legal situation in which they aren’t allowed to possess marijuana. So, if they’re always the first to show up with a bag of weed at a party, it’s obviously ok, but if you’ve never seen them with cannabis, ask first.

    Location: You can only give away cannabis in your own state because it’s still federally illegal. Transporting cannabis over state lines, even to another legal state, isn’t legal yet. This may seem ridiculous, especially between fully-legal states like California, Nevada, Oregon and Washington. But if a state trooper caught you crossing the state lines with cannabis it could easily become a federal issue and rob you of years of your life.

    So, keep cannabis gift giving at home for now. Be patient. Almost everyone agrees that it’s going to be federally legal within the next five years or so. Follow the rules until then so you don’t miss all the fun!

    Now, The Gifts!

    Infused Edibles

    Honey Pot

    Honey Pot makes some nummy infused honey for your favorite stoner friend. It’s delicious in tea or on bread. Their packages come in 4oz/100mg THC and 2oz/50mg THC

    Kikoko Cannabis Infused Teas

    One of our favorites is Positivi-Tea. This caffeinated green mint tea has 10mg THC and 5mg CBD per bag for the perfect mood-lifter.



    Canndescent was a very popular gift item last year, and this year will likely be no different. Whichever strain you choose, it will come in a beautiful container designed to showcase the beauty of every bud. You can even order a collectible box with five different types.

    Korova Alien Blackout

    Korova’s got a LOT of different flavors in California, from Creme Brulee to Moltov Cocktail–all of them great–but Alien Blackout is definitely a favorite.

    Stocking Stuffers

    Lowell Single Smoke Case

    If you know someone who likes to bring the pre-rolls to the party, this carrying case is a perfect stocking stuffer.

    Lowell Herb Co. Hell’s Fire Pre-roll

    They’ll love their stocking stuffer even more if it already has some seriously dank herb in it. They have a lot of other great pre-rolls if you can’t find this particular flavor near you, but this one’s a very popular seller for a good reason 😉

    Gifts for Your Out-of-State Stoners

    Just because you can’t give your out-of-state friend any weed or paraphernalia (that includes rolling trays, pipes, etc.–all are ILLEGAL to send over state lines), doesn’t mean you can’t have a little weed-inspired fun!

    Stoner Coloring Book byEdwina Mc Namee

    Edwina Mc Namee has a lot of entertaining coloring books for the resident stoner who enjoys psychedelic art (who doesn’t?)

    Potheads Against Sanity

    This one’s a play on Cards Against Humanity, and it’s just as funny with a stoner twist. It’s simple to play. Each round, a player asks a question from a question card, and the rest of the players answer the question with their funniest answer card.

    The Easy Cannabis Cookbook

    This is THE go-to cookbook for cannabis newbies by popular cannabis chef Cheri Sicard. The author provides 60 easy-to-make recipes that taste like heaven; a dosing guide; a guide for choosing the right tools, foods and equipment; and cannabis 101 explaining the history and potential benefits of cannabis.


  • Is Marijuana Legal in New York Yet or Not?

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    Is recreational marijuana legal in New York? 

    The short answer is no, not yet.

    It’s been two months since New York enacted its expanded marijuana decriminalization law on August 29, 2019, and it seems like New Yorkers are more confused than ever about the legal status of cannabis in the state. After all, marijuana has been decriminalized in New York since 1977, with possession of up to 25 grams being a mere infraction carrying a $100 fine. Possession in public view, however, was a misdemeanor.

    This led to abuse of the infamous stop and frisk, where the police officer would pull the cannabis into public view during the search and then arrest the victim. This public view loophole was closed by the new decriminalization bill, and that really is a big deal. But it’s not the massive change the public expected.

    The new law Senate Bill 6759A, decriminalizes possession of up to two ounces of cannabis, but it has a lot of caveats and there are still plenty of ways to get into trouble or go to jail–just not quite as many as before.

    Marijuana Possession Penalties in New York

    Under the current decriminalization law, possession of one ounce or less of cannabis is a $50 fine. Those in possession of between one ounce and two ounces are subject to a $200 fine. And fines aren’t the only penalty for these low-level possession charges. New Yorkers can still be arrested, and they are still being arrested. Worse, those arrested are still mostly people of color. Children can still be removed from the home’s of cannabis users and undocumented immigrants can still be deported for marijuana use or possession.

    Here’s the other penalties you can still face for non-medical marijuana possession in the state:

    • Possession of more than 2 but less than 8 oz is a misdemeanor with up to 1 year in jail and a $ 1,000 fine.
    • Possession of more than 8 oz but less than a pound is a felony with up to 4 years in jail and a $5,000 fine.
    • Possession of more than a pound, but less than ten pounds is a felony with up to 7 years in jail and a 5,000 fine.
    • Possession of more than 10 pounds is a felony with up to 15 years in jail and a $15,000 fine.

    And selling cannabis in the state without a license comes with very severe penalties. The smallest penalty is 3 months in jail and a $500 fine for selling a single joint, and it goes up from there. Hardly worth it.

    Smoking cannabis in public is now treated the same way that smoking tobacco is. Therefore, you’re not allowed to smoke cannabis in any of the places listed here, and if you get caught, you’ll get a fine.

    No one is arguing that the expanded decriminalization of small amounts of cannabis isn’t a huge accomplishment in a state well-known for its abuse of marijuana enforcement. Rome wasn’t built in a day. But most New Yorkers want to know why it’s not fully legal yet, especially in light of Governor Cuomo’s promises and the dangers posed by the current vaping illness.

    Where Are People Buying Their Cannabis?

    New York’s highly restrictive legal medical market leads most New Yorkers to seek out black market sources for their cannabis, and one of the most common black market items in the state is the cannabis vape pen. These are hot selling items because they are more discreet than flower and can’t be as easily detected.

    Unfortunately, these black market vapes are the prime suspect in the vaping illness investigations, and for good cause. Most of them contain dilutants such as Vitamin E acetate that are known to be harmful when combusted and inhaled.

    So far, this hasn’t been a problem seen in legal medical cannabis vape products, although the state is still advising cessation of all vape products out of an abundance of caution. New York has also approved the first raw flower product–Curaleaf’s ground flower pods, which can be vaporized using dry herb vaporizers instead of oil-based vape pens.

    But what’s truly needed are practical expectations and common sense regulations for a fully legal adult use market. Right now, the vast majority of cannabis users in the state obtain their supply entirely from the black market. This is true even for medical users who have a card because the price of legal medical cannabis is double that of black market or even more.

    Legalization will only fix this if the regulations and prices are reasonable. Hopefully, this is the goal for Governor Cuomo’s talks with Pennsylvania, Connecticut and New Jersey–rather than simply ensuring all states have similar unreasonable pricing schemes. Otherwise, adult users from all four states will simply continue to purchase from the black market. It’s just far too easy to smuggle inexpensive vape pens from anywhere in the country, so common sense would dictate that any effort to steer the legal market in these four states to just a few mega companies would result in a stronger black market than ever.

    And this is definitely a point of contention for those state representatives who are holding out for a better deal.

    When Will Marijuana Be Legal in New York?

    The real choke point for New York’s legalization push has been the state senate. Both Governor Cuomo and Manhattan Senator Liz Krueger have pointed fingers at each other for failing to pull in the needed Senate votes.

    Among the more notable senate holdouts was Brooklyn Senator Andrew Gounardes, who expressed concerns over ability to detect impaired driving. This will be a tough hurdle since testing methods are not developed enough to detect current impairment with marijuana. It’s honestly not even possible to put a number on what would represent an impaired driver since tolerance and blood levels vary wildly.

    Senator Peter Harckham of South Salem wants to see more state aid for schools, public health and law enforcement. This is an easier problem to solve and it likely will be solved in this round of talks, but it will probably mean higher taxes for consumers and a greater chance of increased black market activity.

    It will almost certainly be necessary to ensure local control as well. Long Island, Hudson Valley, Putnam and Rockland counties are likely to disallow sales if given that option. Their Senators’ support will probably not come without that option.

    And this year’s efforts will most certainly include social justice and equity discussions, which Governor Cuomo included in the recent talks with other states. This will be complicated, but extremely necessary considering New York’s history of racially-biased enforcement.

    These complications are just the tip of the iceberg. So it’s easy to see why the Governor’s having a difficult time keeping his promise. At times like this, a little public support never hurts. You can find the contact information for your local state senator here.

    The legislature will be reconvening for the second half of the 2019-2020 legislative session in January and will have until June to find a solution that satisfies enough state senators to pass a bill allowing adult-use marijuana in 2020.

  • How To Find A Job That Doesn’t Drug Test In 2020

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    Image Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images

    Drug testing policies have never made much sense in regard to recreational and medical marijuana use. It seems a little twisted that a drug test can be positive for marijuana up to a month after casual use while methamphetamine and cocaine users and alcoholics often fly through the screening process. This is because most drug tests can only detect alcohol ingestion within a few hours and methamphetamine and cocaine use for a couple of days.

    The hypocrisy and danger of the current system is readily apparent to even the most jaded observer. After all, who’s the safety risk on the job? Someone who smoked a joint at a party over the weekend and came to work completely sober and refreshed, or a person who came into work so hung over from alcohol that they couldn’t function properly? Yet the safe and sober weekend marijuana user is far more likely to fail a drug test than a problem drinker.

  • Drug Tests Are Becoming More Invasive

    Standard drug tests aren’t nearly as effective as they used to be because it’s so easy to circumvent them. A simple search on Google will reveal dozens of tried-and-true tactics. When there’s a will, there’s a way. Probably one of the most inventive is the Wizzinator.

    For those who’ve never heard of this brilliant little device, it’s a contraption designed to look like a genuine human penis with a urine container which is attached to the body and designed to look as if you’re actually urinating when you pinch the valve to drain it. And there are similar female devices, although their use is a bit more involved.

    In response to devices like these, drug testing procedures have been adapted to include checking for them. And in most cases the invasion of privacy involved in doing so is beyond extreme. Some employers, such as those involved with the Department of Transportation, require direct observation of the person’s genitals, and then observing the testee as they urinate. Direct observation is always required of all follow up and return to work tests for the Department of Transportation; meaning, to put it bluntly, if you’re injured on the job and have to take a few weeks off, they get to look at your junk before you’re allowed to come back to work.

    For those who’ve never been subjected to a ‘direct observation’ drug test, it’s difficult to imagine the indignity that a person goes through in order to comply with regulations. So, here are the exact procedures for a ‘direct observation‘ drug screening from the Department of Transportation’s website:

    • The observer must be the same gender as the employee.
    • If the collector is not the observer, the collector must instruct the observer about the procedures for checking the employee for prosthetic or other devices designed to carry “clean” urine and urine substitutes AND for watching the employee urinate into the collection container.
    • The observer requests the employee to raise his or her shirt, blouse or dress / skirt, as appropriate, above the waist, just above the navel; and lower clothing and underpants to mid-thigh and show the observer, by turning around, that the employee does not have such a device.
    • If The Employee Has A Device: The observer immediately notifies the collector; the collector stops the collection; and the collector thoroughly documents the circumstances surrounding the event in the remarks section of CCF. The collector notifies the DER. This is a refusal to test.
    • If The Employee Does Not Have A Device: The employee is permitted to return clothing to its proper position for the observed collection. The observer must watch the urine go from the employee’s body into the collection container. The observer must watch as the employee takes the specimen to the collector. The collector then completes the collection process.

    Failure of the employee to permit any part of the direct observation procedure is considered a refusal to test.

    That Sounds Unconstitutional!

    According to the Supreme Court, it’s not. It may be outrageous, but courts have ruled that such invasive testing is allowable when there’s a reasonable expectation that drug use would result in a danger to public safety. And this might even be a reasonable course of action if urinalysis was more likely to show current intoxication than off duty drug use–but of course we all know it’s not.

    So where does one draw the line, considering the likely uselessness of private testing on one hand, and the outrageousness of observed testing on the other. Apparently, JetBlue hasn’t just crossed the line–they forgot it even existed. A recent lawsuit accuses the company of forcing a flight attendant to lift her shirt and bra up to her armpits, drop her pants to her ankles, and then urinate into a cup while an observer squatted two feet away at the level of her genitals to observe the process.

    Then, she had to go through the entire process again because common medications she was taking for a bladder infection caused discrepancies in the test. This time, it was even worse. According to the complaint, the observer “squatted six inches away from Reese while she urinated and at one point ‘reached out and physically spread plaintiff’s legs wider by pushing against the inside of plaintiff’s left knee with the back of her right hand.’”

    Who Are These “Observers?”

    Most of the time when a person is submitting to the drug test, they make the mistaken assumption that the person observing their genitals and watching them urinate is a nurse or an otherwise trained medical professional. That is not a requirement. From Samhsa’s handbook on urine specimen collections, these are the requirements for a person who wishes to become a direct urine specimen observer. The person must:

    • Be knowledgeable of the direct observed collection procedure as described in the Mandatory Guidelines
    • Be knowledgeable of any guidance provided by the federal agency or by HHS relating to the direct observed collection procedure described in the Mandatory Guidelines
    • Receive training on the following subjects:
      • The steps necessary to perform a direct observed collection correctly
      • Maintaining the integrity and security of the specimen throughout the collection process by maintaining visual contact with the collection container
      • Ensuring the privacy of the donor
      • Ensuring that the observation is done in a professional manner, to minimize discomfort of the donor
      • Avoiding conduct that can be interpreted as offensive or inappropriate
      • Be the same gender as the donor. There are no exceptions to this requirement. An observer is not required to be a trained collector.

      As you can see, these observers are not trained medical professionals. They aren’t even required to be a trained collector. There is also no mention of a requirement that the person undergo a background check to ensure they are not a sex offender–merely the requirement that the person is of the same gender as if this somehow insulates the testee from the possibility of assault or inappropriate behavior.

      Privacy Violations In The Private Sector

      Even more outrageous is that this type of testing method isn’t just used for very safety sensitive jobs (although it’s extremely arguable how “safety sensitive” a flight attendant’s job is). A recent court case in Ohio, LUNSFORD v. STERILITE is addressing the case of four women who were forced to produce their urine samples under direct observations at a plastic container plant. In the private sector, there’s little to no regulation of drug testing at all. Lunsford’s type of situation is far from unique.

      If you don’t know your company’s drug screening guidelines yet, you can ask for a written copy of their policy. You may be surprised at the extent of invasion which they allow to maintain a drug free workplace. More importantly, if you’re ever subjected to a drug test and the testing procedures violate the written policy provided to you by your employer, you might have a good lawsuit on your hands. It doesn’t matter who administers the test by the way. Whatever company does it is acting as your company’s agent, and therefore, your company is responsible for their actions–a lesson that JetBlue is learning all too well at the moment.

      Privacy Isn’t The Only Concern

      Discrimination against medical marijuana users is rampant despite the mounting evidence that medical marijuana may be a safer alternative to both opiate pain treatment and recreational alcohol use.

      Recently, Dish Network received severe public backlash for firing a paraplegic employee who was using medical marijuana to treat intractable muscle spasms. The case, which happened in Colorado of all states, went all the way to the state Supreme Court.

      The court documentation notes that Brandon Coats, who is confined to an electric wheelchair and has only limited use of his hands, was a model telephone customer service representative. But after he obtained a license to use medical marijuana and informed his company that he was using it, he was fired despite his exemplary performance. Keep in mind that Coates was not engaged in a safety sensitive job by any means, and that he performed indisputably well at his job. Yet the Colorado Supreme Court ruled that he was not wrongfully terminated after a 5-year battle.

      What benefit does society as a whole gain from Brandon Coates’ unemployment? Does he simply serve as a precautionary tale to those suffering from the same disorder that they must turn to addictive pharmaceuticals for their pain lest they join the unemployment line?

      More importantly, this man clearly qualifies for disability, yet he found a way to earn a living and contribute to society despite his physical limitations. What are the implications here for taxpayers who already face massive burdens? How can this possibly be considered a socially responsible viewpoint or policy?

      Yet this scenario is not uncommon.

      In response to these outrageous situations, states are adopting guidelines to prevent discrimination against medical cannabis users who ingest on their own time, but we have a very long way to go. Meanwhile, what’s a medical cannabis user to do?

      How Do I Pass A Drug Test?

      This is one of the most common questions we see. In fact, an adventurous Nugg blogger wrote a piece that actually provided some pretty sage advice in this area. The answer?

      Stop smoking cannabis.

      Well, he’s not wrong. It’s great advice if your employment depends on it because it’s the only way to actually avoid testing positive for cannabis use.

      But maybe we’ve been asking the wrong question. When we truly examine the considerable indignities we are exposed to with drug testing procedures, the invasion of privacy, and the outrageous assumption that an employer has the right to regulate what we do when we aren’t on the clock, why are we subjecting ourselves to this draconian treatment at all?

      Are we mice or are we men? Our cannabis use shouldn’t be the topic of conversation here. Casual cannabis use is no more an employer’s business than the decision to crack open a beer and watch football on your day off.

      Becoming A Drug Test Conscientious Objector

      No, the appropriate topic of conversation here is why employers feel they are justified to examine employee’s genitals on demand and investigate what they do in their free time. Even employees who don’t use cannabis or any drugs at all should be reasonably outraged by such a request.

      So what would happen if the pool of applicants willing to subject themselves to such indignities simply dried up?

      The answer to this question is already apparent. The employers would change their policies, and many already have. But finding these forward-thinking employers can be challenging. It’s not always easy to find a company’s full drug testing policy on Google–not to mention the time it takes to research all of these places before we apply.

      In response to the hassle, a very helpful Redditor began this thread to let people enter information about their company’s drug testing policies in a database. There are only 175 entries so far, but it contains information from companies like Walmart, K12 and Target.

      A preliminary check shows that the information isn’t 100% accurate. For instance, the chart says that Walmart never drug tests, but they actually do for safety sensitive jobs like driving a forklift or for management positions. It’s a good effort though as long as the user is willing to double check the information before applying too. And the database is sure to improve as more people enter information.

      Indeed is another source of information that looks a little more accurate. Prospective employees can ask questions as well as rate the company’s work environment, and fellow employees are usually happy to share the details.

      States That Protect MMJ Users’ Rights

      Some states are also taking action to prevent abusive drug testing policies altogether, or at least diminish the harms that result.

      Connecticut, Iowa, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Vermont and New York City have all passed laws that restrict drug testing to one extent or another. This is an important win for citizens who are concerned with the loss of our Fourth Amendment rights against unreasonable search. The Supreme Court has done very little to protect these rights in recent decisions, so it’s very clearly up to our legislators to uphold our constitutional values.

      The legislators in California tried to pass a similar law the 2019 season, but the proposed bill was defeated. AB 882 would have prevented employers from terminating an employee for testing positive for a drug that is being used as a medical-assisted treatment under the care of a physician or licensed treatment program. It was quickly defeated due to concern that the bill would hurt companies that rely on federal funding.

      And of course, it’s been making the news lately that some states are moving very far in the other direction. For instance, Wisconsin now requires drug testing for all food stamp recipients. Alabama, Arkansas, Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Kansas, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Utah, and West Virginia have varying drug testing requirements for public assistance as well. These programs come at a hefty price tag and produce positive results in very few cases.

      The Takeaway

      Drug testing policies are in flux, and there’s still very little common sense exercised in the public debate. The current argument in style is that if employees need to be tested for jobs, then welfare seekers should be tested too, and maybe politicians while we’re at it. What we’re not hearing is that maybe these tests aren’t really worth it at all. Very few people are considering the cost to human dignity, our 4th Amendment rights and our health and safety.

      But there are employers out there who forego drug testing because they understand that such policies only give lip service to public safety concerns, and in some cases drive employees to much more dangerous pain treatment and recreational alternatives in their off-time. We just have to do a little work to find them.

      If you’re looking for employment right now, perhaps it’s time to consider one of these more forward-thinking companies in the best interest of freedom. More importantly, it might be time for all of us to consider who deserves our business as well. Perhaps if companies like Dish Network saw a loss in revenue, they would reconsider their draconian anti-medical cannabis policies.

      We all know it’s darkest before the dawn. As big pharma begins to lose its grip on our over-medicated and unhealthy nation, people are finding better alternatives to treat their ailments. Dietary changes, exercise, meditation and social support are all playing a huge role in our health revolution; and for some, medical marijuana is playing a big part in this change too as we work to overcome pain and addiction to opiates, cigarettes and alcohol. It usually takes years for laws to change bad policies, but change they will.

      Let’s help them get there faster.

      The opinions of the author are not necessarily the opinions of Nugg, NuggMD or Nugg Club.
  • Alternatives To Vaping Cannabis In New York


    New York’s Governor and Health Commissioner are urging New York cannabis patients to stop using all vape products until health officials can trace the cause of the recent rash of serious vaping illnesses.

    This warning to stop using all vape products includes THC, although none of the vaping illnesses have been traced back to legally purchased cannabis products in New York.

    The intention of this article isn’t to speculate about the cause of the vaping illnesses or suggest that any one method of consumption is safer than another. Instead, it will explain other methods of consumption and how they tend to affect users in hopes that patients can have a more informed conversation with their physicians about alternatives.

  • What We Currently Know About Vaping Illness

    As of September 25th, there are 805 reports of this illness in 46 states. There have been 12 confirmed deaths in 10 different states. So far, none of the deaths have occurred in New York.

    The one thing that all of the victims seem to have in common is that they’ve vaped in the past 90 days. From there, there are many variations. Some report only smoking e-cigarettes and some have smoked counterfeit cannabis cartridges, and some have smoked both.

    The length of time between exposure and the illness developing has been varied as well. The illness, now called VAPI–vaping associated pulmonary illness–tends to develop over the course of a few days, but can take weeks.

    What Are The Symptoms Of VAPI?

    The main symptoms of VAPI are coughing and shortness of breath sometimes accompanied by nausea and vomiting, diarrhea, fever, fatigue and weight loss. Most victims are hospitalized, with some requiring intensive care or even respirators. Most cases resemble lipoid pneumonia.

    It’s vital to note here that regardless of the speculations, the FDA hasn’t actually found a common thread between the different illnesses. Mitch Zeller, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Tobacco Products says that it looks like many cases involve THC, but not all. Some cases involve oils and some involve CBDs. A few reportedly involve nicotine only, but Zeller is eyeing those cases dubiously.

    The latest death was a Georgia man who reported heavy nicotine vape use, but reported no THC use. Zeller is doubting the veracity of these reports though, as investigators are relying on self-reported data in states where THC products are highly illegal. Patients would obviously be reluctant to report THC use. Possession of one ounce or less in Georgia can result in a year in prison, and possession of more than an ounce is a felony charge carrying up to 10 years.

    So it’s easy to understand that high criminal penalties are hampering investigations into the source of the problem. This means it will probably take a little longer to get to the bottom of this puzzle–especially if it involves black market or counterfeit vape pens.

    Alternatives To Vaping Cannabis

    For those who currently vape and wish to use other methods until the source of the illness is clear, there are several alternatives available.

    The non-vape oil products currently allowed in New York are:

    • Tinctures,
    • Solid and semisolid preparations like capsules, tablets and lozenges,
    • Ground, non-smokable plant preparations,
    • Ground, vaporizable plant preparations, and
    • Topical applications and patches.

    The Difference Between Oral and Inhaled Cannabis

    Oral cannabis and inhaled cannabis are very different. They even involve different psychoactive compounds. When cannabis is smoked, delta-9-THC is absorbed into the lungs. When cannabis is ingested, much of the THC is converted to 11-hydroxy-THC in the liver.

    11-hydroxy-THC crosses the blood-brain barrier much more easily because it’s more water-soluble. So, even though it takes longer for the high to hit from eating–up to 90 minutes or more–it lasts longer and is much more potent.

    This is one of the main reasons many people prefer inhaled cannabis. It’s easier to titrate the dose. Inexperienced patients tend to take too much oral cannabis because of the delayed onset. If they take too much because they mistakenly believe it’s not working, they will get an unpleasant surprise when it all kicks in at once and it will last for hours.

    With inhaled cannabis, the effects are felt much more rapidly–usually within about ten minutes. This makes it much easier to find the best dose. It also mitigates the discomfort if they take more than they’re comfortable with because the effects usually peak in about 15 to 45 minutes and wear off in a couple hours.

    Inhaled cannabis’ fast onset also makes it the preferred method of administration for pain patients, who are the vast majority of medical cannabis users in New York.

    This is why the recommendation to avoid vaping will have a powerful impact on New York cannabis patients. Those who need to switch to oral cannabis will need to take their time adjusting their dose for the best comfort and symptom relief.

    A Closer Look At Vaping Alternatives


    Tinctures are sometimes called cannabis oral solutions. Whatever the name, they’re a liquid solution that’s held under the tongue. This helps your system to absorb the THC faster through the network of large blood vessels there.

    Just like with vape pens, you’ll find tinctures from low to high CBD to THC ratios designed to treat different conditions.

    Like all oral cannabis, it’s easy for patients to assume a tincture isn’t working if the effects take longer than they expect. It’s very important to wait at least 90 minutes, if not longer before attempting to adjust the dose. Don’t take more than your doctor recommends.

    Oral Sprays

    Oral sprays work like tinctures do, but they make microdosing easier. This makes it simpler for first-time users to start with small doses and experiment until they find the right amount.

    You might see ads that say oral sprays mimic smoking. That’s not to say that you should inhale them. That will hurt your lungs. Oral sprays are meant to be sprayed on the mucous membranes inside your mouth and held there for about 30 to 60 seconds without swallowing. They work much the same as tinctures in this way, and should be dosed in the same way with the same waiting period before trying more.


    Capsules may be a more comfortable dosing method for patients who are used to taking pills. They come in a wide variety of dosing options and THC to CDB ratios. The downside is that it’s harder to adjust the dose if you find that your capsules are more potent than needed.

    Also, make sure you let your pharmacists know if you have any allergies, such as to gluten or wheat. They may need to check the inactive ingredients to ensure you can take them safely.

    Hard-Pressed Tablets

    Tablets work in basically the same way as capsules. Their advantage is that it’s easier to split your dose if you find that the option you purchased is too potent for your needs. Again, make sure to check the inactive ingredients for any possible allergens that can affect you.

    Ground Flower Pods

    This is a very new option that’s only recently become available with Curaleaf–although other retailers are sure to follow soon. Ground flower pods are simply cannabis buds that have been pre-ground for easy vaping. The flower is inserted into a specially designed vaporizer that heats the herb to just under the combustion level. This releases the cannabinoids for inhalation without creating smoke and tar.

    So far, ground flower pods are only available in a 20:1 THC to CBD ratio.

    Health authorities have not weighed in yet on whether vaping dry herbs may be a safe option to vaping oil during the investigation, so it’s best to ask a doctor if this method is advisable.

    If your doctor decides this is a good option, you’ll need a special device called a dry herb vaporizer to use the flower pods. These devices come in desktop or handheld units and can run on household electricity or batteries. Your dispensary and doctor can recommend the best make and model to suit your needs and show you how to use it.

    What If A Dose Is Too Strong?

    Those who’ve never taken oral cannabis might experience some anxiety if they take a strong dose. If you haven’t found your sweet spot yet, you might want to be with a comfortable friend or family member till you find it.

    Some people experience palpitations, paranoia and panic attacks instead of the usual calming and pain-relief they experience with inhaled cannabis. If this happens to you, remember that no one has ever died from a cannabis overdose. Simply remain calm and call your doctor to have your dosage adjusted. Your doctor might want to consider a higher CBD to THC ratio as well.

    Until you feel better, drink plenty of fluids and eat a snack if you feel hungry (which you most likely will). This can help to occupy your mind. Try to find something fun to do as well, like playing a game with friends, reading a good book or watching a favorite show or movie. It may seem like forever till it wears off, but it eventually will–usually within about 6-8 hours.

    And of course, if you start to experience any very unusual symptoms like excessive vomiting, call your doctor.

    How To Change Your Cannabis Administration Method In New York

    Unlike most other states, New York requires that a doctor recommends the specific amount of cannabis a patient needs, the ratio of CBD to THC, and how to administer it. In other words, New York recommendations work a lot like medication prescriptions. Some doctors recommend a wide variety of options, and some are very specific.

    If you received your recommendation from a NuggMD doctor, chances are you already have access to other forms of cannabis besides vaping. Their doctors recommend many types and strengths to allow room for trial and error. Other doctors may have recommended only one specific method and strength.

    If you have one of those recommendations that only allow vaporization oil, you will need to see a doctor to get this changed. NuggMD doctors are available from 8AM to 10PM daily via NuggMD’s state-of-the-art telemedicine platform. You can see a new cannabis doctor with them from the comfort of your own home today.


    As stated above, it could take months to discover the cause of the recent illnesses. Meanwhile, patients and recreational cannabis users will need to weigh the risks versus benefits of their particular form of cannabis use.

    There will likely be unintended consequences of the bans and precautions as well. Some states are considering banning all vape products, not just flavored liquids. Most notably, the governor of Massachusetts declared an emergency ban of all vape products for 4 months. This is leading to speculations that more problems will occur as vapers turn to black market products instead. Others are questioning why e-cigarettes are banned after 12 deaths when legally-sold regular cigarettes kill nearly half a million people a year.

    Regardless of whether the current illnesses are simply media hype or something more serious, those who choose to use inhaled forms of cannabis should monitor their lung health carefully and report any new breathing problems to their physician.

  • At Least Pot Smokers Can Read A Map

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    A hilarious Tweet by @ChiefWolfhound is going viral this week. In the Tweet, which appears to be part of a larger coordinated campaign called #COWillVapeYou, Chief Wolfhound, who is a retired SENIOR INTELLIGENCE OFFICER, says:

    Of course, there’s something glaringly wrong with this post, seeing as this map appears to be alleging that Wyoming is Colorado…or maybe they’re arguing that Wyoming is weed central?

    Or maybe the authors weren’t operating with all their faculties when they built this map. But this isn’t the first time it has made its ugly and hilarious rounds. The embarrassingly wrong map is actually a mistaken infographic that was published by USA today way back in 2016. Everyone from the Huffington Post to Westworld had a lot of fun with the much-needed geography (and spelling) lessons.

    Those geography and spelling lessons apparently fell short of their mark though.

    They are right about the spelling. On the map, it’s spelled marjijuana.

    The Chief tried to pass the buck by blaming the ill-informed and misspelled map on the DEA


    And also, it’s just the wrong source. But we knew that already.

    And Echo makes a very good point.

    It’s nice to see you can concede with a little grace, Chief.

    But they aren’t about to let you off the hook.

    Whatever the cause for the loose nut behind the steering wheel of this doomed infographic, the Twitter crowd had an absolute field day with this oldie but goodie, again.

    As it turns out, scientific evidence is beginning to mount that marijuana use does not make us dumb, but even moderate alcohol use can damage the brain, so alcohol might be a better target for anti-cannabis prohibitionists concerned about national health.

    Keep raising the bar weed tokers! Proving one failed scare tactic at a time that the gig is up on prohibition.

  • California’s Weed Market Will Remain Cash-Only…For Now

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    Hopes have been very high for SB 51, which proposes to create state-chartered banking services for legal cannabis businesses. So businesses and consumers felt a little let down last week upon learning that the bill is being tabled.

    Senator Hertzberg’s office wants to assure the bill’s supporters that this move is only temporary, and that the bill is in no way being tabled for lack of support—just the opposite, in fact.

    “Lack of support is definitely not the issue with this bill,” says Katie Hanzlik, Press Secretary for Senator Hertzberg. “It got bipartisan support and only received 5 ‘no’ votes total over the course of six committee hearings and a Senate Floor vote.”

    Instead, the devil seems to be in the details. After all, cannabis is still illegal on the federal level, and this makes it very difficult to get bankers on board with state-legal cannabis activities. This has led to frustrating and even dangerous transactions involving – literally – piles of cash. It’s an immense safety issue for the industry as a whole.

    In some cases, legal cannabis businesses are being forced to pay taxes and fees amounting to hundreds of thousands of dollars in cash. This obviously makes them a target for theft. And what are state offices supposed to do with these piles of cash?

    Worse, it’s hard on the consumers too. Almost every dispensary in the state is operating on a cash-only basis. This has led to some rather creative problem solving on the part of industry players, and while creative thinking is usually commendable in the business sector, some are under attack for their efforts.

    Creative Accounting or Fraud?

    Just recently, the founders of Herban filed a lawsuit with their former business companions Eaze, alleging they were committing fraud through their online payment platform. Their complaint alleges that Eaze conspired to hide the nature of customer payments from offshore payment processors by disguising the transactions through shell companies with non-cannabis related names.

    Their complaint is purely a civil suit based on charges of unfair competition, not a criminal one. Herban’s efforts are focused on obtaining an injunction to stop these transactions in order to level the playing field for compliant companies. It raises criminal concerns as well though, with the proponents of the lawsuit saying “Eaze is directing, coordinating, and participating in a scheme to defraud credit card companies and financial institutions into processing cannabis transactions in violation of a host of criminal laws.”

    What Will The Discovery Process Find?

    Matters only got worse for Eaze on Sept. 10, 2019 when the San Francisco Superior Court denied Eaze’s motion to drop the suit. Herban says that they will now continue forward to “conduct discovery into Eaze’s alleged credit and debit card fraud and bring the matter to trial.”

    When a civil case is moving through the discovery process, it’s sometimes possible for a civil suit to reveal criminal actions as well. This could turn the case into a criminal trial in certain circumstances. This is rare, but if and when it does happen, the person or entity can pass through the civil claim and then face criminal charges if law enforcement chooses to prosecute.

    How To Solve The Banking Problem

    Long story short, this kind of creative accounting wouldn’t even be necessary if SB 51 were to pass—or better yet, the federal government were to remove prohibitions against providing banking services to cannabis-related enterprises.

    To that end, the SAFE Banking Act is moving though Congress and a vote is planned for the end of September. This act would create protections for banks and other services that work with licensed cannabis businesses. If it passes, then the accounting problems that cannabis businesses face can be solved in short order.

    Meanwhile, it’s up to state legislators to find the solution for California’s cannabis banking woes, and Hertzberg’s office is hard at work on a viable solution.

    “We plan to spend the next couple of months working with the Governor’s administration to iron out any final details about implementation and what this would actually look like on the ground. That seemed to be the biggest question mark as the bill moved through the process,” says Hanzlik. “We should have some clarity by January, when we can get it across that final hurdle on the Assembly Floor and then to the Governor for signature. This bill has an urgency provision, so it would go into effect immediately!”

    Speak Up!

    If you’d like to show support for SB 51’s quick return and passage, you can contact your state legislator here.

    And to show support for the SAFE Act, you can contact you Congressional representative here.