New Vitality: A local option for medical cannabis eligibility

Published 3:16 pm Monday, December 12, 2022

Mississippi residents who need to be evaluated for medical cannabis use currently have a single local option — New Vitality Medi Spa.

Or at least the only publicly listed option. The Mississippi State Department of Health does not publish the names of medical practitioners enrolled in the medical cannabis program. Practitioners may voluntarily list themselves with other online sources.

Operated by Dr. Vicky McLean and Nurse Practitioner Cassandra Johnson, New Vitality is located in Suite A, 711 Brookway Blvd. They have offered medical marijuana certification since patients could first apply in June this year.

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The office evaluates and makes patients eligible for medical marijuana cards, according to a New Vitality medical assistant. Patients must provide all medical records pertaining to their illness, and pay a $75 deposit. They will then have a $125 balance. The total cost covers the initial and follow-up visits.

“Once they see us, and we put their information in, they have to go to Walgreens next door and get a passport-type photo,” the assistant said. “They’ll need a utility bill and their driver’s license, and those must be scanned in and uploaded onto the state website.”

The patient must then receive an email from the state and follow all online directions at the Mississippi State Department of Health website.

New Vitality can also recommend a therapist for anyone who thinks they may have post-traumatic stress disorder, but have not yet been diagnosed.

According to MSDH, there is a five-step process for patients to be certified and receive medical cannabis.

The patient with a medical complaint must schedule a visit with a physician, nurse practitioner, or optometrist participating in the medical cannabis program. After an in-person visit, the medical professional must determine that the patient has a qualifying condition that would benefit from the use of medical cannabis. The practitioner will complete medical certification for the patient. This is not a prescription.

Within 60 days of medical certification, the patient must submit their application to participate in the medical cannabis program. The patient will then receive an electronic identification card for the time period specified by the certifying practitioner, or a maximum of one year.

The patient will then select a licensed dispensary from which to purchase medical cannabis.

To schedule an appointment at New Vitality, or for more information, call 601-265-2016.