Many of you are using or at least have tried medical marijuana. My patients have come in telling me about bad experiences, side-effects and difficulties with the marijuana dispensaries.  If you are using medical marijuana (MMJ) or are looking for more guidance on things to consider then this MMJ series will be for you.


I recently visited Emerald Alley Dispensary in Oklahoma City and the videos in future segments were all filmed there.  When I asked their head bud tender what people should ask when they visit a dispensary, he simply commented that nobody asks anything.  While dispensaries have some regulations, the infrastructure ensuring these are being followed are often lacking and there is a lot of variability.  I am hoping to raise your awareness so you at least are armed with some information to help make better choices.

READ ON to learn 5 red flags when looking at a dispensary…

Stay tuned.  In this upcoming series I will be addressing:

  • Certificate of Analysis – so very important for many reasons
  • The different methods of delivery and why some may be better than others
  • What to look for in different strains for certain medical conditions

Full disclaimer:  I am not promoting the use of MMJ. I always prefer diet, lifestyle and supplements as first line therapy.  That being said, there are some real indications and benefits as well.

I still have some serious concerns about daily use, method of use and addictive potential.  Studies are showing daily use (most likely smoking) is increasing inflammation accelerating heart disease.  Smoking of anything isn’t good for your lungs.  Regarding addictive potential, we have receptors for cannabinoids just like we have receptors for opioids.  I am not convinced that the opioid crisis we are currently having right now won’t be a MMJ crisis in the future.  Research will be exploding on the risks and benefits in the upcoming years which is good so stay tuned.

This is just information for your education and you should speak with your physician before using MMJ.

5 Red Flags….

  1. Smoke in the dispensary. If there is smoke billowing out the door when you walk in a dispensary, then they are smoking inside and this is illegal. If they are not following that law then what else are they doing or not doing?
  2. Not requiring your MMJ card. Legally, each dispensary must ask for your MMJ card every single time you come in.  If you go to a dispensary and they say don’t worry about not having your card, just bring it next time then then what else are they not following?
  3. No certification/training. The people behind the counter are called bud tenders. Oklahoma does not require certifications for these helpers (some states do).  Some dispensaries do require this of their employees or at least their master bud tender and then the rest of the staff is trained by them.  Bud tenders are not legally able to make recommendations but they are allowed to suggest things based on their experience of what has worked for other patients.  As you will see in this series there is a lot that goes into this so be sure and catch that episode.
  4. Don’t know where they get their products. Do they purchase products from an indoor or outdoor growing facility?  If you are smoking you will want an indoor facility for a purer, less contaminated product.  Other states don’t allow outdoor products for smoking and these are sent to facilities to help process them which helps to decrease contaminants and then make the products into gummies, tinctures etc.   Also, keep in mind these are plants so there is a risk of pesticides just like vegetables so knowing the grower becomes important.
  5. Cannot produce a certificate of analysis (COA). Oklahoma requires a certificate of analysis for each BATCH.  Dispensaries should be able to produce a COA for each product they are showing you.  Watch our COA video later on for more details on what to look for on the COA.
Recent Newsletters:  Cytokine storm of COVID19

Another red flag is if they offer you a discounted product not in the show room.  Often this is an “out the back door” type of transaction and can be because the product is subpar so be sure and vet this and ask for a COA on that batch.

Stay tuned for more info!

To your health,