Introducing PrestoDoctor

Affiliate Disclaimer: We are an affiliate partner with PrestoDoctor. This means that if you purchase something through a link with this symbol , Hempsley will receive a commission at no extra cost to you. If you choose to shop through our links, we are grateful for your support. Thanks for helping us share free, quality education!

PrestoDoctor↗ is an online telemedicine service created specifically for people to get their medical marijuana cards. They served their first patient in California in May of 2015, and have since expanded to Oklahoma, Nevada, New York, Missouri, Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Iowa!

Telemedicine uses technology to offer long-distance diagnosis and treatment for patients, often over video-chat. This allows patients to have a doctor’s visit from the comfort of their own home, which can be beneficial if it’s difficult to travel due to a handicap or illness. This is also a good option for busy patients, or for those who simply feel overwhelmed in a clinical setting (something quite common!). When it comes to cannabis, telemedicine offers complete discretion; no one except for you, your doctor, and the state ever need to know about your medical marijuana card application.

We spoke with Co-Founders Rob Tankson and Kyle Powers to learn more about PrestoDoctor and their story — click here to read that in our Community Directory.

So, how does it work?

Our Founder, Kristen Williams, used PrestoDoctor to get her medical marijuana card in Missouri. Read on to hear about her experience.

I suffer from migraines, chronic upper back pain, and generalized anxiety disorder. Although CBD has really helped ease these things, while exploring legal states I have found that THC is vital for me in certain situations — and often times most effective for me at a 1:1 ratio of CBD:THC in low doses. This doesn’t get me “high,” but brings me back to balance so that I can go about my day like a normal person. Ideally, I like to vaporize as it provides the quickest relief — but tinctures and lozenges via mucosal delivery have saved me during the middle of a work day more times than I can count. Without this medicine available, I often lose entire days at a time due to pain or anxiety.

I’d been meaning to get my card for quite some time, but it felt overwhelming to try to find a doctor who would give me a recommendation. I had just switched health insurance (yay for adulting!) and therefore doctors in December 2019, and I could tell she wasn’t sure about my CBD use — so I didn’t even bring up medical marijuana.

Relatively speaking, Missouri is pretty rural. Our bigger cities have clinics, but most people I know get their card by attending a pop-up event with one of the traveling clinics. From what I’ve heard of these experiences so far, they haven’t been the most professional — so when PrestoDoctor reached out, I figured it’d at least be worth a shot to try their service. After all, I had lots of family and friends asking about the best way to get their card but hadn’t found anyone I felt comfortable recommending.

PrestoDoctor↗ did not disappoint; it was obvious that they had honed their service from years of experience in many legal markets. It was easy to use, incredibly professional, and the doctor was knowledgeable about cannabis — something that is truly rare!

Highlights from our Experience with PrestoDoctor

  • It’s all HIPAA compliant.

  • Setting up with PrestoDoctor took about 40 minutes; my actual appointment took less than 10 minutes.

  • I did the entire thing from my laptop.

  • There were appointments offered between 8am-9pm.

  • They had you complete a pre-appointment technology test to ensure everything would run smoothly.

  • My doctor was very professional and knowledgeable about cannabis, making specific recommendations for my conditions.

  • PrestoDoctor offers unlimited, free follow-up questions of their doctors over email or their secure web chat.

  • PrestoDoctor offers discounted renewals (you have to have your medical marijuana card renewed every year in Missouri).

  • PrestoDoctor charges $149.99 for Missouri recommendations; I then paid an additional $127.50 to the state for my patient card ($25) and home cultivation license ($100) — there was a $2.50 processing fee. 

    • Note: The absolute cheapest I have seen any doctor write a cannabis recommendation for was $100 cash. I have only seen this once. More commonly, I see lower prices between $125-$150, with some ranging all the way up to $250-$300.

Click here to get your Medical Marijuana Card with PrestoDoctor↗

Here are the steps I took, in detail, to get my medical marijuana card.

I will warn you — there were a lot of steps. I know I’m a millennial and online stuff is relatively “easy” for me to navigate, but I truly believe that PrestoDoctor made it so simple that anyone could do the steps. If you do want in-person guidance through the process, feel free to reach out to us at hello@hempsley.com or call 573-340-8244 and I’ll be happy to help.

1. Create a PrestoDoctor account

  • First, I had to create an account and set up my profile. This included uploading a photo of myself or taking one from the camera on my device, adding my address, and confirming my phone number with a text verification code.

2. Choose an appointment time

  • Next, the prompts guided me to choose a 10-minute appointment time. I let PrestoDoctor “find my location,” selected that this was my first appointment (rather than a renewal), then the site allowed me to easily select a day and time that worked for me from a list of available options.

  • The appointment time options ranged all the way from 8am-9pm, which I really appreciated.

  • Finally, I was asked to input my credit card information with reassurance that I wouldn’t be charged until my appointment time.

3. Complete the Pre-Appointment Checklist

  • After scheduling, I was directed to a list of things to do before my appointment: upload my driver’s license and any medical documents (not required, but helpful), fill out a medical questionnaire including things like my height and weight, symptoms for which I’m seeking relief, current medications & supplements, and any past medical marijuana experience I may have along with information about the last time I saw a doctor. Other things they asked relating to cannabis:

    • Are you new to cannabis? How long have you been using it?

    • What does it help with? (There was a list of things with checkboxes — see screenshot below)

    • How much and how often do you use cannabis?

    • What’s your preferred method of consumption?

  • Lastly, I agreed to a disclaimer (screenshots below)

Screenshot of PrestoDoctor's list of qualifying conditions for medical marijuana card in Missouri

Screenshot from PrestoDoctor

Screenshot from PrestoDoctor

Screenshot of disclaimer for PrestoDoctor

4. Technology Test

  • Lastly, the site guided me through a technology test, checking my audio and video. Once it had made sure that everything was running smoothly, the screen displayed a collection of cheery green checkmarks next to every item on my pre-appointment to-do list (see screenshot below).

  • This was probably my favorite thing about the entire experience; nothing is worse than that moment where you’re trying to start a video chat and something isn’t working right, or when you realize you forgot to answer that one question so this gave me confidence that everything was truly ready to go.

From start to finish, this setup process took me about 40 minutes.  

I did it all from my laptop, sitting in my office, while taking detailed notes and screenshots along the way (so it may take you less time). After that, I got reminder emails and even a text message (I had granted them permission to text me) about 6 minutes before my appointment began at 5:30. I logged in from my laptop at 5:28, and was able to enter the chat room and wait for my doctor.

Screenshot from process of getting medical marijuana card with PrestoDoctor

5. The Doctor’s Appointment

  • My doctor joined the chat room at 5:31, greeting me with a warm welcome. He let me know that this was just like any other doctor’s visit; he was in a room alone, and everything said between us would remain confidential in accordance with HIPAA law. 

  • I will admit, at first it felt a little weird to be video-chatting with a doctor. I think that there can be a stigma around “getting your medical marijuana card online,” and my brain defaulted to feeling like a kid being accused of trying to cheat the system. Despite my knowledge, to my very core, that cannabis is medicine for me, I launched into my classic nervous rambling, almost as if I needed to defend my request for a medical marijuana card.

  • Dr. Atienza was kind and professional. It was obvious that he was listening closely, and responded with thoughtful questions that calmed my nerves.

  • While any three of my issues could have been used as “qualifying conditions” for recommending medical marijuana, I had assumed that since I’d uploaded paperwork around my generalized anxiety disorder, that would be the condition my physician would focus their recommendation around. However, Dr. Atienza informed me that because he is not a psychiatrist, he could not prescribe for anxiety and would be focusing on my back pain — a chronic condition for which I’ve tried everything from physical therapy and massage to chiropractic care.

  • He gave me a few personalized suggestions based on what I had shared with him, reminded me that I have access to asking unlimited, free follow-up questions any time I need, and we were off the video-chat by 5:38. 

Screenshot of telehealth waiting room for medical marijuana card through PrestoDoctor

6. Securing my Physician Recommendation

  • Immediately following my appointment, I was sent a draft of my recommendation sheet that I had to securely add my social security number to, then it was signed by Dr. Atienza and emailed to me for upload and submit to the Missouri DHSS website.

  • I also immediately received instructions on how to file my paperwork with the state.

7. Submitting my information to Missouri’s Department of Health and Human Services (DHSS)

Overall, I was incredibly impressed with my PrestoDoctor experience.

Although there were many steps, the value of not having to 1) track down a pop-up clinic or drive across town, 2) interact with a less-than-professional doctor, or 3) trigger my social anxiety made it all worth it, and overall definitely saved me time in the long run. I am looking forward to dispensaries opening and perhaps using those follow-up questions as I begin exploring various cannabinoid and terpene profiles to find the best medicine for my specific needs.

Click here to get your Medical Marijuana Card with PrestoDoctor↗

Kristen Williams
Tags: Marijuana