Updated on January 31, 2019. Medical content reviewed by Dr. Joseph Rosado, MD, M.B.A, Chief Medical Officer
For many countries that have legalized medical marijuana but let recreational weed remain illegal, it’s essential to have a medical cannabis program that educates patients about how they may use, qualify or access medical pot. After legalizing medical marijuana in 2016, Macedonia’s Ministry of Health dedicated itself to creating a comprehensive program for its residents.
While Macedonia has established its medical cannabis program, it hasn’t passed legislation requiring a medical marijuana card. One reason is because the country has integrated its program into its healthcare system and pharmacies, which dispense cannabis oil.
As a result, it’s easy for law enforcement to distinguish between medicinal and recreational weed. In other countries, where fresh or dried medical pot is legal, medical marijuana cards offer patients a quick way to identify themselves to law enforcement officials.
Because Macedonia doesn’t have a medical marijuana card system, you don’t have to worry about applying for a card. Instead, focus on meeting with your physician and ensuring they’re knowledgeable about medical cannabis, as they’ll need to issue you a prescription for you to purchase medical marijuana.
Macedonia requires your physician to be the specialist overseeing your condition. If you have cancer, for instance, your oncologist would need to prescribe you medical marijuana. If your specialist isn’t familiar with medical marijuana, ask for a referral.
Your doctor will review your current treatment plan and discuss how medical weed may impact your treatment and condition. They should also note the potential benefits and side effects of medical cannabis for your condition.
Instead of recertifying your medical marijuana card, you’ll be renewing your medical cannabis prescription. While the Ministry of Health requires your specialist to be the first individual to recommend medical weed, your family doctor may renew your subsequent prescriptions.
Prescriptions for medical marijuana in Macedonia are good for a 30-day supply of cannabis oil. To make the process of renewing your medical order smoother, try to schedule your appointments in advance. By taking this approach, you can avoid scheduling difficulties or delays in receiving your medication.
If you’re taking advantage of the over-the-counter cannabis oil that pharmacies offer, you don’t have to worry about meeting with your specialist or renewing your prescription. The only difference between prescription and over-the-counter cannabis oil is their cannabinoid content. Prescription medical marijuana can exceed 0.2 percent in cannabinoids, while over-the-counter cannabis oil cannot.
While some medical marijuana programs, such as those of some states in the U.S., mandate that physicians apply for an additional certification or license to recommend medical cannabis, Macedonia does not. The country’s only requirement is that a specialist issues the initial prescription for medical weed.
The Macedonian government has taken this approach to protect patients. It wants to ensure the care and recommendation you’re receiving for medical cannabis is coming from a licensed, trusted physician who specializes in your care and has a comprehensive understanding of how medical marijuana will affect you.
At MarijuanaDoctors.com, we focus on providing patients, physicians and caregivers with accurate, up-to-date information on medical cannabis worldwide. Through our expansive resource library and blog, we deliver the latest news on medical marijuana, including information on qualifying and joining medical marijuana programs.
To find out more about Macedonia’s medical cannabis program, contact a local government official!