Patients at Lafayette medical-marijuana clinic frustrated by long wait times


LAFAYETTE, LA — Patients hoping to receive medical marijuana cards are coming in droves to one Lafayette clinic.

Many of the patients I spoke were upset, some angry with how disorganized they felt the clinic was Wednesday.

Kirby Banks is a patient of Total Health Clinic. She said, “There’s some lack of professionalism here”.

“It feels like a scam”, added another patient, Cara Jankowski.

Strong words, but they say they’ve waited for their appointments and didn’t want to back out.

“They overbooked and overscheduled, and they did not convey the right information to the right people, said Banks. Many patients said they saw the doctor last year and were rescheduled time and time again until medical marijuana shipped to pharmacies.

They came in hopeful they’d receive a prescription but say they arrived to list of surprises. Including unexplained needs, unexpected costs, and outrageous lines. Tuesday night the clinic was open until 4 A.M., so they could see every patient”.

“I think this is the only doctor we have in town”, Michael Galer told me. He’s already received his marijuana medication and says it works well. He isn’t alone in thinking there are no other doctors who can prescribe nearby.

Acadiana physicians certified to recommend medical marijuana

“There are many other options if you do your research as far as doctors go”, said Blair Vidrine. He is the Health Care Liason at The Apothecary Shoppe, the sole pharmacy in Lafayette that can fill medical marijuana prescriptions.

“We really hate to hear that people are losing hope”, said Vidrine. According to him at the Apothecary Shoppe, the process goes by quickly with the average customers spending about 15 minutes inside.

Still, after Jankowski experience, she’s hesitant to try another doctor saying, “I don’t know if this is going to be different. I don’t want to go all through this again”.

Vidrine said disheartened patients shouldn’t give up. His pharmacy is already seeing many success stories. “We really do think it’s going to help a lot of people. We just hope that people are patient and that we can help them”.

We received a statement from the total health clinic. It states:

“We are running extended hours. We stayed open yesterday until the last patient was seen, which was 4 A.M. To accommodate all of the patients trying to be seen. We are doing our best to accommodate the very large number of patients. We also made priority patients with limited expected life.”

Isabella Rossiter, Total Health Clinic

You can find a full list of Acadiana physicians certified to recommend medical marijuana, at this link. Under practitioner type, select Therapeutic Marijuana Registration. You can also further filter your results with your city, zip code, or parish prior to clicking to search.

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