LAS VEGAS (KSNV & MyNews3) -- Marijuana is considered medicine for thousands of Nevadans, but it remains in a class by itself.
As local governments continue to accept applications for medical marijuana related businesses, patients are also getting prepared by obtaining their medical marijuana cards. “It's about a 35-day process beginning to end," said Adam Sternberg with Compassion Nevada.
Sternberg is on a mission to help patients in Nevada make sense of the required paperwork to obtain a medical marijuana card. At Compassion Nevada Consulting, he's helped hundreds of people get legal.
“First we request an application from the state," Sternberg said. "It usually takes five to seven days and a $25 non-refundable request."
Next, says Sternberg, the patient needs a doctor to sign off on their need for medical marijuana. Then the paperwork goes back to the state with a check for $75 at which point, a background check begins.
While patients can find this information online, the rules can be tricky. Simply using the wrong color ink can delay the process, and that's why Sternberg and others like him are in business to help. As a card holder himself, he had to navigate Nevada law by trial and error.
“It was a challenge, to say the least, trying to figure out where to get the information and resources and safe medicine without doing it illegally,” Sternberg said.
It's estimated there are now about 8,000 medical marijuana patients in Nevada. This number is expected to grow as dispensaries set up shop.
Former California resident Jeremy Casimir is now applying for his Nevada card. A debilitating surfing accident left him in constant pain.
“At any given time my hip can just dislocate and I have to stop and put it back into place,” Casmir said.
“[Medical marijuana has] worked miracles in my life,” Casmir said. “I am pain-med free today, not taking Oxycontin, all because of this wonderful plant.”