Tulsa’s first medical cannabis clinic set up shop first thing Wednesday, mere hours after Oklahoma voters approved State Question 788.
A steady stream of people followed the marijuana leaf signs and big, green fabric banners waving in the wind along busy South Yale Avenue and walked into Tulsa Higher Care Clinic. The clinic owners’ cellphones rang incessantly and quickly became jammed with voicemails and hundreds of missed call notifications.
But without any patient or business licensing programs established in Oklahoma, what exactly are they selling?
“Your initial appointment is $250. That covers your first appointment and right now, because the state doesn’t have their portal set up, it also covers a follow-up appointment,” said co-owner Whitney Wehmeyer, explaining the clinic’s services to a couple of men in construction work crew T-shirts.
What that fee buys is access to a doctor who could recommend medical marijuana and that recommendation can be used to eventually apply for a medical marijuana license from the state, not the drug itself.
Many who showed up at Tulsa Higher Care Clinic on Wednesday had assumed they could get medical marijuana there.
“That’s the biggest misconception — that we dispense weed,” Wehmeyer told the Tulsa World. “It’s no different than any other medication. Your doctor gives you a prescription and then you go to a pharmacy. Your doctor doesn’t have a box of pills in the back to hand out.”
Patients will be seen by Dr. Jason Sims, co-owner of the clinic, whose primary job is as a hospitalist at Cleveland Area Hospital, west of Tulsa. He also has run a weight-loss clinic, medical spa and neuropathy pain clinic, he said.
“Ninety percent of the people