LAKE CHARLES, LA (KPLC) - Total Health Clinic is Lake Charles' first medical marijuana health clinic.
Dr. Chad Rossitter, the founder of the clinic, says that medical marijuana is another way for Louisianans to seek relief from a variety of maladies.
“A lot of patients we see, they come here on multiple opioids, they have been to therapy, they’ve been to surgery, they’ve been through physical therapy, tried every over-the-counter," says Rossitter. "They have exhausted every option they have. So they are just so excited to come and be evaluated for the possibility to be approved for medical marijuana.”
At Total Health Clinic, Dr. Rossitter is able to prescribe medical marijuana, although there is none on site.
There are currently no medical marijuana dispensaries in the state at this time, but Dr. Rossitter says he has been told there could be one in Lake Charles by the end of the year.
“I’m being told around two months, it should be available.” says Dr. Rossitter.
To learn more about Total Health Clinic, click here.
Louisiana currently recognizes 15 conditions that are approved for medical marijuana treatment: cancer, positive status for HIV, AIDS, cachexia or wasting syndrome, seizure disorders, epilepsy, spasticity, Crohn’s disease, muscular dystrophy and multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, Parkinson’s disease, severe muscle spasms, intractable pain and post traumatic disorder.
Dr. Rossiter says medical marijuana is not considered a first line of treatment for those conditions, but it is a potentially safer alternative.
“Medical marijuana is a lot safer than controlled medications such as Percocet, Morphine, Oxycodone," says Rossitter. "The whole opioid crisis that we are having in our country...this medicine can actually help us get out of that.”
It’s an alternative, he says, that could benefit over 100,000 people statewide.
Dr. Rossitter says medical marijuana and recreational marijuana are not one in the same.
“The product we call medical marijuana is highly controlled," says Rossitter. "It is grown in a controlled situation. It is handled in an atmosphere where there is no bacteria, mold, and any other substances that could become contaminated within the product, versus when you buy it from someone off the street, you really don’t know what you’re getting. It could be laced with heroin, cocaine, and you don’t know that.”
Dr. Rossitter says with medical marijuana, they can tell you exactly how much THC and CBD they are prescribing the patient.
According to the Louisiana Department of Health, medical marijuana does not include inhalation or vaping of cannabis. According to the law, it cannot be in raw form or smoCaked. Acceptable forms include oils, extracts, sprays, capsules, pills, tinctures, solutions, suspension, gelatin-based chewables, transdermal patches, and suppositories.
To learn more about medical marijuana from the Louisiana Department of Health, click here.
Medical marijuana is not an FDA approved medicine at this time, as they say there have not been enough carefully conducted studies.