This op-ed was first published in TribTalk, a division of The Texas Tribune.

Patients with intractable epilepsy have now had access to regulated, locally made cannabidiol (CBD) products for nearly five months, and state-licensed provider Compassionate Cultivation — where I serve as chief medical officer — has been able to get medicine into the hands of roughly 85 patients after welcoming patients into the state’s first dispensary on Feb. 8.

Because not many physicians have registered yet in the Compassionate Use Registry of Texas (42 as of June 28), doctors who plan to enroll soon will need to be prepared for an onslaught of inquiries. I have had to create additional appointments to accommodate dozens of patients seeking CBD prescriptions. Many are my own established patients who have been anxiously awaiting the start of the program, but we’ve had a lot of press exposure, so there are many new ones as well.

At the clinic I share with 10 fellow neurologists, including two other epileptologists, we have set up a screening system to make sure anyone attempting to make an appointment would qualify for CBD medicine. Most people understand the requirements, but it’s important to filter out those asking if they can get medical cannabis for purposes that aren’t legal in Texas.

But even with patients who have done their research, I find that I often need to temper expectations during the first office visit.

Read more at TribTalk

Photo info: Neurologist and epileptologist Dr. Karen Keough, right, poses for a photo with her patient Oscar and his mom, Christy Wilkens, at the Compassionate Cultivation dispensary on Feb. 8, 2018. (Bobby Scheidemann for Compassionate Cultivation)