When beginning to look into Medical Cannabis treatment, you'll do a few things: make sure you qualify, research the process, and find a provider. Finding a provider that listens and cares about you and your condition is imperative to successful treatment. When it comes to cannabis, especially as a newbie, the key is feeling informed and supported. Let's be honest: because insurance doesn't pay for cannabis visits, it's not cheap to get started. Instead of taking your best guess at who would be the best Utah QMP for you, why not learn about your provider ahead of time? We've interviewed one of our own, Laurel, so you can do exactly that. Let's get to know her, shall we?
At the beginning of the pandemic in 2020, I was completing some CEU's for my licensure. Tim Pickett gave a talk about the new law in Utah allowing medical cannabis. I was intrigued and between jobs, just having moved from Idaho back to Utah. I thought to myself, "this sounds new and exciting, I should give him a call." I met up with Tim at the Millcreek office, and was so inspired — by our meeting about the cannabis industry and also entrepreneurship. Soon after, I decided to join him to learn more about all the benefits cannabis has on the body and become a Utah QMP.
I truly enjoy the patient interactions. With my background in social work, I have always had a desire to ease suffering. Suffering comes in so many forms and presents itself in so many ways. Specifically, with UTTHC, I listen to patients' stories of their personal trials, emotional and physical pain, and how they are seeking relief from their suffering. I love this role as a QMP with UTTHC because I am able to empathically listen without judgment and discuss the benefits that the cannabis plant may offer.
My role as a QMP with UTTHC is to help patients obtain their certification, so that they may then begin their journey into the world of Medical Cannabis and find the relief they are seeking. I see myself as a keyholder who educates patients about what products are available for specific issues, which in turn allows the patient more control of their healthcare.
I love hearing reports from patients who return for their 6-month follow-up about how the products have increased their overall happiness. As a QMP, I hear about how cannabis relieves insomnia, eliminates nightmares and flashbacks associated with PTSD, and improves mood so that the patient gets along with their family better and can become more sociable. I hear about decreased pain so that patients can function better throughout their daily lives. I've also heard about how some have been able to completely stop or significantly decrease the need to use opioids for pain relief.
2020 was a rough year. Cannabis has certainly helped patients with decreased anxiety, depression, and insomnia related to the uncertainty that was prevalent last year.
First and foremost, a QMP is trained in medicine. I saw a patient who came to UTTHC with complaints of pain for about a year. She was a breast cancer survivor. She had been relaying her story about a new pain in the chest area, feeling lumps and bumps in certain locations, and feeling more worn out. All of these sent off alarm bells for me that she could be experiencing symptoms of metastatic breast cancer. I strongly encouraged her to set up a visit with her oncologist, whom she had not seen in over 2 years. I think of her often and look forward to a follow-up visit.
When I'm not a QMP, I am a mother of young children and married to a compassionate and supportive husband. I enjoy physical activity like working out at the gym, and outdoor recreation like river rafting, hiking, and mountain biking. I also really enjoy reading and streaming TV and movies.
I don't really have one that I can think of. I read often.
I love listening to the Hidden Brain podcast by Shankar Vedantam.
I would live here and now. I think as a woman, I have more opportunity now to balance being a mom, a wife, and my own person professionally. The pandemic was terrible, but carried a silver lining about reinvention, prioritizing what is important in life, and feeling gratitude for what we have.
Does Laurel sound like the perfect QMP for you? Request to see her specifically by calling 801.851.5554 or schedule online. Utah Therapeutic Health Center has clinics all over the valley so it's easy to find one near you — and we're always growing! (You can even find us in Bountiful as of this week.) Stay tuned to see where we'll show up next, and yes, we are accepting requests! Leave a comment below to let us know where you'd like to see our next clinic location. You can always find new information about utahmarijuana.org and the Utah Medical Cannabis program here on our blog, so don't be a stranger.
Protip: keep up with our founder's podcast, Utah in the Weeds, for all the latest Utah cannabis news.