Arizona Comfort Care Now Writing Medical Marijuana Recommendations

Categories: Chronic Future
Stethoscope_sized.jpg
Wikimedia Commons
The doctors are in...

This week, in our blog "Medical Marijuana Rip-Offs: Five Reasons to Not Pay for Patient Pre-Registration,'" we referred to two different companies: Arizona Dispensary University, and Arizona Comfort Care.

Our opinion on ADU, where we attended a class, has not changed. But at the time the "rip-off" blog was written, we hadn't had an opportunity to speak with a physician from ACC, and the company website gave no information about its physicians. So when we received blog comments and contact information from a Dr. Edgar Suter indicating some of our statements about ACC were incorrect, we called him right away.


It appears we were too hard on Arizona Comfort Care, and need to clarify a few things. ACC is actually a group of board-certified doctors who openly support medical marijuana for qualified patients. And they're already writing recommendations.

"I recognize there are some rip-off artists out there," Suter told us. "But we are not a scam."

Our initial blog, which has since been corrected, originally stated that physicians at Arizona Comfort Care can't write recommendations for medical marijuana. Dr. Suter, who turned out to be a bona fide nuclear medicine specialist, assured us that doctors at ACC, including himself, are indeed writing recommendations for medical marijuana.

But Dr. Suter stressed that not everybody who sends their information to ACC for an evaluation will qualify for medical marijuana, and he's only writing recommendations for patients that he believes, after a full examination, are truly qualified candidates. "We take, I think, great pains to care for the patient and honor the law," Suter says. "We're bending over backwards to make our process fair for everybody."

Dr. Suter took issue with our use of the term "pre-registration," and pointed out that ACC does not claim to offer "pre-registration."

"The 'New Patient' form on our website is an intake form, not a pre-registration form," Suter says. "It's part of the medical process. We can't properly evaluate patients without knowing their medical history."

In regards to the $160 evaluation charge listed on ACC's website, Suter says, "I've got four children, I have to pay bills, so of course we'll have to charge some fees. But we're not charging everyone $160 to submit new patient forms. That's the fee for a scheduled examination," he says. "We look at the medical history they provide us for free. And if we look at someone's medical history and don't think someone has one of the qualifying conditions, we tell them that and charge them nothing."

This makes Arizona Comfort Care and Dr. Suter the first physicians we've found already writing medical marijuana recommendations. Expect a long line.



Sponsor Content

My Voice Nation Help
28 comments
PCPSC, LLC
PCPSC, LLC

Prescott Cannabis Patient Screening Center, LLC

PCPSC, LLC specializes in providing Doctor Recommendations for Medical Cannabis, Detailed Treatment Plans, Patient Verifications.

www.prescottmedcard.com

Brad B
Brad B

I was being seen by Dr Suter before he was with Az comfort care and is a great Dr!! I have an appointment this morning with him and have no doubts in my mind that he isnt a qualified Dr. This is all bs.

Mark Schultz
Mark Schultz

If the AZDHS is smart they are following threads like these and taking notes. High profile people is the LAST thing that we need in Arizona.

If you followed what happened in Ca and Co you will see it was the exact same way. A handful of people started their sites and marketing and sure enough, those ones were the first to have issues, be shut down, open pot hangout shops, Doctors that had to get board reviews for ethics etc.

BlueMonkey Apothecary
BlueMonkey Apothecary

Blue Monkey Apothecary has never claimed to be open yet and is only registering users to provide them with information regarding the new Proposition 203 laws in AZ. BlueMonkeyMedicine,com was launched before the Proposition was even voted on to provide the citizens of Arizona with information about the new laws. Blue Monkey Apothecary has provided information to 1000's of voters in Arizona about the Proposition and has had a helping hand in passing the Proposition by emailing and calling many AZ voters. We at Blue Monkey Apothecary understand that nobody is a dispensary yet and we do not 'assume' we are going to be one of the 'chosen' ones.

To provide information to the public about is in no way a disrespect to the Arizona Department of Health Services. We are not qualifying patients or even 'pre-qualifying' them. That is an entire different part of the business in which we send to a completely different company with no relation to us. We at Blue Monkey Apothecary have been residents in AZ for 16 years and we only want the best to come out of these new laws in Arizona and to set an example for other states that will be passing the same laws soon. There are truly sick people that can benefit from Medicinal Cannabis.

Drsuter
Drsuter

Please read Section 36-2812 section A(1) of the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act regarding "affirmative defense" : http://stoparrestingpatients.o...

36-2812. Affirmative defenseA. EXCEPT AS PROVIDED IN SECTION 36-2802, A QUALIFYING PATIENT AND A QUALIFYING PATIENT’S DESIGNATED CAREGIVER, IF ANY, MAY ASSERT THE MEDICAL PURPOSE FOR USING MARIJUANA AS A DEFENSE TO ANY PROSECUTION OF AN OFFENSE INVOLVING MARIJUANA INTENDED FOR A QUALIFYING PATIENT’S MEDICAL USE, AND THIS DEFENSE SHALL BE PRESUMED VALID WHERE THE EVIDENCE SHOWS THAT:1. A PHYSICIAN STATES THAT, IN THE PHYSICIAN’S PROFESSIONAL OPINION, AFTER HAVING COMPLETED A FULL ASSESSMENT OF THE QUALIFYING PATIENT’S MEDICAL HISTORY AND CURRENT MEDICAL CONDITION MADE IN THE COURSE OF A BONA FIDE PHYSICIAN-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP, THE QUALIFYING PATIENT IS LIKELY TO RECEIVE THERAPEUTIC OR PALLIATIVE BENEFIT FROM THE MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA TO TREAT OR ALLEVIATE THE QUALIFYING PATIENT’S DEBILITATING MEDICAL CONDITION OR SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE QUALIFYING PATIENT’S DEBILITATING MEDICAL CONDITION. 2. THE QUALIFYING PATIENT AND THE QUALIFYING PATIENT’S DESIGNATED CAREGIVER, IF ANY, WERE COLLECTIVELY IN POSSESSION OF A QUANTITY OF MARIJUANA THAT WAS NOT MORE THAN WAS REASONABLY NECESSARY TO ENSURE THE UNINTERRUPTED AVAILABILITY OF MARIJUANA FOR THE PURPOSE OF TREATING OR ALLEVIATING THE QUALIFYING PATIENT’S DEBILITATING MEDICAL CONDITION OR SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE QUALIFYING PATIENT’S DEBILITATING MEDICAL CONDITION. 3. ALL MARIJUANA PLANTS WERE CONTAINED IN AN ENCLOSED LOCKED FACILITY.4. THE QUALIFYING PATIENT AND THE QUALIFYING PATIENT’S DESIGNATED CAREGIVER, IF ANY, WERE ENGAGED IN THE ACQUISITION, POSSESSION, CULTIVATION, MANUFACTURE, USE OR TRANSPORTATION OF MARIJUANA, PARAPHERNALIA OR BOTH, RELATING TO THE ADMINISTRATION OF MARIJUANA SOLELY TO TREAT OR ALLEVIATE THE QUALIFYING PATIENT’S DEBILITATING MEDICAL CONDITION OR SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE QUALIFYING PATIENT’S DEBILITATING MEDICAL CONDITION.B. A PERSON MAY ASSERT THE MEDICAL PURPOSE FOR USING MARIJUANA IN A MOTION TO DISMISS, AND THE CHARGES SHALL BE DISMISSED FOLLOWING AN EVIDENTIARY HEARING WHERE THE PERSON SHOWS THE ELEMENTS LISTED IN SUBSECTION (A).C. IF A QUALIFYING PATIENT OR A QUALIFYING PATIENT’S DESIGNATED CAREGIVER DEMONSTRATE THE QUALIFYING PATIENT’S MEDICAL PURPOSE FOR USING MARIJUANA PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION, THE QUALIFYING PATIENT AND THE QUALIFYING PATIENT’S DESIGNATED CAREGIVER SHALL NOT BE SUBJECT TO THE FOLLOWING FOR THE QUALIFYING PATIENT’S MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA:1. DISCIPLINARY ACTION BY A COURT OR OCCUPATIONAL OR PROFESSIONAL LICENSING BOARD OR BUREAU.2. FORFEITURE OF ANY INTEREST IN OR RIGHT TO NON-MARIJUANA, LICIT PROPERTY.

AzMarkschultz
AzMarkschultz

Steer clear of anyone writing these recommendations or anyone who is already putting up a Dispensary on places like Weedmaps etc.

AZDHS have already eyeballed as being bad for business are companies such as one that was listed in gilbert, using some address that does'nt even exist. I can't recall the name at this time Monkey something. Bad start guys. BAD START! All of you.

You guys are screwing yourselves by thinking you get some sort of advantage by preregistering patients to get them locked into your Dispensary.

The guy who runs this "Arizona Comfort Care" is Jason Medar of California, who i've already confirmed will not be attaining a license to run a Dispensary anyway due to the fact he was shut down in California already once.

So this is all just a big way to compile a list of peoples names and try and get you locked into a Dispensary.

To say this entire move is Premature is a huge understatement. Shame on Dr. Suter for sinking to the Allan Sobol level in a pityful money grab. Shame.

gerald gaines
gerald gaines

This is not an accurate account. No person or entity can write a valid recommendation until the ADHS specifies what's in that recommendation. This is still a consumer rip off

BlueMonkey Apothecary
BlueMonkey Apothecary

Mark, Blue Monkey Apothecary only wants the best for AZ, contact us and you will understand that we have the highest intentions of providing only a very safe and discreet service to only qualifying patients. We already have restrictions in place to limit the amount the customers will be allowed to purchase, even though allowed 2.5 ounces every 2 weeks, we understand that nobody needs that much medicine. Our security plan is untouchable in regards to patient safety unlike Colorado and California.

Dbl85029
Dbl85029

I have never seen Blue Monkey claim they were open, unlike Jason Medar and Arizona Patients Association, who claims to be in operation. What a lie. Even his phones dont work. He is quick to point a finger at sobol, but at least sobol is open, you can walk in to his dispensary, quite a nice place, Sobol is truly a nice guy that wants to help not only the patients but the dispensary owners too. Medar is the problem, stay away from him.

Gurthbooks
Gurthbooks

Oh please stop quoting the law, i may have to get a recommedation for medical marijuana for my nausaum. You are ripping people off by charging a fee for your bogus recommedations. The health dept will investigate and sanction you. If this is the only way you can make a living you must not be a very good doctor.

Consiglierillc
Consiglierillc

Execuse me, but we do not charge for our pre-registration services. Our website mmdaz.org is only an informational portal. For those individuals who want the application sent to them automatically or who need help in completing the application, for example, some one who is disabled, ( remember the compassion) we offer a free service, which includes having a CLDP ( paralegal) come to your home to help you. Nobody is more compassionate then that. Before you blow smoke in someones face perhaps you ought to know the facts. The fact is Sobol does not own MMDAZ, he is just the manager. Let us not confuse MMDAZ with Marijuana marketing Strategies, LLC. That is the company the conducts classes and helps people learn how to professionally operate a dispensary. They charge a small and reasonable fee for the very unique and valuable services they preform. At least they are honest and open about the services they provide. Lastly, you should note that a doctors recommedation needs to be signed within 90 days of the submission of the application and on a form perscribed by DHS. The fees you are charging are premature.

Arizona Patients
Arizona Patients

1) WeedMaps and similar sites ADD US to their listings. We are not paying to be on these sites. They just find out we exist and add us to benefit patients.

2) I'm not sure why you think we are pre-registering patients to "lock them in to our dispensary"? Patients are free to register with ANY or ALL dispensaries in the State of Arizona... In our case, we charge absolutely nothing because we aren't selling anything. We pre-register patients (and only ask for name, email, or phone) so that we can help to answer questions and take good care of the sick patients in Arizona. This is about helping the patients. We aren't charging $150 for classes or charging for ANYTHING for that matter. The income of the Arizona Patients Association is $0.

3) Jason Medar doesn't own or run Arizona Comfort Care. Jason Medar certainly wasn't shut down in California. Where are you getting your facts? I'd be glad to try and clear things up for you, if you'd like to contact me directly.

Please tell me how we can make you happy. We just want to take good care of all the Arizona patients who are being subject to arrest and prosecution. If you'll just please be specific with what you are upset about and we'll do anything we can to address your concerns!

BlueMonkey Apothecary
BlueMonkey Apothecary

Blue Monkey Apothecary has never claimed to be open yet and is only registering users to provide them with information regarding the new Proposition 203 laws in AZ. BlueMonkeyMedicine,com was launched before the Proposition was even voted on to provide the citizens of Arizona with information about the new laws. Blue Monkey Apothecary has provided information to 1000's of voters in Arizona about the Proposition and has had a helping hand in passing the Proposition by emailing and calling many AZ voters. We at Blue Monkey Apothecary understand that nobody is a dispensary yet and we do not 'assume' we are going to be one of the 'chosen' ones.

To provide information to the public about is in no way a disrespect to the Arizona Department of Health Services. We are not qualifying patients or even 'pre-qualifying' them. That is an entire different part of the business in which we send to a completely different company with no relation to us. We at Blue Monkey Apothecary have been residents in AZ for 16 years and we only want the best to come out of these new laws in Arizona and to set an example for other states that will be passing the same laws soon. There are truly sick people that can benefit from Medicinal Cannabis.

Peaqchfuz888
Peaqchfuz888

Gerald, you are completely correct, it is irresponsible for any business to offer Doctor Recommendations for a fee prior to the AZDHS rules. Arizona Patients Association, jason Medar, keeps tyring to deflect responsibility by accusing Sobol of doing that, the fact is Sobol is offering classes on how to operate a professional business. How to take Dispensaries out of the gutter where people like medar put them. I understand that medar lost two dispensaries in california to poor business practices. Say no more. Hopefully he will use the bogus $160 fee to buy himself a bus ticket back to SO CAl.

Arizona Patients
Arizona Patients

Gerald,

Patients CAN begin to legally obtain a medical marijuana recommendation, prior to the completion of the rule-making process by ADHS! Patients that are in serious need can be protected NOW, instead of waiting until dispensaries open.

Prop 203 has what is called an "Affirmative Defense" clause that allows patients to avoid being arrested and prosecuted, BEFORE the ADHS begins to issue the ID Cards!

ADHS will be the ones doing the rule-making, but they won't be deciding what specifically is in the doctor's recommendation. Prop 203 already identifies what a physician must state in a medical marijuana recommendation:

TAKEN DIRECTLY FROM PROP 203:

"1. A PHYSICIAN STATES THAT, IN THE PHYSICIAN’S PROFESSIONAL OPINION, AFTER HAVING COMPLETED A FULL ASSESSMENT OF THE QUALIFYING PATIENT’S MEDICAL HISTORY AND CURRENT MEDICAL CONDITION MADE IN THE COURSE OF A BONA FIDE PHYSICIAN-PATIENT RELATIONSHIP, THE QUALIFYING PATIENT IS LIKELY TO RECEIVE THERAPEUTIC OR PALLIATIVE BENEFIT FROM THE MEDICAL USE OF MARIJUANA TO TREAT OR ALLEVIATE THE QUALIFYING PATIENT’S DEBILITATING MEDICAL CONDITION OR SYMPTOMS ASSOCIATED WITH THE QUALIFYING PATIENT’S DEBILITATING MEDICAL CONDITION."

Peachfuz888
Peachfuz888

Blue monkey is a quality operation, unlike those liars from Arizona Patients Association, charging patients $160 buck for a DR recommedation they can not use. what a rip off. What happen to the compassion??

Phoenician23
Phoenician23

Too true. Jason Medar is nothing but a fraud who will scam you for your money with lies. Stay away from anything he has to with.

Dbl85029
Dbl85029

You are simply a rip off, you failed in California and will fail in AZ, just hope you dont hurt to many people in the process.

Consiglierillc
Consiglierillc

I heard that Medar went out of business twice in california, not a very good business person, dont think I want to do business with him... Sobol sounds alot more professional and honest.

Peachfuz888
Peachfuz888

And you are accusing sobol of speculation. What a rip off you are. You should take sobols class "Initiative 101" and learn how stupid you sound.

Dbl85029
Dbl85029

You are setting up patients for abuse and legal problems... Who wants to be first to test the law. You are encouraging you patients to test the law, are you going to pay their legal bills. Even if they win their expense will be significant. Could spend some time in jail waiting for trial. You are selfishly thinking about padding your own pockets with $160.00 bogus fees, not thinking about your patients best interest. No responsible and professional business would put their patients in harms way like that. I suggest you take one of sobol's business ethics courses.

Niki Dandrea
Niki Dandrea

Arizona Patients, I don't see anything in the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act that says people with doctor's recommendations will "avoid being arrested and prosecuted" before the ADHS begins to isse cards. It DOES say medical marijuana can be used as a defense, but nothing about being exempt from arrest or prosecution. And personally, I wouldn't want to take that defense to court before the ADHS system is in place anyway. It's a possible defense, not a guarantee of getting off free.

Gerald Gaines
Gerald Gaines

no. you're wrong. they can still set requirements like multiple doctor visits before a recommendation can be given, and in fact are rumored to do so. you have absolutely no guarantee a recommendation dated before the final rules are made is any good. i would have more faith in the offer if they guaranteed an amended recommendation in the case of problems with the rules.

as for the affirmative defense, it does NOT require a recommendation, instead it is a separate process of having the doctor state one fits the criteria for a recommendation, and anyone who has legal trouble can get that doc's statement after the run-in with the law. so, once again, no need to pay for a recommendation that may or may not be good next year.

Dbl85029
Dbl85029

Niki, it is simply irresponsible for any business owner to cause their patient/customer to test the law. I feel sorry for the first person. Even if they win, ( which they may not) they will still be subject to significant legal bills and the possibility of some jail time waiting for trial. I can't belive how selfish medar is to put his patients in harms way like that. How dare he accuse Sobol of praying to the money god. Medar would be smart to take some of Sobol's courses and learn how to instill some compassion into his business plan.

DrSuter
DrSuter

As we advise our patients, a few points to consider:1) Arizona will not recognize the affirmative defense until Gov. Brewer proclaims the law.

2) Once the Arizona Medical Marijuana Act (AMMA) is proclaimed, even qualified patients wiht signed physician's recommendations may be arrested and brought to court.

3) AFTER the law is proclaimed, if a qualified patient has a signed physician recommendation AND is not in violation of the terms of the AMMA, the patient does have an affirmative defense with the priveleges under STATE law, exactly as you read above.

4) Even AFTER the law is proclaimed, even if a patient has a signed recommendation, they should be discrete, even secretive, about their medical marijuana use/cultivation, because there are powerful people who oppose the appropriate use of this safe and effective medicine AND those opponents will be looking (are looking?) for a test case.

5) You don't want to be that test case.

6) It is better to have the physician's recommendation and not need it, than to need the physician's recommendation and not have it.

7) The AMMA is very specific. Outside of the safe harbor parameters, even qualifying patients can be convicted and incarcerated.

8) So, patients should familiarize themselves with the law and consult an attorney with any questions.

9) Medical Marijuana remains illegal under federal law. A signed physican's recommendation means nothing under federal law. Admittedly, Atty. Gen. Holder's policy that the feds will not enforce federal law against patients compliant with all state medical marijuana laws is a breath of fresh air, but that policy could change on a moment's notice.

10) Be safe, be discrete, be legal.

AzMarkschultz2
AzMarkschultz2

Don't bother arguing with them Gerald. They are hellbent on being the first Dispensary to make a laughing stock out of themselves.

I mean seriously who do they think they are?

I have 5 friends who plan to open dispensaries, each with a net worth well over 5 million dollars and they do business WELL.

You think Will Humble is'nt watching these types of guys who sit home and solicit magazine articles all day? He is. Trust me.

Now Trending

Phoenix Concert Tickets

From the Vault

 

Loading...