By Ben Lago

One phone call — and the ensuing conversation — changed everything. Nothing would be the same again for the staff of Medical Marijuana Solutions. The group of skilled medical professionals had formed in order to serve those in need of expert advice. The process for patients to become registered, certified and able to buy products at a dispensary can be a bit tricky to navigate.

But that phone call convinced them there was a specialized group of patients that needed extra support. The obvious solution was to offer 21st-century medicine in a 19th-century style. A hospice patient was nearing the end of a difficult journey and was struggling with pain, comfort and finding peace. With all other options exhausted, the family reached out trying to find a medical cannabis solution in her final days. Transporting the patient was not an option, and as minutes trickled by, it became apparent, time was a critical factor.

Dr. John Metcalf and Shelly Hutchison didn’t hesitate. He grabbed his coat and Shelly grabbed her laptop. After driving to the patient’s home, Dr. Metcalf examined the patient and processed her certification online. The next morning, a caregiver was able to find and deliver the much needed first dose.

The patient only lived a few more days, but during that time, she was pain-free and lucid. She was able to communicate with her family in a clear and loving way which traditional medicine had prevented. This was made possible by the new Pennsylvania medical cannabis law, and a house call from a caring doctor — an unorthodox approach typical of the care and compassion that exists in the rapidly changing and complex field of medical cannabis.