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Inside the World’s Best Cannabis Doctor’s Office

Photos Gracie Malley for Cannabis Now

Cannabis

Inside the World’s Best Cannabis Doctor’s Office

Operating in the context of a full-scope medical practice, Dr. Frank Lucido provides expert witness services for patients and physicians.

Receiving a medical marijuana recommendation from Dr. Frank Lucido is a far-flung departure from the more common and less costly recommendations acquired through coupons clipped off back pages of the local alternative weekly. Lucido, a general practitioner since 1979, has recommended medical marijuana in Berkeley, California since the passage of Proposition 215 in 1996. While other medical marijuana recommendations can be acquired via Skype video conference or seedy strip-mall office visits, Lucido requires relevant medical records and includes a physical examination in each evaluation.

1.Sign welcoming patients to Dr. Lucido's office, one of the best in the United States

A medical marijuana patient checks in at Dr. Lucido’s office. The family practice was a former dentist’s office in the 1940s and has not been remodeled since that time.

2. Woman sits at desk in Dr. Lucido's MMJ office

Receptionist Suzann Kowalski works in the office reception area to intake patients. She says the office sees about 10 patients per day with 75 percent of patients for medical cannabis evaluations and 25 percent for primary care. Patients often bring their family and friends with them to the evaluation. “You even get the elderly bringing their kids,” she says.

3.A male nurse takes a patients blood pressure in Dr. Lucido's medical marijuana office.

Medical assistant Matthew Partori checks a patient’s blood pressure during an intake evaluation at Dr. Lucido’s practice. Instead of working with health insurance companies the office charges patients on a pricing scale.

4. Blank forms held by new patient in Dr. Lucido's medical marijuana office.

A patient readies to fill out the paperwork required for a visit to Dr. Lucido’s practice. Unlike traditional medical questionnaires, these forms include questions about cannabis use such as the preferred method of intake, use patterns and how cannabis affects the symptoms of the medical condition for which the patient is seeking a recommendation.

5. Dr. Lucido, wearing glasses, sits at his desk and reviews a patients file.

Dr. Lucido looks over a patient’s medical records in preparation for an exam. While most California physicians aren’t open about issuing recommendations for medical marijuana Lucido says, “I’m sure a lot of doctors are doing it for a few of their patients.”

6.Dr. Lucido's bookshelf in his office contains books, a globe, and illustrations of the cannabis plants.

The shelves in Dr. Lucido’s office display cannabis ephemera alongside more traditional medical textbooks.

7.Dr. Lucido sits at his desk in one of the best medical marijuana clinics in the U.S.

Dr. Lucido works in his Berkeley office. “My goal is also to continue the work we have begun towards normalizing medical cannabis practice,” he states on his website. “I would like to see more primary care physicians (and treating specialists) give safe and appropriate recommendations for medical cannabis, since they know the patient best, and have the best documentation of the serious illness for which they have been following the patient. But until medical cannabis and its safety become more widely known to the primary care and specialist community, there will be a need for medical cannabis consulting physicians as a specialty, to fill the compassionate need of many sick patients.”

8.A look into exam room #3 at Dr. Lucido's office contains the typical bed, chair and counter containing tongue depressors, cotton balls, and the like.  

One of the examination rooms at Dr. Lucido’s medical practice. Lucido also works with nurse practitioner Maria Mangini PhD, FNP. Mangini completed her doctorate in Community Health Nursing at the University of California San Francisco, where her research centered on drug use and drug policy.

9.Dr. Lucido uses a light to check a patient wearing a red shirt's eyes. 

Dr. Lucido performs an evaluation on a medical marijuana patient. Lucido said he ensures that his patients continue to see a doctor for the condition they are looking to treat with medical marijuana. This stands as corroborating evidence of their need for medical cannabis in a court of law.

10. A wall of pamphlets in Dr. Lucido's office tell you to "ask your doctor if CBD is right for you."

Informational pamphlets at Dr. Lucido’s office provide information on the medical benefits of CBD. Lucido often provides his patients with dosing information for THC and CBD in regards to their body weight.

11.An outside view of the beautiful white brick and blue shuttered building that is Dr. Lucido's medical marijuana clinic.

Dr. Lucido’s practice is located in an office within this 1940s building located on Durant Avenue in Berkeley, California.

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