Need further proof that there is an alternative to pharmaceuticals?

Welcome back to the second half of our interview with Pamela Hadfield, co-founder of Hello MD. The fresh-faced Bay Area start-up has set a new precedent in cannabis history by offering Californians the opportunity to receive a medical marijuana consultation…over the phone. But not everyone is happy about it.


While thousands of patients, many of whom are bed-ridden, are enthusiastically embracing the project, the pharmaceutical lobby is less than pleased. “If people continue to move away from narcotics [and towards medical cannabis],” she says, “the effects on the pharmaceutical lobby will be billions of lost dollars.” Hadfield told the Hash that the pharmaceutical industry has helped prop up a “medical board,” called the Federal State Medical Board, which aims to de-legitimize companies like hers. “They’ve got their nose to the ground on this because there’s a lot at risk for them,” Hadfield points out.

Hello MD recently completed a survey of over 1,400 of their clients, and the results illustrate just how much the pharmaceutical lobby stands to lose as more people turn to cannabis. Among other statistics, the survey found that 84% of patients found relief from medical symptoms using cannabis, and that 96% would feel comfortable recommending it to others. The survey shows that patients were battling a wide range of symptoms; but as Hadfield points out, many were “checking more than one box.” Chronic pain was coupled with insomnia or other symptoms; “one begets the other,” she says.

Hadfield is quick to assert that the fasting-growing segment of cannabis users fall into a “health and wellness” category, which includes common symptoms but also includes categories like sexual enhancement and mindfulness that are approached through a series of tinctures, creams and trans-dermal patches. “There are always going to be recreational quote unquote stoners,” she points out,”…but we believe that the vast majority of people entering a market that will be worth $20 billion by 2020 will fall under that health and wellness spectrum.” Regardless of whether this prophecy proves to be true, Hadfield and her peers have already made a big splash by reminding us all that there is an alternative to pharmaceuticals out there, and that it’s becoming more promising by the day.