Cassville Dispensary owner Dr. Lisa Roark offers free MMJ appointments for defrauded patients
20 June 2020
Missouri-based physician and vocal supporter of medical marijuana Dr. Lisa Roark, MD, is stepping up to help 600 patients who were defrauded by a fake physician. Around 600 medical marijuana patients were defrauded by a person pretending to be a physician who certified them for medical marijuana. The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services announced the incident in a press release on June 19, and Dr. Roark immediately offered to certify patients who were defrauded for free through her clinic, Roark Family Health. She also reached out to other medical marijuana-supportive doctors and clinics to do the same.
Dr. Roark said, “This is absolutely outrageous. Someone posing as a doctor did 600 fake physician certifications. Now, these poor patients have to scramble to get new certifications.”
Dr. Roark does telehealth appointments for medical marijuana-seeking patients through her Cassville-based clinic, Roark Family Health. Dr. Roark is also the CEO and Medical Director of The Dispensary, LLC, commonly known as Cassville Dispensary, a medical marijuana dispensary opening later this year.
In the press release from DHSS, director Dr. Randall Williams said, “Through our many types of regulatory efforts, we remain watchful for any wrongdoing in order to protect Missourians. Our main concern is how this fraudulent activity negatively affects patients, and we are working to minimize the impact on them while also holding accountable those who are responsible.”
However, the release goes on to say patients will be notified if their physician certification was performed by the fake doctor, and then those patients have 30 days to get valid physician certifications from a new physician, despite patients being unaware the doctor was impersonating someone else.
Dr. Roark said her clinic would not stand idle knowing these patients are already out at least $100 for their initial appointment that was not valid. She said, “For many patients, even $100 for a telehealth appointment is an undue burden. Many medical marijuana patients are low income, disabled or veterans. They shouldn’t have to scrimp and save to pay yet another fee. That’s why we are offering to do their certifications at no cost.”
Dr. Roark also put out the call to other physicians through a variety of medical marijuana networks asking them to do the same. She added, “Roark Family Health will do these certifications for free with proof from DHSS that the patient was affected, but we can’t do all of them by ourselves. So, I asked all of my fellow cannabis-doctors to help, as well.”
So far, multiple other clinics are also helping with the mission to ensure these patients don’t lose their medical marijuana cards. Currently, the following clinics will certify patients who have proof that they were affected by this incident:
Roark Family Health, Cassville, telehealth appointments available, RoarkFamilyHealth.com (417) 847-1111
THC2 Higher Clinic, Tulsa, Okla., telehealth appointments available, tulsahighercareclinic.com
Vo Medical Clinic, St. Louis, (314) 776-1467
Sheley-Sorin Clinic, Springfield, telehealth appointments available, https://realholisticdoc.com/ 417-351-5221
Midwest GreenCert, St. Louis, telehealth appointments available, https://midwestgreencert.com 314-596-9955
Educated Alternative/Primero Cannabis Clinics, St. Louis, telehealth appointments available, www.educatedalternative.org (314) 803-3303
Elevate Holistics, St. Louis, telehealth appointments available, https://elevate-holistics.com/ 660-205-2215
Bootheel Outpatient Care, Hayti, 573-479-3036
Dr. Lisa Roark, MD, is the owner and operator of Roark Family Health, RoarkFamilyHealth.com and Cassville Dispensary, CassvilleDispensary.com. She is a graduate of the University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Medicine. She is trained in all areas of primary care, including obstetrics, pediatrics, chronic illness management, women’s health, geriatrics, and many outpatient procedures. She is also a vocal and active advocate for access to safe, effective medical marijuana for all patients.