By Lois Thomson
“Medical marijuana is a specialty and doctors owe it to their patients to refer them to a knowledgeable specialist,” according to Dr. Mitchell Davis, the Chief Medical Officer of ComCan Healthcare.
Dr. Davis has been named one of Florida’s “Top Doctors” by his peers, having served as a gastroenterologist in Palm Beach County since 1991, and being Board certified in Internal Medicine and Gastroenterology. However, his back and wrist issues became so problematic that he was forced to step away from his practice. Because of his chronic pain issues, he became interested in researching cannabis medicine, and the wide range of conditions for which it can be used. He personally used CBD and other cannabis products to get relief from pain.
Steve Bate is a survivor of two Stage 4 cancers. He spoke with Dr. Davis about some concerning symptoms, and after doing an examination, Dr. Davis referred him to an oncologist who then diagnosed his cancers. Through multiple rounds of chemotherapy, he used cannabinoid oils to better tolerate the treatment with minimal side effects. Bate is now cancer-free and believes he would not have survived if not for the cannabinoid therapy.
These two friends joined with retired financial services executive Al Schulman to form ComCan Healthcare, a practice that helps to integrate medical marijuana into patient care. “We are largely a referral-based practice,” said Dr. Davis. “We have received referrals from more than 50 physicians around Palm Beach County, especially oncologists, rheumatologists, pain specialists, and neurologists.”
Dr. Davis is one of only a few physicians in Palm Beach County working as a full-time cannabis specialist and is widely recognized as an expert in the field of cannabis medicine. He believes medical marijuana should be treated the same as any other specialty area, and said, “If a patient is a candidate for medical marijuana, we want physicians to refer patients to us, with the confidence that we will meet the expectations they would have of any other specialist.”
He works closely with multiple dispensaries and understands how products are best used for various conditions. “Dispensaries offer a bewildering array of products, and our patients need guidance regarding proper use to improve efficacy. We educate our patients on how to get relief from their symptoms while maintaining daily functional status, and without becoming impaired. We work together to improve the quality of life of our patients.”
ComCan Healthcare distinguishes itself from practices that were started to exploit rapid growth in the medical marijuana market. “Getting an ID card is not medical marijuana. Smoking a joint is not medical marijuana. Some practices were started with marketing and financial plans. We started with a plan for excellence in patient care.”
A large percentage of ComCan’s clients are veterans and seniors; half of all patients are over 65. The practice has the highest percentage of cancer patients and patients with Parkinson’s disease of any of the county’s leading cannabis practices. “We work with patients with serious illnesses to incorporate medical marijuana into their treatment plan, in coordination with their referring doctor. This is what physicians should expect from us, and how patients deserve to be treated. Together we have helped patients with their conditions, and frequently assist patients in reducing or stopping opiate use, as well as other medications with potential severe side effects.
“We started with the slogan ‘Where medicinal cannabis starts with sound medicine.’ I think that practicing high-quality patient care is the only way to go about it.”
For more information, call (561) 270-4040 or visit www.comcanhealthcare.com.