Island doctor registered to certify medical cannabis patients

Dr. Terry Kriedman, center, answers questions at the cannabis and cancer forum back in March, alongside Rabbi Dr. Yosef Glassman, left, and therapist Sumner Silverman.

Dr. Terry Kriedman, an obstetrics and gynecology specialist affiliated with Martha’s Vineyard Hospital (MVH) and Massachusetts General Hospital with a practice in Tisbury, is now a registered physician with the Medical Marijuana Program in the state Department of Public Health. This allows Dr. Kriedman to certify qualifying patients to obtain a Medical Marijuana Card. She is the only Island-based certifying physician.
She moderated a “Cancer and Cannabis” forum on March 6, where she said she was prompted to get certified by the suffering of a very young family member, who succumbed to cancer last year. “I’m one of those physicians who never took recreational cannabis, and I chose not to learn about it,” she said. “But I saw how she was able to be present longer with medicinal cannabis than when she was totally knocked out by the other medications. I’ve seen the need for a variety of alternatives for cancer treatment. I recognize there’s no physician who prescribes on the Island. There’s a stigma we have to work to overcome.”

In November 2012, 63 percent of Massachusetts voters approved medical marijuana at the ballot box, and Dukes County voters showed even stronger support, with 71 percent approving the measure.

It’s been more than five years since the voters spoke, and a registered marijuana dispensary (RMD) has yet to open on Martha’s Vineyard, owing in large part to a byzantine permitting process. But if all goes to plan, Patient Centric of Martha’s Vineyard, the only licensed registered marijuana dispensary on the Island, will begin cultivating in the summer and serving patients in January, 2019.