OnePath Medical started earlier this year with one goal: to make medical marijuana more accessible for those who need it.
The Washington, D.C.-based startup is a telemedicine platform designed to silo the process of finding a licensed physician qualified to prescribe cannabis. Now, it’s officially extending its reach into New York state, Pennsylvania and Maryland.
“Currently, you have to go into a doctor’s office, you have to wait for the appointment to be open, you have to book an appointment. You then have to go to the Department of Health after,” said co-founder Sam Adetunji in an interview. “We streamline that process for everyone.”
Here’s how it works: Patients book an appointment online, go through a 5-10 minute virtual consultation prior to their appointment to ensure the patient’s medical history aligns with the requirements for medicinal marijuana and, if approved, they’ll meet with their physician to receive the official medical recommendation card. About 95 percent of all patients make it through the 5-10 virtual consultation, and if they don’t, they’re refunded their consultation fee.
Once patients have a card, they can legally purchase medicinal marijuana from dispensaries in their region. OnePath charges a one-time $199 consultation fee, and and the fees go towards paying participating physicians an annual salary or a pay-per-patient compensation, which varies per physician.
“We want people to be aware of what’s out there, and the way we see it, it’s just another form of medicine.”
Adetunji said that OnePath Medical is the only service of its kind in the D.C. metro area, and it’s the first-of-its-kind in most of its new markets, as well. Most services provide telemedicine kiosks inside dispensaries or provide information on how to acquire a recommendation; instead, OnePath Medical helps patients find a physician who is qualified to see them.
“We want people to be aware of what’s out there, and the way we see it, it’s just another form of medicine,” Adetunji said. “We want to shift that mindset of a drug dealer on the street selling pot to an actual facility where you can get natural healing with a new form of medicine.”
Moving into New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland was an easy decision for the team, Adetunji said. Their dispensaries are already open to the public and interest in medicinal marijuana is growing. In Maryland, for example, the state’s program permits as many as two dispensary locations per Congressional district and a total of 15 growers in the state, allowing the potential for up to 100 dispensaries total.
Yet, the market is untapped, in Adetunji’s eyes.
“All of these states are opening up in the East Coast, and we have family members and friends in these areas that are going through the same kind of difficulties,” Adetunji said. “We want to take hold of that East Coast market.”
Moving forward, the team of about 10 employees, wants to expand into more states across the East Coast, given the favorable competitive landscape. One day, they could look at the Midwest for possible expansion.
Looking even further in the future? Adetunji dreams of seeing OnePath dispensaries, creating OnePath growth operations and eventually rolling out their own line of medical products.
“We want to be that market leader in the space for what’s getting ready to happen in the future in the industry,” Adetunji said. “We want to be the leaders in all markets.”