Kathleen Naughton NP and Rachel Kurtz are part of a new naturopathic and medical marijuana authorization clinic called Hope Clinic located on Alki Beach. The new business will celebrate its grand opening in mid August.
Hope Clinic offers hope, care and wellness on Alki
The newest alternative for people on the west side seeking naturopathic care and medical marijuana authorization is Hope Clinic. It's been open for three weeks in a soft open phase.
Tucked into a tiny space on Alki Beach in the same building as the Coastal Boutique and next to Wheel Fun Rentals the clinic's address is 2530 Alki Ave. s.w. Suite B.
Hope Clinic is actually an offshoot of an existing clinic in the University District called the CARE Wellness Center that has been in existence for a few years.
That business founded by Greta M. Carter is similar but larger.
Rachel E. Kurtz runs Hope Clinic and has been serving CARE Wellness as the Director of Operations. She is also a licensed attorney and a board member for the Cannabis Defense Coalition.
Hope Clinic has only one primary doctor Kathleen M. Naughton, AD ARNP, who is there as of now on Tuesdays from 3:00 pm to 6:30pm people seeking naturopathic care including medical marijuana authorization. Another doctor is available when Naughton is not.
Medical marijuana authorization appointments usually require a 20-25 minute visit with the doctor who will only prescribe it for qualifying conditions. While the range of maladies it is helpful with they assert is wide, the law only allows a limited range that qualify.
• Human immunodeficiency virus (HIV);
• Multiple sclerosis;
• Epilepsy or other seizure disorder;
• Spasticity disorders;
• Intractable pain which is unrelieved by standard medical treatments and medications;
• Glaucoma, either acute or chronic, limited for the purposes of this law to mean increased intraocular pressure unrelieved by standard treatments or medications;
• Crohn's disease with debilitating symptoms un-relieved by standard treatments and medications;
• Hepatitis C with debilitating nausea or intractable pain unrelieved by standard treatments or medications; or
• Any disease, including anorexia, which results in nausea, vomiting, wasting, appetite loss, cramping, seizures, muscle spasms, and/or spasticity, when these symptoms are unrelieved by standard treatments or medications.
That law has been going through a lot of scrutiny and under it, Kurtz acknowledges you can still be arrested under both state and federal law.
"It was challenged recently and there was a federal judge who looked at the law and saw the intent," explained Kurtz. "It does say, under legislative intent that patients should not be arrested and prosecuted. So right now there's sort of a confusion if that will stand. I always advise patients to make sure they are as discreet as possible. If they have it in their car to keep it in their trunk (...) even if you're a patient it's still illegal to use it in public view."
The City Attorney for Seattle, "has already said he won't prosecute anybody, and the fed have stated that they will not prosecute patients."
A medical marijuana collective garden distribution point, Pharmaseed, is located in the same building, on the opposite side but the two businesses are not related. "They had been getting requests from people as to where to go to get authorizations and we knew them through a trade organization that Greta had started, the Coalition for Cannabis Standards and Ethics," said Kurtz.
The cost for a first time patient is $125 and a renewal is $100. If a patient does not have a qualifying condition, the cost is still $50.
"We screen ahead of time of course," said Kurtz. They accept credit cards, and cash. A naturopathic visit is $80.
Naughton who has been in this particular field for 2 years (but practicing for many more) is very clear about the role of medical marijuana in patient care. "Our patients are the most anti drug group of people you will ever meet. This is an herb, this is not a drug. We refuse to call it a drug. People come in on Percocet, Oxycontin, Oxycodone, Vicodin and they have terrible side effects. They have friends who have overdosed and friends who have gotten on heroin. They don't want to take them."
Naughton and the Hope Clinic don't always authorize. It's not automatic. "With someone who has back pain I might just as likely recommend water aerobics, as weightless exercise. Or physical therapy or massage. I also recommend vitamins and minerals where they are appropriate," she said.
Naughton thinks the outlook for full legalization is "dim," she said, "because people are so crazy. They can't make money off cannabis. The pharmaceutical industry is not going to bend over. They will insist on controlling it. They even go to India and get a patent on a sacred tree. I think capitalism is what will keep it from being totally legal."
The grand opening for Hope Clinic will take place in mid August and they will be promoting themselves with a booth at Hempfest Aug. 17-19. Kurtz has been on the core staff of Hempfest for nine years.
If the volume of patients justfies it the number of hours the clinic is open will expand. A variety of massage therapies are also available at Hope Clinic. Call to inquire about rates and availability.
The hours are Tuesday - Saturday 12 Noon to 4 pm.
The phone number is 206-466-1766.
For more information email email@example.com .