Sacred Heart grads launch virtual medical marijuana clinic

Photo of Shayla Colon
EZMEDCARD founders Julien Debelle Duplan (left) and Daniel Remiszewski (right) at the Fine Fettle dispensary during a guest visit.

EZMEDCARD founders Julien Debelle Duplan (left) and Daniel Remiszewski (right) at the Fine Fettle dispensary during a guest visit.

photo by Andrew Johnson

Two Sacred Heart University alumni had been watching the medical marijuana market for some time, looking for the perfect opportunity to enter. COVID-related adjustments to the program gave them the perfect access point.

Daniel Remiszewski and Julien Debelle Duplan founded EZMEDCARD in January after the state’s Department of Consumer Protection enabled telehealth visits for medical marijuana approval.

EZMEDCARD — their Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) compliant software — allows interested people to upload their medical documentation and identification cards to a database for a nurse practitioner to review. The online service screens individuals looking to become registered medical marijuana patients and provides annual renewal appointments to those already certified.

“It’s something everything is moving toward, not just medical marijuana, but health care in general — a HIPAA compliant software where health care can be conducted outside the office,” said Remiszewski, who graduated in 2014 and is from Watertown.

Remiszewski and Duplan started the clinic with the goal of remaining completely virtual. They hired three nurse practitioners to carry out services and are open to the entire state.

“Our goal is to improve the overall process of becoming or staying in the medical marijuana program and improving affordability, as well as the convenience of meeting with your medical provider,” said Duplan, who graduated in 2016 and is from Milford.

Only patients with certain debilitating medical conditions and supporting medical records can be deemed eligible for the state’s program.

Patients are sent an appointment link to meet with a licensed nurse practitioner who deems whether or not they are qualified to be part of the program after their initial intake through EZMEDCARD. If approved, the nurse uploads the given information and case notes to the DCP database so the patient can sign up for the program.

“Our whole motto is to make everything easy,” Remiszewski said, which is why they chose to create a completely virtual service accessible to people all over the state.

Appointments with the clinic are not covered by insurance because medical marijuana is still federally illegal, so patients pay appointment costs out of pocket.

Remiszewski and Duplan researched prices from different clinics around Connecticut and tried to make their service more affordable. An appointment as a new patient costs $150 and an annual re-certification appointment costs $100.

After being accepted into the program, patients have to pay the state $100 annually and undergo an annual re-certification process, Duplan said.

Remiszewski and Duplan have exceeded their patient projections in just a month of being open and anticipate their business to “grow significantly.” Although telehealth was made viable because of the pandemic, the two would like to remain strictly virtual. If regulations revert, Duplan said they plan to open multiple offices across Connecticut to continue giving patients widespread accessibility.