Unfortunately, the ongoing stigma surrounding medical marijuana creates problems for people who try to bring it up with their primary care physician — most of whom know nothing about cannabis. Stepping into that service gap are physicians who specialize in determining whether a person may benefit from medical marijuana. Compassionate Health Options (CHO) is a statewide chain with fourteen offices, including one centrally located on Webster Street in downtown Oakland. Founded by Dr. Hanya Barth, the Oakland branch is relatively efficient, professional, and friendly as clinics go, and its prices are competitive. You make an appointment, then bring your valid state identification and any medical records and medications relevant to the visit, as well as payment. After seeing the doctor, you get two letters of recommendation and an ID card. CHO keeps your medical records private and does not release patient information to anyone without prior written consent of the patient.