Pennsylvania proposes medical marijuana rules for doctors

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Pennsylvania regulators issued draft rules governing how doctors can qualify to recommend medical marijuana and certify patients to receive the drug under the state’s new MMJ program.

Medical cannabis advocates, however, warned the proposed regulations could limit patient access to MMJ, the Allentown Morning Call reported. Fewer patients would curb MMJ sales.

The state health department’s proposed rules would require doctors to complete a four-hour training session about medical cannabis. Physicians almost would have to add their names to a state registry.

Becky Dansky of the Marijuana Policy Project told the Morning Call the registry requirement could limit physician participation in the program. “And when doctors don’t participate, patient access is hindered,” she added.

Dansky argued a better approach would be to require only physicians who recommend a large number of patients each month to add their names to the registry.

The proposed rules also spell out that:

  • Physicians working at a dispensary must notify the doctor who certified a patient for MMJ if that person suffers a negative reaction.
  • Doctors seeking certification must be licensed physicians and qualified to treat patients with one of the 17 accepted conditions for MMJ treatment.
  • Doctors registered to certify patients cannot have a direct or economic interest in a medical cannabis dispensary or cultivation operation.