A Quick Dab — Ohio’s New Telehealth Rules Cover Exams for Medical Marijuana Use

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In late December 2021, Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine signed HB122 into law. The law, which goes into effect March 23, 2022, enacts several telehealth rules that were relaxed during the pandemic. The expanded telehealth law includes provisions that will continue to allow physicians authorized to recommend medical marijuana to conduct the required in-person patient exams via telehealth.

Under current rules, a physician authorized to recommend medical marijuana is required to conduct an in-person physical examination to establish a bona fide physician-patient relationship. Physicians also must conduct in-person examinations before renewing recommendations for medical marijuana. The in-person visit requirements were not enforced under Executive Order 2020-01D during the pandemic. When the new Ohio law goes into effect, physicians authorized to recommend medical marijuana may continue to conduct all required patient examinations via telehealth.

Importantly, the law provides that each healthcare professional licensing board may adopt rules it considers necessary to establish a standard of care for telehealth services. Physicians must also comply with all state and federal laws regarding the protection of patient information. Ohio practitioners authorized to recommend medical marijuana should continue to monitor the Ohio Medical Board’s updates for telemedicine compliance.

For additional information, practitioners can review the Telemedicine FAQs the Ohio Board of Medicine published in November 2021.

DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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