Pennsylvania Department of Health Issues New Physician Regulations for Medical Marijuana

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As first posted on our sister blog, “In The Weeds” (Fox Rothschild’s Cannabis Law Blog), the Pennsylvania Department of Health issued its long-awaited proposed temporary regulations regarding physicians on April 11, 2017.  A copy of the temporary regulations can be found here:  PA Temporary Physician Medical Marijuana Regulations

The temporary regulations provide additional detail on the physician registration process, including the required four-hour training session regarding the legal use of medical marijuana and research on its effects, as well as the process for patient certification for use of medical marijuana.

The temporary regulations also propose to maintain (without further modification) the following four existing statutory restrictions on physicians:

  • Physicians may not accept, solicit or offer any form of remuneration from or to any individual or medical marijuana organization (such as a grower/processor or dispensary) to certify a patient’s use of medical marijuana;
  • Physicians may not hold a direct or economic interest in a medical marijuana organization in Pennsylvania;
  • Physicians may not advertise their services as a physician who is registered to certify a patient to receive medical marijuana; and
  • A physician may not issue a certification for the physician’s own use of medical marijuana or for the use of medical marijuana by a family or household member.

[28 Pa. Code 1181.31].

Notably, the temporary regulations do not provide further clarity on certain statutory provisions, such as (i) whether the physician registration process will be electronic or require paper application, and (ii) whether a physician may accept payment from existing patients for consultation regarding certification for the use of medical marijuana after the initial certification is issued.

The Department of Health accepted comments on the proposed temporary regulations until April 20, 2017.  It is unclear when the Department plans to issue its final regulations on physicians and medical marijuana.

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