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Medical board releases draft medical marijuana rules


Source:  Ohio Academy of Family Physicians


On December 15, the State Medical Board of Ohio (SMBO) presented draft rules at Ohio’s Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee meeting relative to the perimeters for issuing certificates to physicians who wish to recommend medical marijuana for their patients who have qualifying conditions and diseases. The SMBO is also responsible for establishing procedures for adding conditions or diseases which may qualify patients for the state’s Medical Marijuana Control Program.

The primary focus of the rules is to develop a program that balances access for patients with patient safety. The draft rules presented to the Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee were developed after benchmarking with other states, talking with Ohio physicians, and talking with patient advocates. The draft rules closely follow established procedures and standards for obtaining and maintaining an Ohio medical license.

Draft rules regarding the eligibility for a certificate to recommend (CTR) medical marijuana require:
  • An active, unrestricted license to practice medicine and surgery or osteopathic medicine and surgery
  • Ohio Automated RX Reporting System (OARRS) registration
  • Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) registration
  • No prior action from the DEA or the state licensing board based on inappropriate prescribing
  • Two hours of continuing medical education (CME) that assist physicians in both:
    • Diagnosing qualifying medical conditions
    • Treating qualifying medical conditions with medical marijuana
  • No ownership or investment interest in or compensation agreement with any licensed medical marijuana entity or applicant.

The CTR medical marijuana would follow the SMBO’s current licensure processes. There would be no fee for physicians seeking a CTR nor would a separate background check be required. Denial of a CTR would be subject to due process requirements, including the right to request a hearing. The CTR would be renewed on the same schedule as the holder’s medical license, at which time the physician would have to demonstrate that they still meet the eligibility requirements and have completed the required two hours of CME regarding qualifying conditions and treatment with medical marijuana.

Draft rules pertaining to standard of care require that a physician must establish and maintain a bona-fide physician-patient relationship that is established in an in-person visit and the physician must provide care for patients on an ongoing basis. Information that should be created and maintained by the physician is specified as is documentation relative to the qualifying medical condition. The draft rules also specify under what circumstances the physician may terminate or decline to issue a new recommendation for medical marijuana. A termination will trigger notification to the State of Ohio Board of Pharmacy.

For additional information, please view the following:

Public comments on draft rules will be sought through Friday, January 13, 2017. The Ohio Academy of Family Physicians is monitoring this process closely. All rules will be reviewed by the 14-member Medical Marijuana Advisory Committee, the state’s Common Sense Initiative, and finally the Joint Committee on Agency Rule Review. Operating rules must be finalized by September 2017; medical marijuana is expected to be available to patients in September 2018.

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