April 15, 2019
On March 18, 2019 Governor Ron DeSantis signed into law Senate Bill 182, which allows a qualified physician to determine that smoking is an appropriate route of administration for medical marijuana. As a qualified physician, here’s what you need to know:
First, you must revise your informed-consent form to advise patients of the negative health risks associated with smoking marijuana.
Second, you must submit specified documentation to your board (Board of Medicine or Board of Osteopathic Medicine) once you determine that smoking is an appropriate route of administration for a patient. The documentation must include:
- A list of other routes of administration, if any, certified by a qualified physician that the patient has tried,the length of time the patient used such routes of administration, and an assessment of the effectiveness of those routes of administration in treating the qualified patient’s qualifying condition.
- Research documenting the effectiveness of smoking as a route of administration to treat similarly situated patients with the same qualifying condition as the qualified patient.
- A statement signed by you documenting your opinion that the benefits of smoking marijuana for medical use outweigh the risks for the qualified patient.
Additionally, you may not issue a physician certification for marijuana in a form for smoking to a patient under 18 years of age unless the patient is diagnosed with a terminal condition; you determine that smoking is the most effective route of administration for the patient; and a second physician who is a board-certified pediatrician concurs with such determination. That determination and concurrence must be documented in the patient’s medical record and in the medical marijuana use registry.
Lastly, you must also obtain written informed consent of the minor patient’s parent or legal guardian before issuing a physician certification to the patient for marijuana in a form for smoking. The Board of Medicine and the Board of Osteopathic Medicine have adopted a standardized consent form which includes information concerning the negative health effects of smoking marijuana on persons under 18 years of age and an acknowledgement that you have sufficiently explained the contents of the form.
The bill also does a few other things. It:
- establishes a supply limit for your physician certification, viz., no more than three 70-day supply limits or six 35-day supply limits unless you request an exception to the daily dose limit;
- authorizes more than one caregiver to assist with a qualified patient’s medical use of marijuana if the patient is participating in a certain research program in a teaching nursing home;
- authorizes a caregiver to be listed in the medical marijuana use registry as a designated caregiver for qualified patients who are participating in a certain research program in a teaching nursing home; and
- requires DOH to adopt rules regulating the types, appearance, and labeling of marijuana delivery devices.
If you have questions about the implementation of SB 182, we can help.