Draft Rules for Medical Marijuana Released by State

Categories: Marijuana Biz
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The Arizona Department of Health Services released a draft of rules today for the launch of a medical-marijuana program authorized by the voter-approved Proposition 203.

Let the debate begin.

The draft rules place additional restrictions on the law in terms of what defines a doctor-patient relationship, suggesting that a patient must have had a relationship with a doctor for at least a year and been seen at least four times for a condition in order to qualify. The rules allow you to seek a recommendation for a different doctor, however, who must take "primary responsibility" for treatment of the condition. That would seem to limit someone's ability to be seen by their regular doc for, say, chronic and severe back pain, after they obtain a pot recommendation for the same condition from a different (and pro-pot) doc.
We'll be scrutinizing the 47-page document closely, attending a Q&A at the Department of Health Services later this morning and getting response from the budding marijuana-business industry.

In the meantime, we'd love to hear your thoughts on the proposed rules, so don't be shy about commenting on this one.

Several public hearings are planned, with final rules expected by the end of March.
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PCPSC, LLC
PCPSC, LLC

Prescott Cannabis Patient Screening Center, LLC

PCPSC, LLC specializes in providing Doctor Recommendations for Medical Cannabis, Detailed Treatment Plans, Patient Verifications.

www.prescottmedcard.com

PCPSC, LLC
PCPSC, LLC

Prescott Cannabis Patient Screening Center, LLC

PCPSC, LLC specializes in providing Doctor Recommendations for Medical Cannabis, Detailed Treatment Plans, Patient Verifications.

www.prescottmedcard.com

Azindisat
Azindisat

I have been reading the rules from ADHS and screaming since the 17th ! The rules demonstrate to me that anti-free market philosophies permeate the top brains working at the ADHS. Our overpaid over-powerful bureaucrats have become power drunk. The next election is only 22 months away. I would like to see the state cut the ADHS budjet by 50%.

Albert
Albert

The thing is that this is their initial “draft” rules. They can put what ever they want, or at least what they think they can have. They have to have the public respond and the only way they are taking any kind of ideas, is through the Internet. Which is kind of lame, and there should be more public meetings scheduled, but they want to hide behind their computer screens. Now if a person or number of people bring up a valid point on why something should be added or deleted. The department really can’t ignore the voters request, especially if it is something that interferes, restricts, or even adds something that is not allowed under the statue. So now we have to wait see if Mr., Humble wants to waste taxpayer money on something he can’t win. And possibly have a personal claim filed just against him for restricting patient access.

And Coz, I agree about the possible HIPPA violation, but the law had something written on sec. 18 sub sec. A- which says the doctor was supposed to specify the patients debilitating medical conditions in the written certification. Which is a huge violation of medical privacy, and HIPPA. The only thing the health department is entitled to is communicable diseases, and I’m not even sure health depart receives the actual name of the “infected” patient. It’s something that can be just left out, unless again the health department thinks they can just violate people medical privacy?? But if they decide that people would have to put the sensitive health information in the certification, it would take a medical privacy suit against the department to resolve the medical privacy issue. The whole thing is that you go to a DOCTOR and let them decide if someone has a qualifying health condition.

And DM.. The 25-mile rule was setup just for the dispensaries benefit. Andrew Meyers was at some function in New Mexico where he said he wanted to give the dispensaries a viable market. Basically, force people to go to the dispensary. He also said in the same meeting that 95% of patients would rather go to a dispensary, and buy from them. I personally don’t agree that anyone one should be forced to buy from a profitable dispensary. People should have the option to grow their own medicine even if they live next door to a dispensary. And yes it could fall under equal protection. I was trying to think of any statue that gives someone different rights, and I couldn’t think of any. The law says non-profit, but everyone knows that the price for the MMJ is going to be huge. Why didn’t Mr. Humble put that into his rules?? The thing is with all the zoning issues with the cities, it make the dispensaries have to pay for 2 or more locations. Which means more expenses. Prop. 203 allows the dispensary to add the cost of everything and I mean EVERYTHING into a deduction, which in the end will come out in the price of medicine. I have a link to NORML’s stink that has the information about the 25-mile rule, and the dispensary stuff.

http://stash.norml.org/mpps-an...

Albert
Albert

Good point Dr. Ariz. I’m also posting on Ray Stern’s follow-up to this initial story on another page. Posting at 4:37 on 12-17-10. And I will be posting on the ADHS site as well.

http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.c...

Dr_ARIZ
Dr_ARIZ

IT IS IMPORTANT TO COMMENT AT THE PUBLIC HEALTH SERVICE PAGE!!!!!

http://www.azdhs.gov/prop203/

My submitted comment........

"I am encouraging all fellow doctors and the wider medical community to vigorously oppose many of your new rules. I am concerned with your definition of "physician patient relationship", forcing a patient to change their primary care doctor if their current doctor does not want to participate in the program. And also then to wait a year to receive treatment....... This redefining of PPR would set a very troubling precedent for all doctor patient relationships in the medical community. I believe that your are far exceeding your authority in this rewrite of PPR, and that these changes are in opposition to HIPPA laws and patient's rights. Patients must have the freedom to choose their doctors as they see fit..... Please drop this language altogether. You will be spending countless taxpayers' dollars to defend in court these indefensible intrusions on the Physician Patient Relationship."

Albert
Albert

I thought there would be more comments, but maybe people are waiting to see what others have to say. I had a chance to re-read through the actual law, and the proposed rules. Mr. Humble and staff have taken a huge liberty in increasing, and decreasing the law. It almost seems that stuff they didn’t like or agree with that they added more restrictions, or just added/invented items. I think they forgot we the people voted on Prop 203 the way it was written. Not to have it so restricted that some, or most people wont be able to benefit from the law, which goes against the whole intent of the law. I thought the first thing about required allotted days was interesting, that they had turned the time limits for them to approve applications, and certifications into working days from just days. I’m sorry but the statue says days, and not working, or business days. I’m sorry, but the ADHS does not get to rewrite, and nit pick something that they may not agree with. You must take the law the way it’s written. Days and not working/business days!The main issue I have with their proposed rules is the restricting access to the law by trying to define what a patient- doctor relationship is. This part conflicts with Prop 203, as far as any doctor who is licensed to practice medicine MD, DO has the right to recommend MMJ. And the law doesn’t say anything about having a relationship with your doctor for at least a year, and have had 4 visits. That same requirement doesn’t apply to any other health standard in the country. Or any that I could find by looking up requirements for prescriptions/recommendations. Again, Mr. Humble and staff are taking a huge liberty in defining what they think should apply to Prop 203, especially when it doesn’t apply to all other aspects of health care. Also, the part that the MMJ doctor has to become the primary care doctor for the qualifying condition. Most people’s doctors won’t be so willing to put their names, and required by rules their license number on a patients application. And who not agree with the new law. So your telling me that I can’t get relief from something that could help for at least a year? Talk about pain and suffering. The ADHS motto is: Leadership for a Healthy Arizona. Again not all doctors are qualified specialists who have completed some required fellowship training to take on ALL aspects of healthcare. As required by law in Chapter 17 Tile 32-1800 Sec 21.I did find the section on the video cameras amusing, and the location of the hand washing stations. I was thinking… isn’t that planning and zoning and who ever deals with building permits. And one issue I couldn’t understand was the part that says if you’re applying for a caregiver card, dispensary agent, and on behalf a child who is under 18 that they have to signed statement that says they do not currently hold a valid registry identification card, so these people can’t be patients as well??? This is just a way for the ADHS to take a more intrusive step into our states MMJ law. I’ve also seen a few statements from some people, and organizations saying that the ADHS did a good job. And that really completely blows my mind. Did they really read all 47 pages of the ADHS proposed rules? They have taken a law that was just over 30 pages and turned a set of proposed rules into 47 pages of things they want. In a state that has a billion dollar deficit, does the health department really think they should help waste more taxpayer money the state doesn’t have? I can already see claims being filed against the ADHS on all aspects of departments proposed rules.

my2cents
my2cents

The provision for a dispensary having to grow 70% of it's own medicine also has to go. Growing organic mmj is only one bad mite or mold infestation away from having an entire crop wiped out, only to have to start all over again. And by the way even dispensary/cultivation owners will have to grow under 100 plants at any one time if they want to stay under FEDERAL mandatory minimum sentencing. Also good luck finding a Dr. willing to risk his license by signing on as a medical director to a entity that sells a Schedule 1 drug under federal law. This is a joke, DHS is trying to regulate prop 203 out of existence.

Mmjconsultingaz
Mmjconsultingaz

Not a bad draft for the first round attempt at defining the rules, pretty inclusive.

Now that we have the law signed by the Governer, and rules framework in place, it is time to assemble a top notch team that will have success in securing a dispensary license. If you have been waiting for this rules announcement before commiting to going for a license, you are a little bit behind the curve. The time to get on board is now, hesitation at this point will definately hurt you chances. MMJ Consulting Arizona is ready to help you secure your dipensary license.

Albert
Albert

Not a bad draft for the first round attempt at defining the rules??? You must not have read the past few posts! There are quite a few issues with these proposed rules. I foresee if they don’t make the changes that are conflicting, and even possibly discriminatory, the state is going to have a ton of lawsuits filed if they go through with the proposed rules. And you should talk to New Times Advertising Department if you want to promote your would be business.

Albert
Albert

I'm not sure the director has read the actual MMJ Law. They are given certain rights to develop rules relating to the implementation. It seems to me that Mr. Humble thinks he can rewrite or change, or even add things that are in or not in Arizona’s Law. I really don’t see how they can make you go to a doctor, and have to wait a year before they can write a recommendation. In the press release, dated 12-17-10:

One key critical control point revolves around the doctor-patient relationship. In the informal draft rules, the state requires a physician to have seen a patient four times in the previous year before recommending medical marijuana or have primary responsibility for the routine care of a patient in an ongoing relationship.

The State requires?? It’s not the state, or the law this. This coming from the ADHS who wants this to be made into a rule. I see a number of issues, and possible legal issues with this. I’m sorry but I’m not familiar with the licensing of doctors and what qualifications they may have or not have to treat people with multiple conditions. A family practice doctor isn’t going to treat someone who has cancer. That would usually come from an oncologist. But the law states that any physician who is licensed as an MD or OD can write a recommendation. There will be doctors who may not be trained and or qualified to deal with certain medical conditions. But the rule says that that doctor has to take over the care of that patient for the recommendation for MMJ. And with all the other existing laws, this is the only “law/rule” that says you have to have a previous relationship with the doctor, before they can prescribe/recommend something? This whole process seems almost discriminatory. I’m trying to keep this short, and add more as the day goes on.

Crystal
Crystal

I like others am in chronic pain of a back injury. I have 5 prutruding disks in my back and 3 buldging in my neck to the middle of my back. I am curently on a controled substance oxycodone-apap 5-325 just for my back. I also suffer from post tramatic stress syndrom and mental illness so I am on about 6 pills for that. high blood pressure high chlestoril. I just take alot of pills. I hate taking pills I get tired of them and so there for I quit taking them. I have smoked pot every since I was 16 off and on. When I smoke pot now it relaxes me better then any nerve pill my blood pressure gose down. I feel so much better when I smoke it. I'm not an abuser of it or I would abuse my oxy's. so now I find this herb to smoke and it dose the same thing a the pot it just don't last as long as pot dose. Now come to find out they are jerking it of the stores so whats the big deal with it. Could it be that the goverment can't let the suposibly free people enjoy there lives. whats the problem!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Daniel Kingston
Daniel Kingston

And not one mention of purity testing as presumed. You would think if this is such a terrible drug - they would mention something about the quality control standards and how important it is that they make sure the medicine is high qualityl; no pesticides/free radicals/mites, etc... Instead, they focused on the rules of gaining a medical prescription because their agenda is to enforce restrictions, not enable patients to access high quality medicine.

Charles Ward
Charles Ward

The document only makes provision for the Department to request materials for analysis. No mention is made of providing opportunity for dispensaries to obtain analysis of their own products privately. Something is either lacking or amiss here.

sonickf
sonickf

extremely good point. Mr. Humble, how about you REMOVE these restrictions that force patients to make impossible choices between doctors and treatments, and ADD some TRULY helpful safeguards requiring simple microscopy upon intake for spider mites, mold and fungi; and require use of hair nets and beard nets in packaging areas.

sonickf
sonickf

This will restrict access to MMJ patients far more than it keeps it from the hands of recreational users.

Say for example that an oncologist has disagreements (philosophical ? profit-centric ?) with medical marijuana, and a patient is well-aware of the well-known instantaneous reversal of nausea to be had by medical marijuana. How are we to expect some new doctor to assume her chemo and medical marijuana treatment ? This law THREATENTS patients who seek symptom relief in lieu of potential life-saving treatments that their current primary care or specialist may not permit. This restriction threatens even recreational seekers from ever telling a real doctor the truth until they hit the ER, costing lives and money! This restriction threatens the DECADES long relationships of patients with their doctors who may be unwilling to prescribe MMJ, yet the efficacy is apparent enough for some ailment apparent to the patient that they are willing to sacrifice the advantage they have of staying with a physician that knows them best.

Can you imagine if we placed these types of restrictions on all drugs of abuse ? Yes, people abuse xanax and vicodin, but you MUST prescribe them due to their efficacy. Marijuana is the same way, it MUST be available where indicated due to it's efficacy.

THIS ARBITRARY RE-DEFINITION OF DOCTOR-PATIENT PRIVILEGE MUST BE STOPPED EARLY AND WITH EXTREME PREJUDICE

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Info
Info

The department lacks the jurisdiction to enact these regulations. The MMA section entitled 'rulemaking' makes no mention of the physician patient relationship or physician certifications. The physician standard of care has already been defined elsewhere in the administrative code, and by the Arizona Supreme Court. Also, the MMA allows the department to add qualifying conditions, not to take any away. These regs are longer than the act, and clearly not informed by legal analysis. Instead the department has constructed a set of sprawling rules more appropriate for a nuclear reactor. My fellow patients: we must let it be known that this agression toward medical marijuana will not stand. A complaint for a declaratory judgment may be necessary.

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