Demand Side Economics: An Update on Patients’ Access to Medical Marijuana

April 24, 2017
Demand Side Economics: An Update on Patients’ Access to Medical Marijuana

On April 11, 2017, the Department of Health (“DOH”) released draft temporary regulations for physicians concerning the recommendation of medical marijuana in Pennsylvania.  Aside from addressing the immediate needs of the safe-harbor letters, this is the DOH’s first real exposure to the demand side of the medical marijuana market place. The regulations outline the process and obligations Pennsylvania physicians must follow in order to recommend a patient’s use of medical marijuana. Pennsylvania physicians must register with the DOH, complete a training course, and cannot advertise their services as a recommending physician. Moreover, the physician must affirmatively state the patient will remain under the doctor’s care – a requirement aimed to promote continuing care of a patient, but also to limit “pot docs” from writing recommendations to anyone willing to pay a small fee.

While the DOH continues to work on the supply side of this industry by cataloging and reviewing grower/processor and dispensary applications, Pennsylvania patients can rest assured that the demand side of the equation is now beginning to receive  equal attention.

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