Florida: No Telemedicine Exams for Medical Marijuana

12 December 2016 Health Care Law Today Blog
Authors: Nathaniel M. Lacktman Thomas B. Ferrante

The Florida Board of Medicine issued a proposed amendment, on December 8, 2016, to its telemedicine regulations to clarify that physicians may not order medical cannabis or low-THC cannabis via telemedicine.

The Board’s current telemedicine rules were originally issued in the Spring of 2014. The amendment would add a new Section (5) to the Standards for Telemedicine Practice under 64B8-9.0141, F.A.C. If the proposed amendment is finalized, the regulation would state as follows:

(5) Medical cannabis or low-THC cannabis, as defined by s. 381.986, F.S., may not be ordered by means of telemedicine.

Florida law permits specified physicians to order low-THC cannabis or medical cannabis for patients diagnosed with certain conditions. The proposed telemedicine amendment comes on the heels of Florida voters’ overwhelming approval of Amendment 2, expanding access to medical marijuana in Florida.

While not all states ban telemedicine-based examinations for medical marijuana, the Florida rule mirrors the approach taken by the Colorado Board of Medicine to require in-person examinations prior to recommending medical marijuana.

What’s Next?

We will continue to monitor the proposed rules for when the final version is published.

For more information on telemedicine, telehealth, virtual care, and other health innovations, including the team, publications, and other materials, visit Foley’s Telemedicine and Virtual Care practice.

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