March 21, 2017

March 21, 2017

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March 20, 2017

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Florida Board of Medicine Hearing on Telemedicine and Medical Marijuana

The Florida Board of Medicine will hold a public hearing on February 3, 2017 to discuss its proposed amendment to Florida’s telemedicine practice rules. The proposed amendment, published December 8, 2016, is intended to clarify that physicians may not order medical cannabis or low-THC cannabis via telemedicine.

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.”

Interested physicians and providers may want to attend the public hearing, both to learn more about the Board’s position on medical marijuana and telemedicine, and to contribute their perspectives to inform the discussion.  Some points of potentially-useful clarification to discuss at the hearing may include, for example:

  • Whether or not a physician may conduct a telemedicine-based exam to qualify a patient for Florida’s compassionate use registry (and start the 90 day clock), assuming the physician subsequently conducts and in-person exam prior to ordering medical marijuana?

  • Whether or not a physician may use telemedicine-based exams for follow-up or interim consults with patients receiving medical marijuana?

Some states, like California, do not prohibit telemedicine-based examinations for medical marijuana, while others, like Colorado, require an in-person examination prior to recommending medical marijuana. Even in states that allow telemedicine-based examinations for medical marijuana, providers should keep in mind that the examination for the condition for which medical marijuana is being recommended must be an appropriate prior examination and meet the standard of care.

What’s Next?

The Florida Board of Medicine public hearing will occur on February 3, 2017 at 8:00 a.m., at:

The Omni Orlando Resort at Championsgate

1500 Masters Boulevard

Championsgate, Florida 33896

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About this Author

Thomas B. Ferrante, Foley, Healthcare Regulatory Lawyer, Transactional Matters Attorney
Associate

Thomas (T.J.) Ferrante is an associate and health care lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, where he focuses his practice on a wide range of transactional and related regulatory issues for health industry clients, including for-profit and not-for-profit hospitals and health systems, multi-specialty physician practice groups, and long-term care providers. Mr. Ferrante has experience with a variety of transactions, including mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, strategic affiliations, obtaining and maintaining tax-exemption, employment contracts and leases, and other...

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Partner

Nathaniel (Nate) Lacktman is a partner and health care lawyer with Foley & Lardner LLP, and a Certified Compliance & Ethics Professional (CCEP). His practice focuses on health care compliance, counseling, enforcement and litigation, as well as telemedicine and telehealth. Mr. Lacktman is a member of the firm’s Health Care Industry Team which was named “Law Firm of the Year — Health Care Law” for three of the past four years on the U.S. News – Best Lawyers® “Best Law Firms” list. 

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