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Florida: No Telemedicine Exams for Medical Marijuana

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.

FloridaThe 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.

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About this Author

Nathaniel Lacktman, Health Care Attorney, Foley and Lardner Law Firm
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. 

813-225-4127
Thomas B. Ferrante, Foley, Healthcare Regulatory Lawyer, Transactional Matters Attorney
Senior Counsel

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 transactional matters.

Mr. Ferrante also advises health care clients in all aspects of federal and state regulatory matters, including anti-kickback, self-referral laws, state licensure, fee splitting, Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement and compliance, and federal laws related to clinical trials. He has represented clients investigated by various federal and state agencies, including the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General, the Florida Agency for Health Care Administration, and the Florida Board of Medicine.

813-225-4148