Statement from First Natural Wellness, in conjunction with Komorn Law regarding telemedicine for medical marijuana
ANN ARBOR, Mich. - March 19, 2020 (Investorideas.com Newswire) Yesterday Michigan medical marijuana physicians, attorneys, patients, and their caregivers called on Governor Gretchen Whitmer to provide urgent and swift action via an executive order to allow certifying physicians the emergency capabilities to certify patients via telemedicine.
In times of need, communities stand together to defend the weak. Komorn Law, First Natural Wellness, and the Michigan Medical Marijuana Association (MMMA) is comprised of stakeholders and citizens who are urging Governor Whitmer to take the COVID-19 pandemic seriously by allowing physicians to provide telemedicine consultations for patients who need medical cannabis therapy.
The Michigan Medical Marihuana Act ("MMMA") provides immunities for physicians to recommend medical cannabis, and immunities for patients to engage in the medical use of marijuana. The MMMA, as with other expectations of licensed physicians in Michigan, requires that a bona fide relationship exist between the physician and the patient. In April of 2012 (2012 PA 2012 512) the Legislature in Michigan by a Super Majority vote amended the MMMA (2012 Public Act 512) to specifically define the term "bona fide physician-patient relationship." The amendment to the MMMA created and defined the term "Bona Fide" as follows:
(a) "Bona fide physician-patient relationship" means a treatment or counseling relationship between a physician and patient in which all of the following are present:
(1) The physician has reviewed the patient's relevant medical records and completed a full assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition, including a relevant, in-person, medical evaluation of the patient.
Said another way, only physicians who interact with medical marijuana patients are required to meet in person and or are precluded from those interactions occurring via telemedicine.
Legislators who lobbied for this face-to-face requirement in the law were simultaneously approving telemedicine visits for insurance reimbursements for almost every other medical visit except medical marijuana consultations.
Many of the 300,000 Medical cannabis patients are the sickest patients in the State. They have some of the most severe conditions for physicians to evaluate, including Cancer, HIV/AIDS, Hep C, Arthritis, and Glaucoma just to name part of the qualifying conditions list. These are the sickest people in the state, and current law mandates that these patients interact with their physicians in person. In light of the COVID-19 pandemic and the State of Emergency our Governor declared for the State of Michigan, we are demanding that our state officials address this issue. This enormous population of medical marijuana patients and their physicians are currently being overlooked and ignored. Putting aside the unexplained stigma excluding medical marijuana patients and doctors from telemedicine, the existing policy is subjecting an enormous population of sick patients and their physicians to a dangerous and irrational policy, arguably which should never have existed.
Now is the time to urge Governor Gretchen Whitmer to protect all of our citizens, including patients and physicians. Please call Governor Whitmer's office at 517-373-3400 or 517-335-7858 and urge her to let physicians provide medical marijuana certifications via telemedicine services immediately.
Michael Komorn, Komorn Law
First Natural Wellness, Michigan's Most Trusted Medical Marijuana Certifications
MMMA, Michigan Medical Marijuana Association
SOURCE First Natural Wellness
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