Medical marijuana has the potential to create huge licensing issues for physicians and all other health care practitioners.  On May 17, 2018 what was a temporary regulation became a final annual regulation that targets medical doctors for discipline.

Identified at 28 PA. Code § 1181.25, any physician identified in the Medical Marijuana Practitioner Registry will now be subject Department of Health annual reviews. Mandatory Arrest Reporting Responsibility The review will seek to determine if the physician’s license is inactive, expired, suspended, revoked, limited or otherwise restricted by the applicable medical board, or if the physician has been subject to professional disciplinary action.  This insures that every medical marijuanna “Medical Practitioner” must report to the Medical Board and the Department of Health both upon arrest and annually, any arrests and/or pending disciplinary action.

Professional disciplinary action is defined as a disciplinary proceeding taken by the applicable medical board against a physician that results in a corrective action or measure. A corrective action or measure is not identified,. However, this language can be interpreted it to include any, even the most minor, disciplinary results against a physicians license. This could be a simple administrative fine for failing to maintain continuing medical education credits, to an inadvertent disciplinary action based upon a malpractice claim in a civil matter that occurred several years prior to a physician’s participation in the registry.

Pennsylvania Code provision 28 PA. Code. § 1181.26 states a practitioners registration will be denied, revoked, or suspended if the Medical Board has taken any disciplinary action, including an immediate temporary action, against that physician’s license.The Automatic Suspension This means if for any reason a physician has been subject to immediate preliminary license suspension based upon a violation of any Pennsylvania law or Medical Board regulation allowing for an emergency suspension of their license, the Department of Health is ordered to automatically revoke that medical practitioners registration in the Medical Marijuana program.

These new disciplinary rules are hidden in the Pennsylvaniadministrative code temporary actions that are now effective. The public dissemination of these regulations is quite insufficient. Now marijuana growers, users, focus on the forms of medical marijuana now available in the state, the types of products, and where dispensaries are and how they may advertise is broadcast throughout the state.  However, the types of disciplinary action to which physicians may be subject is not discussed.  Be careful.

Call me to discuss your licensing issues.