Our October 2015 meeting is all about protecting our privilege to recommend Medical Marijuana by setting guidelines for ourselves.  For if we don’t set our own guidelines, the Colorado Medical Board surely will. And that won’t be pretty.  So let’s get to it.

Colorado Senate Bill 15-014 signed into law by Governor Hickenlooper on May 18, 2015, Section 2, reads as follows:

12-36-141 Medical marijuana recommendations – guidelines. THE BOARD, IN CONSULTATION WITH THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC HEALTH AND ENVIRONMENT AND PHYSICIANS SPECIALIZING IN MEDICAL MARIJUANA, SHALL ESTABLISH GUIDELINES FOR PHYSICIANS MAKING MEDICAL MARIJUANA RECOMMENDATIONS.

Here are the Society of Cannabis Clinicians standards, modified slightly, that we will discuss in full at the meeting:

PRACTICE STANDARDS FOR CANNABIS APPROVALS
1. The initial history and good faith physical examination is face-to-face, in person, and confidential.

2. Documentation supports the diagnosis and decision to recommend cannabis. This includes relevant records and diagnostic studies when available, in addition to the patient’s name, gender, birth date, address, phone number, date of exam, and diagnosis, either by ICD-9 code or name of qualifying diagnosis.

3. Informed consent includes discussion of adverse effects, risk/benefit assessment, and medical-legal aspects of cannabis use – may be provided in educational materials and/or signed release of liability statements. In treating minors appropriate parental informed consent must be documented.

4. Patient’s treatment objective(s) & plan includes:
Discussion of methods of cannabis administration and effective usage of cannabis for the patient’s condition(s).
Consultations obtained when appropriate, and
Documented need for periodic review.

5. Periodic review of the treatment’s efficacy: The term of recommendation is made for what is medically appropriate and in accordance with relevant state law and medical board guidelines. The timing and method of the periodic review is at the discretion of the physician.

6. In accordance with federal law, the physician does not provide cannabis or aid and abet the patient in acquiring cannabis.

7. The physician agrees to abide by accepted standards of medical ethics.