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RECOMMENDING CANNABIS IN COLORADO
Medical professionals recommending medical cannabis must be an M.D. or D.O. in good standing with an active Colorado medical license. Physicians with conditions or restrictions on their licenses, or out-of-state licenses, are not accepted. Physicians must have an active DEA certification. For purposes of recommending medical marijuana, in good standing means:
- The physician holds a doctor of medicine or doctor of osteopathic medicine degree from an accredited medical school;
- The physician holds a valid license to practice medicine in Colorado that does not contain a restriction or condition that prohibits the recommendation of medical marijuana or for a license issued prior to July 1, 2011, a valid, unrestricted and unconditioned; and
- The physician has a valid and unrestricted United States Department of Justice federal drug enforcement administration-controlled substances registration
Based on Board of Health regulations, only physicians who have a bona fide physician-patient relationship with a particular patient may "certify to the state health department that the patient has a debilitating medical condition and that the patient may benefit from the use of medical marijuana." A bona fide relationship means:
- A physician and a patient have a treatment or counseling relationship, in the course of which the physician has completed a full assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition, including an appropriate personal physical examination;
- The physician has consulted with the patient with respect to the patient's debilitating medical condition before the patient applies for a registry identification card; and
- The physician is available to or offers to provide follow-up care and treatment to the patient, including but not limited to patient examinations, to determine the efficacy of the use of medical marijuana as a treatment of the patient's debilitating medical condition.
Qualifying Debilitating Medical Conditions include:
- HIV or AIDS
- Persistent muscle spasms
- Severe nausea
- Severe pain
To recommend medical cannabis for only disabling medical conditions in Colorado you must be one of the following types of advanced practice practitioners with prescriptive authority:
- Physician’s assistant
- Advanced nurse practitioner
This requires advanced practice practitioners with prescriptive authority to be in good standing, licensed to practice in Colorado, and have a valid and unrestricted DEA certification.
Qualifying Disabling Medical Conditions include:
- Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)
- An Autism Spectrum Disorder
- Any condition for which a physician could prescribe an opioid
Medical professionals have a legal right to recommend cannabis as a treatment in any state, as protected by the First Amendment. Established by a 2004 United States Supreme Court decision to uphold earlier federal court rulings that found doctors and their patients have a fundamental Constitutional right to freely discuss treatment options.
More resources for medical professionals can be found here.
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