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RECOMMENDING CANNABIS IN WYOMING
Under HB 32 any person licensed to practice medicine in Wyoming and certified in neurology by a nationally recognized neurological physician organization may certify a patient for registration in the Hemp Extract Registry. The neurologist is required to provide a certification indicating that the patient has been diagnosed with intractable epilepsy and may benefit from treatment with medical cannabis. The neurologist must then maintain a record of their evaluations of the registered patient including their response to medical cannabis extracts and transmit a copy of those records to the Wyoming Department of Health.
Under the Wyoming Patient Cannabis Act of 2022, a healthcare provider who can recommend medical cannabis refers to a physician, physician assistant or nurse practitioner who maintains a license in good standing to practice medicine issued by the state of Wyoming and who is licensed, registered or otherwise permitted by the United States or the jurisdiction in which the person practices to dispense a controlled substance in the course of professional practice.
To issue a medical marijuana certification to a patient, the physician must:
- Have established a relationship with the patient, formed for the purpose of the health care provider providing medical diagnosis or treatment to the patient, whether or not for compensation, and has completed a full assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition
- Determined that the risk of the patient's use of medical marijuana is reasonable in light of the potential benefit
- Explained the risks and benefits of using medical marijuana to the patient. If the patient is younger than eighteen (18) years of age, treatment involving medical marijuana shall not be provided without consent by at least one (1) custodial parent, guardian, conservator or other person with lawful authority to consent to the patient's medical treatment
The medical marijuana certification shall expire one (1) year from the date issued and may thereafter be considered for recertification.
Neither law enforcement of this state or of a political subdivision of this state nor an occupational licensing board shall initiate an administrative, civil or criminal investigation of, deny any professional right or privilege to or pursue professional disciplinary action against a health care provider authorized by this chapter, solely on the ground that the health care provider:
- Discussed with a patient the use of medical marijuana as a treatment option
- Issued a medical marijuana certification in compliance with all relevant provisions of this chapter
- Otherwise made a written or oral statement that, in the health care provider's professional opinion, the potential health benefits of the patient using medical marijuana would likely outweigh the health risks.
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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