There has been considerable traction in 2 non-traditional approaches to healthcare: execution of telemedicine, and the prescribing of marijuana to treat few health conditions over the last five years. But certain states are nervous about the 2 overlapping, selecting to particularly ban the telemedicine’s use to prescribe medical marijuana at the similar time as expanding legal use of the substance in a healthcare atmosphere.
The Florida Legislature approved two bills to expand the use of medical marijuana for patients last week who meet particular eligibility parameters. But one line stipulates that similar level of acceptance of the oft-debated drug won’t hold up for Florida patients during the virtual visits.
Under the new bill, which is anticipated to be signed into law by Florida Governor Rick Scott soon, sufferers must be in the similar physical location as the doctor during the examination to ascertain whether they qualify for medical cannabis. That means any Florida resident who needs to get a medical marijuana certification can’t do so through virtual visits.
The Florida Board of Medicine was floating the concept of barring physicians from using telemedicine technology to order medical marijuana since previous year, and in the month of December issued an amendment to proposed telemedicine regulations to mention the restriction on medical marijuana.
It is a complicated situation for states to navigate, considering the patchwork of federal, state and local laws around medical marijuana use as well as the state-by-state nature of telemedicine laws. California, which was the 1st state to pass the legal use of medical marijuana, does not prohibit the telemedicine’s use to gain the substance. But even the region of Colorado – by far the most liberal state in the nation in terms of legal marijuana use – still needs an in-person examination prior to any virtual visit to gain medical cannabis.
Telemedicine visits are being offered by the one startup particularly for cannabis prescription. HelloMD, a service that utilizes telemedicine to link individuals with doctors willing and capable to prescribe medical marijuana, recently raised more than a million dollars through equity crowdfunding on SeedInvest.