Medical marijuana by telehealth extended

Boston Statehouse
Medical Marijuana Illinois_231689

FILE – In this May 5, 2015, file photo, a marijuana plant grows at a Minnesota Medical Solutions greenhouse in Otsego, Minn. A southeastern Illinois company says it has started growing medical marijuana and may be the first in the state to do so. Officials at Ataraxia in the Edwards County city of Albion, Ill., […]

BOSTON (SHNS) – As the pandemic drags on, the Cannabis Control Commission has decided to extend its waiver of the requirement that new medical marijuana patients become registered through an in-person visit with a certifying physician and will also allow patients to renew their medical marijuana cards through telehealth appointments.

When Gov. Charlie Baker ordered non-medical marijuana stores to close last March, the CCC made it easier for people to access medical marijuana by allowing them to seek registration through virtual means with certified physicians but Executive Director Shawn Collins said anyone who went that route would need to see the physician in person before renewing their registration.

“The Executive Director, acting on behalf of the Commission, has determined the requirement that Patients seeking Program certification or renewal be physically present for a clinical visit … would cause undue hardship to Providers and Patients by increasing the risk of their exposure to COVID-19,” Collins wrote in a memo to providers Tuesday.

“Therefore, so long as Governor Baker’s Emergency Order is in place, waiver … is allowed for Patients who wish to register for the first time with the Program in Massachusetts. Clinical visits, including for renewal, are permitted through telehealth means.”

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