The Medical Board of California’s Task Force on Medical Marijuana, which meets February 8 at MBC headquarters in Sacramento, will accept written input through February 5. Interested parties should address their comments to Lisa.Toof@mbc.ca.gov.
The Task Force consists of LA opthalmologist Howard Krauss, MD, and CocoCounty lawyer/politico Kristina Lawson. The meeting will be held in the hearing room at 2005 Evergreen Street (Med Board headquarters) from 1 to 5 p.m., or until completion. It will be videoed but not streamed.
Yesterday (Jan. 24) the board finally posted the Task Force agenda —reprinted below— on its website. One sentence buried in the last paragraph is highly significant and comes in the wake of a protest by the Society of Cannabis Clinicians. The MBC’s Task Force, at least for now, is shelving the Federation of State Medical Boards’ proposal that cannabis clinicians not use cannabis themselves. But the Federation (which is funded by PhRMA-funded foundations) is pushing other items on its agenda. They want California (and every other state board’s) Enforcement Division to initiate investigations based on the number of approvals a physician issues and the number of plants a physician authorizes patients to grow. Ostensibly aimed at profiteers, the policy revision would result in harassment of dedicated cannabis clinicians —the true specialists— and would infringe on patients’ rights.
California’s current guidelines on issuing marijuana approvals have been in effect since 2004. The Federation of State Medical Boards is promoting more restrictive “model guidelines.” Here’s the agenda and additional info provided by the Task Force for the February 8 Meeting:
1. Call to Order2. Presentation on the California Bureau of Medical Cannabis Regulation – Awet Kidane, Director, Department of Consumer Affairs3. Overview of the Board’s Current Statement on Marijuana for Medical Purposes – Ms. Kirchmeyer4. Presentation on Senate Bill SB 643 (McGuire, Chapter 719, Statutes of 2015) – Ms. Simoes5. Overview of the Federation of State Medical Boards’ Model Guidelines for the Recommendation of Marijuana in Patient Care – Dr. Krauss, Ms. Kirchmeyer, and Ms. Robinson6. Discussion Regarding the Revision of the Board’s Statement on Marijuana for Medical Purposes7. AdjournmentMeetings of the Medical Board of California are open to the public except when specifically noticed otherwise in accordance with the Open Meetings Act. The audience will be given appropriate opportunities to comment on any issue presented in open session before the Board, however, the Chair may apportion available time among those who wish to speak. For additional information call (916) 263-2389.A person who needs disability-related accommodations or modifications in order to participate in the meeting may make a request by contacting Lisa Toof at (916) 263- 2389 or Lisa.Toof@mbc.ca.gov Providing your request at least five (5) business days before the meeting will help ensure availability of the requested accommodation.Pursuant to Business and Professions Code (B&P) section 2525.1, the Medical Board of California (Board) is authorized to develop and adopt medical guidelines for the appropriate administration and use of medical cannabis. In 2004, prior to B&P section 2525.1 becoming law, the Board adopted a statement to provide guidance to physicians regarding recommending marijuana to patients. This statement was amended by the Board in October 2014. With the addition of B&P section 2525.1, the Board will be reviewing its current statement and making any necessary amendments to its existing statement. The intention of the guidelines is to provide physicians guidance when evaluating a patient and providing a recommendation for marijuana in order to ensure the standard of care is followed.The purpose of the Marijuana Task Force (Task Force) is to receive information and input from interested parties on revisions to the Board’s current statement. In order to conduct a successful meeting in the time allotted, any interested party may notify the Board they will be attending and provide written materials for the Task Force to consider. The submission of materials prior to the meeting is encouraged, but voluntary, to allow the Task Force Members time to review the materials prior to the meeting. If you wish to submit materials prior to the meeting, please email them to Lisa.Toof@mbc.ca.gov prior to February 6, 2017.The Task Force does not intend to discuss physicians’ use of marijuana at this meeting. The Board relies on B&P sections 822 and 2239, among other applicable codes and regulations, to take appropriate action if it receives a complaint about physician impairment.