From Dale Gieringer, Oct. 27

SB 643 doesn’t use the term “cannabis clinic,” it refers specifically to entities that dispense.

Ms Simoes used the term mistakenly in her analysis.

MEMO (Managing Editor Mouths Off):

What does it say about the Medical Board of California that their “Chief of Legislation” doesn’t know the meaning of “cannabis clinic?” Many cannabis clinicians are counting on the board to distinguish between serious specialists —themselves— and quick-buck artists. 

From Perry Solomon, MD, to Dr. Goldstrich, Oct. 27

Thanks for your review of SB 643 in this issue. The language is still a bit vague however in the law as it stands now. ie the line ““attending physician” as an individual who possesses a license in good standing…… and who has taken responsibility for an aspect of the medical care, treatment, diagnosis, counseling, or referral of a patient.” I would interpret the phrase “an aspect of the care” as meaning that “the aspect” would be evaluation of that patient and their condition and of prescribing MMJ for that patient if appropriate. It is analogous to a neurologist, etc evaluating the patient for their “aspect” of care.

Ms. Simoes does not comment on this. Your thoughts?

From Joe D. Goldstrich, MD, FACC to Dr. Solomon, Oct 27

I agree, the wording is somewhat vague. I read and searched SB 643 last night and nowhere did I find mention of “cannabis clinic”. It’s not clear to me how the medical board can not allow a cannabis clinic to directly or indirectly employ physicians based on SB 643. I’m not even sure about the definition of a “cannabis clinic”.

I’m not sure either that I totally agree with your attending physician/neurologist analogy. When a neurologist performs a consultation the report is sent back to the referring or primary care physician. The primary care physician or the neurologist will follow up with the patient. I think it’s pretty rare for the MMJ physician to call or to send a copy of their consultation to another physician who then takes charge of that aspect of the patient’s care. Since the patient must have a serious medical condition in order to get the  MMJ recommendation, it might not be appropriate for the follow-up to only be a return visit in a year when the recommendation needs renewing.  I may be a little too old-school having graduated from medical school over 50 years ago. I think the intent of the legislation and the medical board is to curtail the sometimes cavalier way that medical cannabis is being recommended. When I went to the High Times Cannabis Cup last year there was a tent with physicians cranking out recommendations every few minutes. I think the intent of the legislation and the medical board is to put a stop to that kind of activity.  Just my opinion.