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Medical Providers Can Pre-Register To Recommend Cannabis Cards

Mohammad Faisal Pirzada

In March, Utah residents who want to use medical cannabis can register to receive a medical cannabis card, which will allow them to purchase and possess marijuana in the state. In preparation for this, the Utah Department of Health is encouraging interested physicians to pre-register for the certification required to recommend the drug.

“The idea is, is that we want the electronic system to be preloaded with provider names and information. And that way when the program rolls out, and patients are applying for cards, they already have the names of the medical providers that they're meeting with, loaded into the system,” said Richard Oborn, the director of  the health department’s center for medical cannabis.

Oborn said the preregistration happening in February should hopefully streamline the process for patients who want to apply in March for medical cannabis cards.

As part of this registration, medical providers who qualify will complete at least four hours of health department-approved training and pay a $100 fee. If a provider agrees, their information will be made available online to help patients connect with a doctor who can recommend cannabis.

Dr. Marc Babitz, the health department deputy director, said he hopes many doctors and medical providers will register so patients can receive cannabis recommendations the professionals they are already working with.

“I would hate to see patients have to go from doctor to doctor just to find somebody would recommend medical marijuana,” Babitz said. “I would really hope that their primary care doctor is the one they could go to, who knows them, that'd be my ideal, but we'll see.”

Babitz said one benefit of this centralized system is it will allow providers like himself to share information about the impact different doses of cannabis have on treating specific medical conditions.

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