Hermitage doctor approved as medical marijuana caregiver - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Hermitage doctor approved as medical marijuana caregiver

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A Hermitage physician is the first Mercer County practitioner to receive approval from the Pennsylvania Department of Health as a caregiver under the state's new medical marijuana program.

Dr. Robert Brown, 3150 Highland Rd., a practitioner of physical medicine and rehabilitation, is included on the state's Medical Marijuana Patient and Caregiver Registry which was unveiled Wednesday by Acting Health Secretary and Physician General Dr. Rachel Levine.

The state’s Medical Marijuana Program signed into law on April 17, 2016, is designed to provide access to medical marijuana for patients with a serious medical condition through a safe and effective method of delivery that officials say balances patient need for access to the latest treatments with patient care and safety.

More than 300 physicians have registered with the department to participate in the program.

As of Wednesday, 109 were approved as practitioners. The remaining physicians are completing the required continuing education and review process.

“Right now, patients and caregivers across Pennsylvania can go to our website at medicalmarijuana.pa.gov and register to participate in the medical marijuana program,” Dr. Levine said. “More than 100 physicians have been approved to certify patients, bringing us one step closer to getting medical marijuana to Pennsylvanians who desperately need relief. As Governor Wolf promised when he legalized the program last year, we are on track to deliver medication to patients in the next six months.”

Prior to registering, health officials advise patients and caregiver to take these steps:

  • Talk to your physician to see if medical marijuana is right for you and ask them if they are registered with the program;
  • Make sure the address on your state-issued identification or driver’s license matches where you currently reside; and
  • If you need assistance in getting medical marijuana, designate a caregiver to help.

“We cannot underestimate the role physicians have played in making sure that patients can access medical marijuana,” Dr. Levine said. “Our physician workgroup also has been helping to make sure this program remains medically focused and an important tool in our medical toolkit.”

Since the Medical Marijuana Program was signed into law the department has:

  • Completed the Safe Harbor temporary guidelines and Safe Harbor Letter application process, as well as approved 324 applications;
  • Completed temporary regulations for growers/processors, dispensaries physicians, and laboratories, all which have appeared in the Pennsylvania Bulletin;
  • Issued permits to grower/processors and dispensaries;
  • Developed the Medical Marijuana Physician Workgroup;
  • Approved four training providers for physician continuing education;
  • Approved two laboratories to test medication before it is delivered to patients; and
  • Approved two grower/processors to begin production of medical marijuana.

The Medical Marijuana Program became effective on May 17, 2016, and is expected to be fully implemented by 2018. The program will offer medical marijuana to patients who are residents of Pennsylvania and under a physician’s care for the treatment of a serious medical condition as defined by the Medical Marijuana Law.

Questions about the Medical Marijuana Program can be emailed to RA-DHMedMarijuana@pa.gov. Information is also available on the Department of Health website at www.health.pa.gov.

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