Your Privacy as a Florida Medical Cannabis Patient
Much like other patient-physician relationships, relationship between marijuana doctors and patients is bound by the confidentiality standards that the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPPA) established.
Doctors specializing in medical cannabis cannot release any information without the patient’s explicit written consent. Even more, they cannot report your status as a holder of a medical cannabis card to local law enforcement or the federal/state government agencies. Your status as a holder of the card will not show up in any background check.
And if you are worried that your potential employers will know about your medical marijuana use, you should not. Employers will never know about your medical cannabis card holder status. Insurance companies will not also know about it.
The Compassionate Use Registry
The Compassionate Use Registry is basically a secure online electronic database for the registration of patients who are already qualified for medical cannabis and the ordering doctors. Doctors who recommend medical marijuana have to enter the patient’s data into this registry and update it regularly.
In Florida, the medical cannabis doctor has to submit the treatment plan of a patient to the College of Pharmacy at the University of Florida after every three months. The college uses the information for research purposes on the safety and efficiency of low-THC cannabis on patients. After a doctor decides to discontinue the medication, he/she has to deactivate the patient’s registration on the Compassionate Use Registry.
Among the treatment plans that a medical cannabis doctor should record include the ordered dose, the administration method, and the planned use duration, effects of medical cannabis on the patient’s symptoms and signs of tolerance or reactions to medical cannabis.
Only a licensed medical marijuana-ordering physician can access the Compassionate Use Registry. Before a doctor starts ordering marijuana, he/she should meet all education requirements and attain the Medical Quality Assurance (MQA) services credentials. To request access to the database, other individuals have to complete the Request for Access to the Compassionate Use Registry Form. They should also fall in one of the following three classes:
- Law enforcement officials
- Permitted employees in dispensing organizations
- Authorized employees in Compassionate Use Registry Department
Also, anyone seeking to access the Compassionate Use Registry has to complete the department-approved course on confidentiality of a patient successfully. After complete the course, they receive a completion certificate, which they should forward to the department if requested to provide it.