Your Privacy as a Florida Medical Cannabis Patient
Similar to other patient-physician relationships, the relationship between marijuana doctors and patients is bound by the confidentiality standards set by 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, it is illegal for them to report your holding status as a medical cannabis user 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.
It’s perfectly reasonable to worry about the access your potential employers could have to your medical marijuana use. However, you needn’t suffer. Employers will never know about your medical cannabis card holder status. Likewise, insurance companies will not know about your state either.
The Compassionate Use Registry
The Compassionate Use Registry is a secure, online electronic database for patients who are already qualified to receive medical cannabis and order doctors. Doctors who recommend medical marijuana have to enter the patient’s data into this registry and update it on a regular basis.
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 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.
Medical doctors should record not only the treatment plans but the details that go with them. That includes the ordered dose, the administration method, planned use of duration, anticipated effects on the patient’s symptoms, as well as signs of tolerance or reactions to the medicine.
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
Anyone seeking to access the Compassionate Use Registry has to complete the department-approved course on confidentiality of a patient successfully. After completing the course, they receive a completion certificate which they should forward to the necessary department.