(Salt Lake City, UT) – The Utah Department of Health (UDOH) today began pre-registration of medical providers for the state medical cannabis program. Registration as a qualified medical provider enables a medical provider to recommend medical cannabis cards for their patients.
Patient cards will be available beginning next month, but it’s important for medical providers to begin the process now of becoming a qualified medical provider.
“Medical providers have the option of pre-registering with the Department so their patients can purchase product in Utah when the program rolls out next month,” said Richard Oborn, director of the Center for Medical Cannabis at the UDOH. “The first patients to receive medical cannabis cards and be eligible to purchase cannabis product in Utah next month will be those with providers who pre-registered during the month of February. We are excited to offer this pre-registration option to medical providers in Utah.”
To register as a qualified medical provider with the medical cannabis program, a provider must:
- be licensed in Utah as a medical doctor (MD), osteopathic physician (DO), advanced practice registered nurse (APRN), or physician assistant (PA);
- hold a Utah controlled substance license;
- verify completion at least four hours of coursework pre-approved by the UDOH in medical cannabis treatment and medical cannabis laws;
- pay a $100 registration fee; and
- submit a complete application to the UDOH.
Once registered with the UDOH, qualified medical providers will have certain legal protections under the Utah Medical Cannabis Act and the Utah Controlled Substances Act.
“There has been a misunderstanding among providers about whether they can bill a patient’s health insurance for medical cannabis treatment. Providers are encouraged to bill a patient’s health insurance for the visits in which a medical card evaluation is done using a billing code appropriate for whatever aliment the patient is being seen for. We hope this clarification makes it easier for providers to help patients to access the care they need,” said Oborn.
When the program rolls out in March 2020, a patient can only receive a medical cannabis card by first submitting an online application and then receiving a recommendation for medical cannabis treatment from a medical provider registered with the UDOH. With their permission, the names and contact information of registered qualified medical providers will be posted online for patients to access.
For information on how to register as a qualified medical provider or to review coursework that fulfills the registration requirements, visit https://medicalcannabis.utah.gov/providers/.
A media availability will be held today at 1:30 p.m. at the Utah Department of Health, Cannon Health Building, 288 North 1460 West, Salt Lake City in room 125. Richard Oborn, director of the UDOH Center for Medical Cannabis, and Dr. Marc Babitz, UDOH deputy director, will be available to answer questions about the medical cannabis program and registering as a qualified medical provider.
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Public Information Officer