A number of changes have been made to the state's medical marijuana law after Gov. Doug Burgum signed several bills Tuesday.
Due to the emergency clauses included in the bills, all legislative changes went into effect immediately after Burgum signed them.
"These changes will increase qualifying patients' access to marijuana products, alleviate a concern identified by the medical community and improve the operations of the Division of Medical Marijuana," Jason Wahl, division director, said in a statement Wednesday.
These changes include:
- Removal of the requirement for a health care provider to state that, in their professional opinion, the patient is likely to receive a therapeutic or palliative benefit from the use of medical marijuana.
- In lieu of a written certification, a veteran receiving treatment from a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs entity may submit their medical records.
- Added physician assistant to the definition of a health care provider.
- Twelve medical conditions were added to the list of debilitating conditions.
Wahl told the Tribune that health care providers expressed concerns about the requirement that they must, in filling out a written certification form, write that the patient is likely to benefit from the use of medical marijuana.
Some providers indicated they were unsure if the patient would benefit, Wahl said.
The removal of this requirement still means a health care provider has to fill out the written certification form indicating the patient has a qualifying condition.
The state Department of Health said applications for qualifying patients and designated caregivers, as well as the written certification form, have been updated to reflect legislative changes.
On May 3, a detailed list of changes will be placed on the Division of Medical Marijuana's website at ndhealth.gov/MM.