Source: Orlando Sentinel
by Emily Jiannetto
Florida has one of the stricter medical marijuana programs when compared to other states. This includes a ban on telehealth marijuana evaluations (Kam). To help stop the spread of COVID-19, the Florida government allowed for telehealth visits for renewal visits for those who currently hold a medical marijuana card from March 16, 2020, to June 26, 2021.
Some Florida doctors are voicing concerns about the online service Veriheal—the Deleware-based corporation—that has an online service in Florida that helps those interested in obtaining a medical marijuana card. However, the company allows offers to “split” fees with the Florida doctors they recommend; doctors could receive $55 of the $199 Veriheal to evaluate patients (Kam). According to Aaron Bloom, the CEO of DocMJ, he and some other doctors from his physician group filed a petition with the Board of Medicine, asking them to look into the legality of Veriheal’s practices (Kam). They were concerned that the “fee-splitting” violated a Florida law “prohibiting patient brokering” (Kam).
Medical marijuana has only been legal in Florida for about seven years, so there are still many gray areas in regulating the program. This particular situation with Veriheal has caused some certified doctors to become concerned about the reputation of medical marijuana practitioners (Kam).