Bona Fide Physician/APRN-Patient Relationship REQUIRED

Please be advised that Physician/APRN oversight is provided by the applicable body (i.e. board of medicine or board of nursing) and DCCA/RICO, who the Department is working with to coordinate our efforts to ensure program compliance.  Additional physician/APRN requirements are spelled out in the medical cannabis administrative rules (i.e. bona fide physician/APRN-patient relationship).

The Department of Health EXPECTS ALL certifying physicians/APRNs:

  1. To act with integrity and in accordance with the professional and ethical standards of conduct explicitly articulated or inherently implied by their profession.
  2. To conduct a complete in-person (face-to-face) assessment of all new patients, including a complete review of all applicable medical records.
  3. To conduct individual assessments for EACH patient that they certify (NOT group assessments, NOT group meetings, etc.).
  4. To advise patients that they are NOT authorized to use medical cannabis until such time that DOH has issued, and they receive, their 329 Card.


Does the physician/APRN need to maintain a relationship with the patients that they certify? YES – Certifying physicians/APRNs are REQUIRED to maintain a bona fide physician/APRN-patient relationship with the qualifying patient.

A”bona fide physician/APRN-patient relationship” means a relationship in which the physician/APRN has ongoing responsibility for the assessment, care, and treatment of a qualifying patient’s debilitating medical condition with respect to the medical use of cannabis which means:

  1. The physician/APRN has completed a full assessment of the qualifying patient’s medical history and current medical condition, including conducting a review of the qualifying patient’s medical records related to the debilitating condition, as medically appropriate, and conducting an in-person physical examination;
  2. The physician/APRN provides follow up care and treatment, as medically appropriate, to the qualifying patient and assesses the qualifying patient’s condition during the course of the qualifying patient’s medical use of cannabis; and
  3. The physician/APRN maintains records of the qualifying patient’s treatment and condition in accordance with medically accepted standards.


Does the physician/APRN have to comply with registration requirements?  YES – protections afforded to treating physicians, pursuant to 329-126, require that:

  1. The physician/APRN has diagnosed the patient as having a debilitating medical condition, as defined in section 329-121;
  2. The physician/APRN has explained the potential risks and benefits of the medical use of cannabis, as required under section 329-122;
  3. The written certification is based upon the physician/APRN’s professional opinion after having completed a full assessment of the patients medical history and current medical condition made in the course of a bona fide physician/APRN-patient relationship; and
  4. The physician/APRN has complied with the registration requirements of section 329-123.