Who is a Health Care Professional?
A health care professional is an individual licensed in Vermont to practice medicine under 26 V.S.A. chapter 23 or 33, an individual licensed as a naturopathic physician under 26 V.S.A. chapter 81, an individual certified as a physician assistant under 26 V.S.A. chapter 31, or an individual licensed as an advanced practice registered nurse under 26 V.S.A. chapter 28.
- This definition includes individuals who are professionally licensed under substantially equivalent provisions in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, or New York.
Responsibilities of the Patient’s Health Care Professional
The only responsibilities of a health care professional with regards to the provisions of the Marijuana Registry is to verify that the patient has a debilitating medical condition and whether or not the health care professional has had a “bona fide health care professional-patient relationship” with the applicant. The phrase “Bona fide health care professional-patient relationship” means a treating or consulting relationship of not less than three months duration, in the course of which a health care professional has completed a full assessment of the registered patient’s medical history and current medical condition, including a personal physical examination. The three-month requirement shall not apply if a patient has been diagnosed with:
- A terminal illness;
- Acquired immune deficiency syndrome; or
- Is currently under hospice care.
Debilitating Medical Condition
Patients with a specific disease or condition where reasonable medical efforts have been made over a reasonable amount of time to relieve the symptoms, means;
- Multiple sclerosis
- Glaucoma, or
- Treatment of these conditions, if the disease or the treatment results in severe, persistent, and intractable symptoms;
- A disease, medical condition, or its treatment that is chronic, debilitating, and produces one or more of the following intractable symptoms: cachexia or wasting syndrome; chronic pain; severe nausea; or seizures.
Protections for Health Care Professionals
A health care professional who has participated in a patient’s application process under the statute, rules, policies or procedures of the Marijuana Registry shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or disciplinary action under 26 V.S.A. chapter 23, penalized in any manner, or denied any right or privilege under state law, except for giving false information, pursuant to 18 V.S.A. § 4474c(f).
Health Care Professionals are not prescribing or recommending the use of marijuana. They are verifying the nature of the disease and its symptoms.
Debilitating Medical Condition Ceases
When the registered patient’s certifying Health Care Professional notifies the department in writing that the registered patient has ceased to suffer from a debilitating medical condition, the patient’s registry identification card becomes void 10 days after the date shown on the department’s written notice to the patient at his or her last known address. A Health Care Professional may notify the Marijuana Registry by e-mail, if the registered patient they certified has ceased to suffer from a debilitating medical condition.
Privacy and Confidentiality
All applications and supporting information submitted by registered patients, including information regarding their caregiver and health care professional are confidential. Records maintained by the Department of Public Safety that identify applicants for a registry identification card, registered patients, registered caregivers, and registered patient’s health care professionals are confidential.
The required Health Care Professional Verification Form is required, pursuant Title 18 Sections 4473(b). This form is available through the below link: