What to Look For in a Potdoc
Click Here for
the California Medical Board's Guidelines for Potdocs
First, you should check to see if the doctor has a current and valid license to practice medicine in the State of California. Next, you should check and see if he / she has any discipline actions against him / her. Make sure the doctor is not affiliated with any pot club. Don't go to a potdoc on the premises of any pot club. This is illegal. See Conant Vs Walters
for details. Make sure the doctor has an established office with proper
The California Medical Board has issued a set of
guidelines for Potdocs to follow that is posted on the Medical Board's web site.
The accepted standards for Potdocs are the same as any reasonable and prudent
physician would follow when recommending or approving any other medication, and
include the following:
In other words, if physicians use the same care in
recommending medical marijuana to patients as they would recommending or
approving any other medication, they have nothing to fear from the Medical
- History and good faith examination of the patient.
- Development of a treatment plan with objectives.
- Provision of informed consent including discussion of side effects.
- Periodic review of the treatment's efficacy.
- Physician Consultation, as necessary.
- Proper record keeping that supports the decision to recommend the use
of medical marijuana.
A physician who is not the primary treating physician
may still recommend medical marijuana for a patient's symptoms. However, it is
incumbent upon that physician to consult with the patient's primary treating
physician or obtain the appropriate patient records to confirm the patient's
underlying diagnosis and prior treatment history.
The initial examination for the condition for which medical marijuana is being recommended must be in-person.
Recommendations should be limited to the time necessary
to appropriately monitor the patient. Periodic reviews should occur and be
documented at least annually or more frequently as warranted. This makes
the maximum time limit for a recommendation issued to be one year, the
same as any standard prescription. If the patient has a chronic ongoing
qualifying medical condition, a new recommendation can be written when the
current one expires.
For more information on guidelines for PotDocs, see the
California Medical Board's web page for potdoc guidelines:
Click Here for the California Medical Board's Guidelines for Potdocs