Acts not constituting crimes or unprofessional conduct — Health care professionals not subject to penalties or liabilities.
(1) The following acts do not constitute crimes under state law or unprofessional conduct under chapter 18.130 RCW, and a health care professional may not be arrested, searched, prosecuted, disciplined, or subject to other criminal sanctions or civil consequences or liability under state law, or have real or personal property searched, seized, or forfeited pursuant to state law, notwithstanding any other provision of law as long as the health care professional complies with subsection (2) of this section:
(a) Advising a patient about the risks and benefits of medical use of cannabis or that the patient may benefit from the medical use of cannabis; or
(b) Providing a patient meeting the criteria established under *RCW 69.51A.010(26) with valid documentation, based upon the health care professional's assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition, where such use is within a professional standard of care or in the individual health care professional's medical judgment.
(2)(a) A health care professional may only provide a patient with valid documentation authorizing the medical use of cannabis or register the patient with the registry established in **section 901 of this act if he or she has a newly initiated or existing documented relationship with the patient, as a primary care provider or a specialist, relating to the diagnosis and ongoing treatment or monitoring of the patient's terminal or debilitating medical condition, and only after:
(i) Completing a physical examination of the patient as appropriate, based on the patient's condition and age;
(ii) Documenting the terminal or debilitating medical condition of the patient in the patient's medical record and that the patient may benefit from treatment of this condition or its symptoms with medical use of cannabis;
(iii) Informing the patient of other options for treating the terminal or debilitating medical condition; and
(iv) Documenting other measures attempted to treat the terminal or debilitating medical condition that do not involve the medical use of cannabis.
(b) A health care professional shall not:
(i) Accept, solicit, or offer any form of pecuniary remuneration from or to a licensed dispenser, licensed producer, or licensed processor of cannabis products;
(ii) Offer a discount or any other thing of value to a qualifying patient who is a customer of, or agrees to be a customer of, a particular licensed dispenser, licensed producer, or licensed processor of cannabis products;
(iii) Examine or offer to examine a patient for purposes of diagnosing a terminal or debilitating medical condition at a location where cannabis is produced, processed, or dispensed;
(iv) Have a business or practice which consists solely of authorizing the medical use of cannabis;
(v) Include any statement or reference, visual or otherwise, on the medical use of cannabis in any advertisement for his or her business or practice; or
(vi) Hold an economic interest in an enterprise that produces, processes, or dispenses cannabis if the health care professional authorizes the medical use of cannabis.
(3) A violation of any provision of subsection (2) of this section constitutes unprofessional conduct under chapter 18.130 RCW.
[2011 c 181 § 301; 2010 c 284 § 3; 2007 c 371 § 4; 1999 c 2 § 4 (Initiative Measure No. 692, approved November 3, 1998).]
| Reviser's note: *(1) RCW 69.51A.010(26) is a reference to the definition of "qualifying patient" which was amended and renumbered by 2011 c 181 § 201, but the section was vetoed by the governor.|
**(2) The section creating a registry, 2011 c 181 § 901, was vetoed by the governor.
Intent -- 2007 c 371: See note following RCW 69.51A.005.