69.51A.010  <<  69.51A.030 >>   69.51A.040

Acts not constituting crimes or unprofessional conductHealth care professionals not subject to penalties or liabilities.

*** CHANGE IN 2019 *** (SEE 1094-S.SL) ***
(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 marijuana or that the patient may benefit from the medical use of marijuana; or
(b) Providing a patient or designated provider meeting the criteria established under RCW 69.51A.010 with an authorization, based upon the health care professional's assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition, if the health care professional has complied with this chapter and he or she determines within a professional standard of care or in the individual health care professional's medical judgment the qualifying patient may benefit from the medical use of marijuana.
(2)(a) A health care professional may provide a qualifying patient or that patient's designated provider with an authorization for the medical use of marijuana in accordance with this section.
(b) In order to authorize for the medical use of marijuana under (a) of this subsection, the health care professional must:
(i) Have a documented relationship with the patient, as a principal care provider or a specialist, relating to the diagnosis and ongoing treatment or monitoring of the patient's terminal or debilitating medical condition;
(ii) Complete an in-person physical examination of the patient;
(iii) Document 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 marijuana;
(iv) Inform the patient of other options for treating the terminal or debilitating medical condition and documenting in the patient's medical record that the patient has received this information;
(v) Document in the patient's medical record other measures attempted to treat the terminal or debilitating medical condition that do not involve the medical use of marijuana; and
(vi) Complete an authorization on forms developed by the department, in accordance with subsection (3) of this section.
(c) For a qualifying patient eighteen years of age or older, an authorization expires one year after its issuance. For a qualifying patient less than eighteen years of age, an authorization expires six months after its issuance. An authorization may be renewed upon completion of an in-person physical examination and compliance with the other requirements of (b) of this subsection.
(d) A health care professional shall not:
(i) Accept, solicit, or offer any form of pecuniary remuneration from or to a marijuana retailer, marijuana processor, or marijuana producer;
(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 marijuana retailer;
(iii) Examine or offer to examine a patient for purposes of diagnosing a terminal or debilitating medical condition at a location where marijuana is produced, processed, or sold;
(iv) Have a business or practice which consists primarily of authorizing the medical use of marijuana or authorize the medical use of marijuana at any location other than his or her practice's permanent physical location;
(v) Except as provided in RCW 69.51A.280, sell, or provide at no charge, marijuana concentrates, marijuana-infused products, or useable marijuana to a qualifying patient or designated provider; or
(vi) Hold an economic interest in an enterprise that produces, processes, or sells marijuana if the health care professional authorizes the medical use of marijuana.
(3) The department shall develop the form for the health care professional to use as an authorization for qualifying patients and designated providers. The form shall include the qualifying patient's or designated provider's name, address, and date of birth; the health care professional's name, address, and license number; the amount of marijuana recommended for the qualifying patient; a telephone number where the authorization can be verified during normal business hours; the dates of issuance and expiration; and a statement that an authorization does not provide protection from arrest unless the qualifying patient or designated provider is also entered in the medical marijuana authorization database and holds a recognition card.
(4) Until July 1, 2016, a health care professional who, within a single calendar month, authorizes the medical use of marijuana to more than thirty patients must report the number of authorizations issued.
(5) The appropriate health professions disciplining authority may inspect or request patient records to confirm compliance with this section. The health care professional must provide access to or produce documents, records, or other items that are within his or her possession or control within twenty-one calendar days of service of a request by the health professions disciplining authority. If the twenty-one calendar day limit results in a hardship upon the health care professional, he or she may request, for good cause, an extension not to exceed thirty additional calendar days. Failure to produce the documents, records, or other items shall result in citations and fines issued consistent with RCW 18.130.230. Failure to otherwise comply with the requirements of this section shall be considered unprofessional conduct and subject to sanctions under chapter 18.130 RCW.
(6) After a health care professional authorizes a qualifying patient for the medical use of marijuana, he or she may discuss with the qualifying patient how to use marijuana and the types of products the qualifying patient should seek from a retail outlet.
[ 2015 c 70 § 18; 2011 c 181 § 301; 2010 c 284 § 3; 2007 c 371 § 4; 1999 c 2 § 4 (Initiative Measure No. 692, approved November 3, 1998).]


Short titleFindingsIntentReferences to Washington state liquor control boardDraft legislation2015 c 70: See notes following RCW 66.08.012.
Intent2007 c 371: See note following RCW 69.51A.005.
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