Cannabis Control Commission Now Offering Digital Application for Registering as a Certifying Healthcare Provider
WORCESTER—Today the Cannabis Control Commission (Commission) announced that it is now offering digital applications for interested physicians, nurse practitioners, and physician assistants to join the Massachusetts Medical Use of Marijuana Program (Program) for the first time since its inception nearly 10 years ago.
Starting Thursday, May 26, prospective Certifying Healthcare Providers (Providers) will be able to download and complete a digital, fillable PDF with their qualifications and interest in providing certifications for Qualifying Patients in Massachusetts, and then email it to register with the state’s Program. More information is available on the Commission’s main website, MassCannabisControl.com, under the Frequently Asked Questions page or the Certifying Healthcare Providers page.
“Our staff took initiative to eliminate the paper-based registration process for Certifying Healthcare Providers and bring it in line with the agency’s other digital applications. This change is just one more way that the Commission continues to prioritize making Massachusetts’ Medical Use of Marijuana Program more accessible to both Certifying Healthcare Providers and the patients who rely on their care,” said Executive Director Shawn Collins. “I am hopeful that this updated process will minimize the burden on Providers who are interested in registering and encourage them to participate in our program.”
This application update is one of several enhancements the Commission has implemented since assuming Program oversight in December 2018. Over the last 3.5 years, the agency has moved both the medical program and license application for Medical Marijuana Treatment Centers (MTCs) to the Medical Use of Marijuana Program Online System (MMJOS) and Massachusetts Cannabis Industry Portal (MassCIP), and reduced MTC license application fees from $31,500 to $3,500. The Commission also eliminated patient registration and renewal fees, introduced an Initial Access certification process for Patients and Caregivers to streamline access to medicine, and expanded the use of Telehealth certification during the COVID-19 state of emergency, among other updates.
As of the beginning of May, Massachusetts’ Program was composed of 293 Registered Certifying Physicians, 105 Registered Certifying Nurse Practitioners, 1 Registered Physician Assistant, 7,907 Active Caregivers, and 96,999 Certified Active Patients.
Locations of dispensing MTCs are available through the Commission’s Find A Retailer function at MassCannabisControl.com. Additional Program data, including license information and medical sales, is available by visiting the Open Data Platform.
Licensed MTC Locations by Massachusetts County as of May 2022
It is free to apply for and register to become a Provider in Massachusetts. Providers will need at least one established place of practice in the Commonwealth and hold:
- An active, full license with no prescribing restrictions that is in good standing with the Board of Registration in Medicine (“BORIM”), Board of Registration in Nursing (“BORIN”), or Board of Registration of Physician Assistants (“BORPA”), as applicable;
- A Massachusetts Controlled Substances Registration (“MCSR”) number; and
- A Certified Nurse Practitioner or a Physician Assistant will also need an attestation from their board-certified, supervising physician stating that there are mutually agreed upon guidelines regarding the proposed Healthcare Provider’s prescriptive practices.
All Providers also must complete a minimum of 2.0 Category 1 continuing professional development credits prior to issuing certifications for the medical use of marijuana. The continuing education program must explain the proper use of cannabis, including side effects, dosage, and contraindications. The program must also educate on the topics of substance abuse recognition, diagnosis, and treatment related to marijuana.
If you or someone you know has questions about becoming a Certifying Healthcare Provider in Massachusetts, contact the Commission at (774) 415-0200 or Commission@CCCMass.com.
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