SALT LAKE CITY — Intermountain Healthcare, Utah’s largest healthcare provider, will allow thousands of its doctors and nurse practitioners to recommend medicinal marijuana to their patients.
To get a letter of recommendation, a patient will first have to make an appointment with his or her medical provider and go over treatment options. They also need to have a condition covered by the Utah Medical Cannabis Act. If the doctor feels it’s the best course of action, then he or she will sign the letter.
At the announcement in Salt Lake City today, Dr. Mark Briesacher stressed that these are letters of recommendation and not prescriptions. He explained they’re similar to if a doctor asked someone to try an over the counter medication. That’s why doctors will never be required to recommend medicinal cannabis, CBD oil, or similar products if they are not comfortable with that.
Intermountain had been working on the guidelines for over a month after the legislature modified the voter-approved Proposition 2 medicinal cannabis measure.
Libertas Institute President Connor Boyack, who helped pass Prop. 2, said, “This allows patients throughout the state to have these conversations with their doctors. It’s a really big deal.”
Other patients advocates at today’s event said while it’s fairly easy to get medicinal marijuana in Utah, the state is at least a year away from its first legal dispensary, so patients may need to travel to get their medicine.
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