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Formal complaint filed against state’s first med-mar “clinic”

Tuesday, Dec 17, 2013

* I suggested months ago that there was something not quite right about the state’s first “medical marijuana clinic,” so I’m glad to see the state is taking some action

Months before any Illinois residents can legally purchase pot, state regulators have filed a formal complaint against the doctor who opened Good Intentions LLC, the first medical marijuana clinic in Illinois.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation, which inspected the clinic shortly after it opened in August in Wicker Park, said today that Dr. Brian Murray charged for “pre-certification for medical cannabis without conducting physical examinations” or “establishing a legitimate physician-patient relationship.”

The clinic vigorously disagrees.

“That’s absolutely false,” said Daniel Reid, general manager and spokesman for Good Intentions, which he said has received about 25,000 inquiries from potential patients since August. “He didn’t pre-qualify or anything of the sort.”

* From earlier this year

On Wednesday, the clinic charged some people a $99 fee for an individual care plan that would later be formulated. […]

Stuart Bander, 50, who said he’s been suffering from multiple sclerosis for 20 years, was disappointed with the staff’s answers to his questions about the law.

“I know more than they do,” he said. “They’re doing nothing.”

* Look, I don’t particularly love the state’s new medical marijuana law. It’s way too restrictive. Just legalize it and get it over with already. But we do have a law now and hinky practices need to be avoided. From an IDFPR press release…

“Unlike some states, Illinois law does not allow for ‘medical cannabis clinics’ or practices that exist solely to offer cannabis certifications,” IDFPR Acting Secretary Manuel Flores said. “We want to make sure that patients who would truly benefit from the relief of medical cannabis are not misled and physicians are not violating the law.”

The Compassionate Use of Medical Cannabis Pilot Program Act does not take effect until January 1, 2014 and rules for administration of the Act have yet to be finalized. The rules will not be adopted until the winter of 2014. Any entity or individuals touting their ability to help with compliance with the Act or offering services in furtherance of obtaining medical cannabis before rules are adopted should be treated with extreme caution.

The Act only permits a physician who has a bona fide physician-patient relationship and is treating the patient’s qualifying debilitating medical condition to certify them for use of medical cannabis. A physician may only accept payment from a patient for the fee associated with the required medical examination prior to certifying a patient for use of medical cannabis. Physicians cannot accept payment for the certification itself.

There is no specialty in medicine that treats all the various qualifying debilitating medical conditions listed in the Act. This means that one physician could not properly treat all patients eligible to use medical cannabis. Additionally, IDFPR would not consider a physician to be treating a patient for a condition if the only treatment being provided is a written authorization for the used of medical cannabis.

Any physician advertising as a “medical cannabis clinic” will immediately fall under the Department’s scrutiny. It may be appropriate for a specialist who treats one or more of the debilitating medical conditions to advertise that they are open to providing written authority. But, it is not appropriate for a physician to advertise that the purpose of the clinic is to provide such written authorization.

* Lou

“We did that to avoid what happened in California,” where physician offices or even websites were created solely to provide ID cards for medical marijuana, said Rep. Lou Lang, D-Skokie, a principal author of the law. “It’s a sham. We have no intention under our law to create a sham.”

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - OneMan - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 9:46 am:

    One of the few things that is good about the IL law IMHO is that you can’t just be Dr. Pot as it were.

  2. - Jim'e' - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 9:55 am:

    Lets just legalize it. Its a shame that people are in prison for simply possesing.

  3. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 9:56 am:

    Any new enterprise brings out the conmen and hustlers. “Good Intentions” is an ironic name for the clinic.

  4. - PoolGuy - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 9:59 am:

    a sham Lou? it’s not a sham to keep hundreds or thousands of offenders locked up for having a handful of weed on them? how much does that cost every year to say we’re tough on crime

  5. - Jolly1 - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 10:41 am:

    “It’s a sham. We have no intention under our law to create a sham.”

    Too late, Illinois Goverenment is a SHAM.

  6. - Roadiepig - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 10:57 am:

    That “over 55″ demographic that Farmer Bruce is cultivating will never be in favor of full legalization, and they do vote. Once this generation of over 55’s is no longer here marihuana prohibition will end. Simple, but true…

  7. - Sunshine - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 11:05 am:

    Actually the over 55 were the largest users of Mary Jane….from what I can recall….?

    Why do I all of a sudden have an urge for a frozen snickers?

  8. - Arthur Andersen - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 11:10 am:

    “Good Intentions?” The guy musta been baked when he thought that one up.

    I’m with you Rich. The law ain’t perfect but we don’t get to pick and choose which ones are enforced, except maybe noise ordinances in Springfield.

  9. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 11:33 am:

    I don’t think age has much to do with it. Mick Jagger is 70. Muddy Waters would be 100 if he were alive.

    I don’t know what the rational opposition is. I know a lot of top cops are against any loosening of marijuana laws because they’re still scoring big federal grants in the “War on Drugs” and confiscating cars when they find weed in it.

    Alcohol and nicotine are obviously the most dangerous and destructive drugs. Coming up fast, though, are the prescription painkillers like Oxy. Thousands are dying from accidental Oxy overdoses every year.

    The next death from a marijuana overdose will be the first.

  10. - A guy... - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 11:54 am:

    Ugly as this process is, it’s stuff like this that will eventually lead to full legalization of pot. I just hope they get the taxing policy on this right from the beginning. It ain’t often that a cottage industry with more than willing voluntary tax payers come forward.

  11. - Marie - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 12:12 pm:

    Those over 55 etc - “child of the 60’s” - “flower child” ever hear of those Roadiepig-

  12. - Roadiepig - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 12:13 pm:

    Wordslinger- I agree with you but most of the over 55 set have been brainwashed by “Reefer Madness” , fried eggs in a skillet, and other forms of government propaganda their entire lives with ,with many never even experiencing pot themselves. Anyone from my generation (I am 52) knows all of the scare tactics law enforcement and the DEA has used are false and realize alcohol and tobacco are MUCH worse on the body. But sit and talk to the average senior and they still believe it because “the government wouldn’t lie about marihuana “. Hard to change someone’s mind after decades of being lied to by those in charge. Full decriminalization with age restrictions is the only answer to ending this waste of prison space and law enforcement resources .

  13. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 12:15 pm:

    ===Those over 55 etc - “child of the 60’s” - “flower child” ever hear of those Roadiepig===

    Look at the poll numbers. Rp is right.

    Those hippies grew up and freaked out about their own kids and made everybody else pay for their paranoia with highly restrictive laws.

  14. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 12:24 pm:

    what came first the seed or the plant? who invented it?

  15. - A guy... - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 12:27 pm:

    Yep, Flower Children invented the DARE program.

  16. - Roadiepig - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 12:36 pm:

    Thanks Rich- and don’t forget many if those children of the 60’s became what they said they hated once they “grew up” ( corporate employed, conservative, chasing the dollar sign-that’s how life works sometimes). I was also including those in their 70’s and 80’s- most of those are still 100% against legalization of pot)- rock musicians not included ;-)

  17. - Hans Sanity - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 1:31 pm:

    The IL med marijuana law is a sham. Our legislators claim to recognize the medicinal value of cannabis but make it tougher to get than a handgun.

    At least those who want in CA can get it, regardless of their proximity to death’s door.

  18. - Ghost - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 2:59 pm:

    We could avoid all of this ridiculousness if we just made small amounts legal, and punished people for operating under the influence.

    On an antecdotal note, a cop friend of mine said he far preffered to arrest people who had been smoking marjiuanna then other drugs. He claimes the marijuanna folks tended to be calm in the process, while folks using other substances tended to be more agressive. I have no science to back that up, I just thought it was funny…legalize it and give the cops brownies instead of tasers…..

  19. - Sandy Champion - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 3:59 pm:

    Good to see the state stepping up to protect our patients. These pop up doctors are in this for one thing, money. No one should be opening any clinic or organization until the rules have been set in place. How can they if we don’t even know what’s allowed and approved by JCAR?

    To Hans Sanity, that is wrong, the law is NOT a sham. Those of us who supported and advocated for our loved ones knew we needed a program that was strict and is the strictest in the US and pushed for that. This is a pilot program, to be voted on again in four years. Last thing we want is a California situation. Worse, to have it fail to pass again in four years because the state failed to run a proper program. Our loved ones do not have the time to play roulette.

  20. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 4:36 pm:

    Good intentions ran into trouble in Michigan too. IL is being overly cautious with the new law but it was the best law we could pass.

  21. - A guy... - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 4:45 pm:

    ====Dr. Brian Murray charged for “pre-certification for medical cannabis without conducting physical examinations” or “establishing a legitimate physician-patient relationship.”=====

    Just totally not cool man.

  22. - Hans Sanity - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 5:06 pm:

    Certification for cannabis use???

    Let adults grow, buy, use, and possess as much as they want. Regulate commercial sales like liquor.

    Sandy, is it too much to let those of us who you might not love have that?

  23. - Sandy Champion - Tuesday, Dec 17, 13 @ 5:12 pm:

    Hans, that’s full legalization which is not what medical use is for. I get your concerns, not saying they’re not valid, but the California model is not what Illinois wants or will support. The bill isn’t perfect, but was what we could pass and what we will work with.

  24. - wordslinger - Wednesday, Dec 18, 13 @ 8:10 am:

    –Those hippies grew up and freaked out about their own kids and made everybody else pay for their paranoia with highly restrictive laws.–

    Upon further review, there’s a lot of truth in that.

    Some of the wildest kids I came up with are now the biggest scolds on today’s youths with the booze, sex, drugs and hip-hop.

    Of course, they were happily indulging in all of the above in the parking lot at high school, lol, (rock-and-roll, not hip-hop).

    I don’t know how kids get away with anything anymore. High schools are high security zones. When my sons would skip class, I’d get both an automated voice mail and email the same day. Teachers were constantly emailing me progress reports.

    How were they ever to learn the skill of stalking the postman to nap the detention reports mailed home before mom and dad could get them? A lost art.

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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