Medical and Mental Health Professionals

Who is a Health Care Professional?

A health care professional is an individual licensed in Vermont to practice medicine under 26 V.S.A. chapter 23 or 33, an individual licensed as a naturopathic physician under 26 V.S.A. chapter 81, an individual certified as a physician assistant under 26 V.S.A. chapter 31, or an individual licensed as an advanced practice registered nurse under 26 V.S.A. chapter 28.

This definition includes individuals who are professionally licensed under substantially equivalent provisions in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, or New York.

Responsibilities of the Patient’s Health Care Professional

The only responsibilities of a health care professional with regards to the provisions of the Marijuana Registry is to verify that the patient has a debilitating medical condition and whether or not the health care professional has had a “bona fide health care professional-patient relationship” with the applicant. The phrase “Bona fide health care professional-patient relationship” means a treating or consulting relationship of not less than three months duration, in the course of which a health care professional has completed a full assessment of the registered patient’s medical history and current medical condition, including a personal physical examination.

The three-month requirement shall not apply if:

  • A patient has been diagnosed with:
    • A terminal illness;
    • Cancer; or
    • Acquired immune deficiency syndrome;
  • A patient is currently under hospice care;
  • A patient was diagnosed with a debilitating medical condition by a health care professional in another jurisdiction where the patient had been living and the diagnosis has been confirmed by the health care professional completing the Health Care Professional Verification Form;
    • The new health care professional must complete a full assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition, including a personal physical examination.
  • ​A registered patient who is renewing his or her ID card changes health care professionals three months or less prior to renewal;
    • The new health care professional must complete a full assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition, including a personal physical examination.
  • ​A patient is referred by his or her health care professional to a specialist, and the specialist conducts a full assessment of the patient's medical history and current medical condition, including a personal physical examination; or
  • A patient's debilitating medical condition is of recent or sudden onset.
What Qualifies as a Debilitating Medical Condition?

A debilitating medical condition means:

  • Cancer;
  • Multiple sclerosis;
  • HIV;
  • AIDS;
  • Crohn's disease;
  • Parkinson's disease;
  • Glaucoma;
    • if the disease or the treatment results in severe, persistent, and intractable symptoms.
  • PTSD (requires the Mental Health Care Provider Form); or
  • A disease, medical condition, or its treatment that is chronic, debilitating, and produces one or more of the following intractable symptoms:
    • cachexia or wasting syndrome;
    • chronic pain;
    • severe nausea; or
    • seizures.
Protections for Health Care Professionals

A health care professional who has participated in a patient’s application process under the statute, rules, policies or procedures of the Marijuana Registry shall not be subject to arrest, prosecution, or disciplinary action under 26 V.S.A. chapter 23, penalized in any manner, or denied any right or privilege under state law, except for giving false information, pursuant to  18 V.S.A. § 4474c(f).

Health Care Professionals are not prescribing or recommending the use of marijuana. They are verifying the nature of the disease and its symptoms.

Voiding a Registry Identification Card 

A Health Care Professional may remove a patient from the Registry, if they completed the Health Care Professional Verification Form for that patient. If a Health Care Professional wishes to void a registered patients ID card, he or she would notify the Registry in writing requesting to void the registered patient’s registry ID card. A Health Care Professional may notify the Registry by e-mail.

Privacy and Confidentiality

All applications and supporting information submitted by registered patients, including information regarding their caregiver and health care professional are confidential. Records maintained by the Department of Public Safety that identify applicants for a registry identification card, registered patients, registered caregivers, and registered patient’s health care professionals are confidential.

Tags: 

Contact Information

Vermont Marijuana Registry
45 State Drive
Waterbury,  VT  05671-1300
Tel: (802) 241-5115
Fax: (802) 241-5230
Email: DPS.MJRegistry@vermont.gov