The medical staff of the Holistic Center, Dr. Robert Wong, MD and Diane Tarr, MS, APRN, BC, caution patients not to obtain their medicine from Massachusetts caregivers unless they are your own “personal” caregiver. The staff supports the need for patients to obtain their medical cannabis immediately but does not support allowing one caregiver to supply medicine to an unlimited number of patients. Their concern is that a personal caregiver would not be able to provide adequate personal care to patients if he is responsible to care for an unlimited number of patients. The Holistic Center’s medical staff states, “Distributing medical cannabis to an unlimited number of patients removes the “personal” from “personal caregiver” to the detriment of the patient’s health.”
The Holistic Center’s medical staff supports revising the current DPH regulation 725.020(D) to one personal caregiver to care for up to five (5) patients as in Rhode Island and Maine. Dr. Wong and Diane urge DPH to get behind the eleven dispensaries with provisional licenses and do everything in its power to facilitate and accelerate their opening. They do not support enjoining the DPH from enforcing their regulations of one patient-one caregiver (105 CMR 725.020(D)) .
This release is in response to the lawsuit filed by Yankee Caregivers (“Yankee”) and several of their patients requesting an injunction against the Department of Public health (“DPH”) in Supreme Judicial Court Court, SJ2014-0264. Among other things, they are requesting that the DPH not be allowed to enforce the one caregiver-one patient regulation, 105 CMR 725.020(D). The impetus for their filing was that the DPH sent Yankee and their patients a cease and desist order because they were flagrantly violating the one-patient-one-caregiver regulation as reported by the Boston Globe on June 27, 2014. “The Holistic Center refuses to violate any regulations because our patients’ health is of utmost concern. Too much is at stake.” Dr. Wong stated. “Yankee is giving the medical marijuana industry here in Massachusetts a bad reputation.” the Holistic Center’s attorney, stated. He continued, “Furthermore, the caregivers and the associated clinics and doctors who have been providing patients with the caregivers’ names should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law and forced to shut down immediately because this willful violation of 105 CMR 725.020(D) is nothing more than illegal distribution of a Class D substance. Contrary to their statements, both the caregivers and the clinics that support them have profited handsomely from this illegal activity. There is a proper, legal mechanism for changing DPH regulations. It is not to violate regulations as Yankee has done over the past year and justify their actions in the name of patients.”
The Holistic Clinic’s medical staff understands that the DPH implemented this regulation to protect patients from impure medicine, con men, and common drug dealers. The staff has received several complaints from their patients that the medical cannabis they have obtained from Massachusetts caregivers has exacerbated their debilitating condition not benefitted it.
Yankee caregivers states that their marijuana is tested. But, the Holistic Center attorney points out, “DPH regulations specifically exempt personal caregivers from any of the requirements of 105 CMR 725.105 including the testing of the marijuana. If the DPH is enjoined from enforcing the one-patient-one-caregiver regulation then these caregivers will be able to sell untested, poor quality marijuana to patients. The current regulations are reasonably enacted to protect the patients’ health. The caregiver’s request for injunctive relief is based solely on profit motive and nothing more. Their desire to provide the patients with their medicine immediately is merely a pretext. Profit is necessary but the patients’ health is of far more importance.”
Dr. Wong and Diane provide quality medical advice to their medical marijuana patients and other physicians. To this end, The Holistic Center expects the highest quality of medicine to be provided them. The Holistic Center will continue to advise patients not to obtain their medicine from caregivers who supply more than one patient.