A Missouri’s medical marijuana program announced late Friday that it launched an investigation after it determined that patient medical marijuana cards have been issued to applicants whose doctor paperwork was sent in with an unauthorized signature.
“It was a person/people impersonating a doctor,” Department of Health and Senior Services spokesperson Lisa Cox said. She said some 600 patients were affected, and that the department could not comment on who was being impersonated.
The investigation has been referred to the Missouri attorney general’s office and the Missouri Board of Healing Arts, DHSS said.
DHSS said at this time, there’s no evidence to indicate the affected patients were aware the physician listed was not the physician who met with them. However, the physician certification for these patients was not valid.
The state health department said that patients whose doctor paperwork had the fake signatures will be notified and allowed 30 days to submit a valid physician certification to the health department. Patients will be responsible for paying a doctor a new physician certification fee, if the doctor charges one, Cox said.
But DHSS will not charge the patient a new state registration fee.
If they don’t send in valid paperwork, the patient license will be revoked. A pro-rated refund of the original registration fee for the amount of time left on the deactivated license will be provided, DHSS said in a news release.
“Through our many types of regulatory efforts, we remain watchful for any wrongdoing in order to protect Missourians,” said Randall Williams, a physician who is director of DHSS. “Our main concern is how this fraudulent activity negatively affects patients, and we are working to minimize the impact on them while also holding accountable those who are responsible.”
Anyone with further information can contact the medical marijuana program call center at 866-219-0165, 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org, the health department said.