California, Cannabis and Telehealth: Part 2

In my last post in this two-part series, I focused specifically on California’s current relationship with telehealth and cannabis. Without a doubt, physicians are free to recommend medical cannabis to qualified patients via telehealth platforms, apps, and tech so long as both Prop. 215 and telehealth laws and regulations are followed by the physician.

This post will zoom in on the legality of the financial and business relationships allowed in California between the telehealth platform, the physicians that use that platform to treat patients, and medical cannabis companies.

As you may know, there are two types of telehealth business models in existence, synchronous (real-time) and asynchronous (“store-and-forward”) platforms and apps usually owned and run by third-party non-physicians. Per my last post, the top question we get in this arena is how the telehealth platform can have a financial or referral relationship with a medical cannabis business — typically a dispensary — so that patients using the platform have a credible and consistent source from which to purchase their medical cannabis in compliance with state cannabis laws. The answer here is multi-layered and complex.

Physicians in California are barred from both providing cannabis to their patients and from helping them acquire

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