A Florida administrative law judge has sided in favor of a physician who was accused by the state of having improper ties to medical cannabis dispensary Trulieve and not adequately evaluating an undercover investigator who sought a medical cannabis recommendation, CBS Miami reports.
Officials argued that Dr. Justin C.K. Davis violated the state’s medical cannabis law by subletting office space from a Trulieve dispensary in Lady Lake and that the physician served only as a “rubber stamp” when the investigator sought approval to use medical cannabis for purported post-traumatic stress disorder.
In the decision, Judge Garnett Chisenhall wrote that while it was “reasonable to infer” that Davis’ close proximity to a medical cannabis dispensary “facilitated the acquisition of patients” for the doctor and dispensary, the evidence showed that Davis and other physicians “were not receiving discounts on those subleases.” Additionally, Chisenhall determined that there was “no persuasive evidence” to suggest that Davis made referrals to Trulieve or that Trulieve referred prospective patients to Davis.
Chisenhall also determined that Davis “had a meaningful discussion” with the undercover investigator posing as a patient “and probably would have had a more in-depth discussion if [the investigator] had not been intentionally evasive.”
“Furthermore, the preponderance of the competent substantial evidence in this case demonstrates that Dr. Davis performed a meaningful review of [the investigator’s] medical history and symptoms, meaningfully discussed … PTSD symptoms with [the investigator], and in no way acted as a ‘rubber stamp’ of the prescription written.” – Judge Chisenhall in the decision
Under administrative law, Chisenhall’s recommendation will be sent back to the state’s Health Department for final action. Under the state’s cannabis law, physicians are prohibited from having “direct or indirect economic interest” in medical cannabis companies.