BOSTON — Massachusetts doctors have written more than 53,000 medical marijuana certifications, FOX25 Investigates has uncovered.
The number of medical marijuana approvals has come under scrutiny after the state medical board suspended two doctors for approving thousands of marijuana patients without examining them – including a driver who had marijuana in his system when he hit and killed a state trooper in March.
In all, 78 Massachusetts doctors have approved patients for medical marijuana, but a small number of doctors are certifying a large of medical marijuana patients, according to state records obtained by FOX25.
The top five doctors approving medical marijuana patients – including the two recently suspended doctors – account for 45 percent of the all certifications in the state, according to Department of Public Health records.
Dr. John Nadolny approved the second highest number of marijuana patients in the state – 5,792 through Canna Care – before the state suspended his license last month.
Multiple former Canna Care nurse practitioners have told FOX25 Investigates that they were evaluating patients on their own and approving medical marijuana patients using several Canna Care doctor's names – including Nadolny.
Massachusetts law requires doctors – not nurses – to have a “bona fide” relationship with a patient before recommending them for medical marijuana.
Canna Care is currently under investigation for approving medical marijuana use for David Njuguna, who prosecutors said had marijuana in his system when he hit and killed State Trooper Thomas Clardy as he sat stopped in his cruiser on the side of the Mass Pike.
In the past, Canna Care executives has defended its practices and its doctors, telling FOX25 that the company “stands by all of its current certifications as we believe they are in compliance with state law.”
The state also suspended another doctor -- Tyrone Cushing of CannaMed in Framingham – earlier this month for improperly recommending patients for medical marijuana – including one pregnant woman with a history of opioid abuse.
© 2020 Cox Media Group