Alaska introduces licensing for crypto money transmitters: Weekly regulatory news 
Alaska requires license for crypto money transmitters
The Week in Brief is your weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what's happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy. In this week's regulatory news, Ontario's regulatory body for physicians announces a 12-week program to streamline licensure for internationally trained doctors, while Alaska requires companies engaged in money transmission involving virtual currency to obtain a license.

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Foreign-trained doctor credential recognition program coming in Ontario

The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario (CPSO) says a three-month Practice Ready Assessment (PRA) program that would recognize the foreign credentials of physicians could be implemented in the province as early as spring 2023. Currently, seven provinces across Canada use PRA programs to support the licensure of internationally trained physicians who have already completed their training and practiced independently abroad. These programs offer a streamlined pathway to licensure for internationally trained professionals by allowing their qualifications to be assessed over a 12-week period through supervision and direct observation.

The implementation of a PRA program could go a long way in alleviating the shortage of doctors in Ontario, but the CPSO is also urging the government to immediately increase the number of residency positions available to internationally-educated physicians – both foreign nationals and Canadians who choose to study medicine abroad – as many of these physicians end up working in other countries because they are unable to secure a residency in Canada. Read more at Canada Immigration News.

Alaska introduces licensing for crypto money transmitters

As of Jan. 1, 2023, companies engaged in money transmission involving virtual currency will be required to obtain a money transmission license in Alaska. The state’s Division of Banking and Securities (DBS) amended money transmitter regulations in November to include virtual currency transactions within the definition of money transmission.

Prior to the enactment of this new regulation, companies engaged in virtual currency activity were required to enter into a Limited Licensing Agreement (LLA) with DBS, which required the company to post a statement saying that its money transmitter license did not cover virtual currencies. With the explicit inclusion of virtual currency within DBS regulations, DBS is phasing out the LLA requirement and these agreements were voided effective Jan. 1. It is unclear if current licensees that engage in virtual currency activity will have to take any additional actions because of the new regulations. The National Law Review advised that for these companies, their current licenses should presumably cover their virtual currency activity, but that the DBS should provide clarity on this point. Read the full story here.

Nebraska governor issues executive order aimed at strengthening health care workforce

In conjunction with Gov.-elect Jim Pillen, Nebraska Gov. Pete Ricketts has issued an executive order to expedite resources for hospital planning and increase health care workforce capacity in the state. The order expands the eligibility of health care professionals in Nebraska and suspends statutes regarding provisional licensure and examination results, allowing professionals to practice in their field as long as other requirements for licensure have been met. Requirements have also been deferred for in-person client contact hours and face-to-face, on-site training, allowing for remote alternatives to both in order to obtain a license. Although the executive order is set to expire at the end of June 2023, the Nebraska Department of Health and Human Services says it will work with the unicameral to make these changes permanent. Read more at KSNB Local4 News.

Kingston considers rental licensing program

A new licensing system for rental landlords could be coming to Kingston, Ontario. Four years after the idea was first considered, city council recently approved a motion from Sydenham District Councillor Conny Glenn to direct staff to look at the potential of a licensing system for landlords renting property in Sydenham and Kingscourt-Rideau districts. Councillors in support of licensing say that it could help address the power imbalance between landlords and tenants which has been exacerbated by the housing crisis. Glenn noted that in her district, many of the renters are students who are new to the rental market and may not yet have the confidence to speak up for themselves about the condition of their accommodations.

But some councillors expressed concerns about the city’s capacity to enforce new rules. “We all too often try to regulate ourselves out of problems or create rules,” said Pittsburgh District Councillor Ryan Boehme. “Unfortunately, there are a lot of good landlords out there and there are also some ones, absentee landlords, that may not necessarily follow a lot of these rules in the first place.”

The report is expected to come to council late next year. Read more in the Kingston Whig Standard.

FDA considers regulating cannabis compound CBD in foods, supplements over safety concerns

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is reportedly planning to announce a regulatory framework for products like CBD that are derived from legal cannabis in the coming months amid concerns about product quality and safety. CBD products have proliferated in the years since the enactment of the 2018 farm bill legalized industrial hemp, but the lack of a federal regulatory framework has given rise to concerns about consumer safety and shortcomings in quality assurance that may lead to THC being included in some CBD products meant to exclude it.

Although they can’t currently be branded as dietary supplements or added to food products under FDA rules, CBD products are often touted as helping to relieve pain, reduce anxiety, and promote sleep. The FDA is researching the effects of CBD in conjunction with the National Institutes of Health (NIH), and those findings will inform its recommendations about regulations for CBD products. Once the FDA is ready to move forward with making regulatory recommendations, it will have to decide whether CBD products can be regulated as food or dietary supplements, rather than drugs, or if the agency will need to develop a new framework or call upon Congress to enact a law on the subject. Read more from Yahoo! Finance.

More news:

  • As of Jan. 1, 2023, individuals living in Arizona with criminal backgrounds can petition the court to have their records sealed from public view, as long as they have not been convicted of a class one felony, violent crime, and/or sexual offense.
  • Lawmakers in British Columbia are facing backlash from medical professionals over the passage of Bill 36, new legislation that will merge regulatory colleges in health care professions and make sweeping changes to the way they function going forward. Professionals specifically oppose administrative changes that will allow the province to appoint the board members who hear and make decisions on issues of professional misconduct.
  • The U.S. Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and other North American regulatory authorities announced they are conducting an inquiry into the power outages caused by extreme weather during historic winter storm Elliott. Regulators will probe operations of the bulk power system to identify performance issues and recommend solutions, ensuring that the electric sector is better prepared for future extreme weather events.

Also noteworthy:

Disclaimer: The thoughts, opinions, and commentary of the articles we share links to in Week in Brief do not necessarily reflect those of Ascend Magazine or Thentia. 

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IN BRIEF

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The Week in Brief is your weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what's happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy.
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Alaska requires license for crypto money transmitters

Alaska introduces licensing for crypto money transmitters: Weekly regulatory news 

The Week in Brief is your weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what's happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy.
In this week’s regulatory news, Ontario’s regulatory body for physicians announces a 12-week program to streamline licensure for internationally trained doctors, while Alaska requires companies engaged in money transmission involving virtual currency to obtain a license.

Read More »
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The Week in Brief is your weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what's happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy.
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Ariel Visconti
Written byAriel Visconti
Ariel Visconti researches and writes on government and politics, regulation, occupational licensing, and emerging technologies.

IN BRIEF

Health Care Regulation
Ohio lawmakers consider bill to localize licensure appeals: Weekly regulatory news 

The Week in Brief is your weekly snapshot of regulatory news and what's happening in the world of professional licensing, government technology, and public policy.
Ohio lawmakers consider bill to localize state agency licensure appeals, Canadian Medical Association welcomes new rules enabling health worker mobility in Ontario, and more in this week’s look at regulatory news.

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