Ottawa launches mandated review on cannabis law: Weekly regulatory news
Ottawa launches cannabis review: 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. Licensing agency says Michigan doctors can delegate authority to pharmacists on birth control prescriptions, legislators agree to investigate transparency and reporting practices at New Hampshire Board of Medicine, and more in our weekly look at regulatory news.

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Ottawa launches mandated review on cannabis law

The Canadian government has launched a long-awaited review of how legalizing marijuana has affected the health of Canadians, the domestic cannabis industry, and the black market. When Justin Trudeau’s Liberal Party passed the Cannabis Act in October 2018, which legalized recreational cannabis in Canada, the law included a provision to review the impact of legalization on public health, youth consumption, and Indigenous peoples and communities after three years. Now a year late, the government opted to expand that review to examine whether legal cannabis has made any progress displacing the illicit black market. Morris Rosenberg, a lawyer who has served as deputy minister of justice, health, and foreign affairs, will lead the panel of five experts conducting the review. Over the coming months, they will hear from the public, governments, Indigenous peoples, youth, marginalized and racialized communities, cannabis industry representatives and medicinal cannabis users, as well as experts in health, substance use, criminal justice, and law enforcement. Read more from Global News.

Michigan doctors may empower pharmacists to prescribe birth control pills, licensing agency says

Gov. Gretchen Whitmer recently announced that Michigan pharmacists will be able to prescribe women self-administered hormonal birth control, after the state’s licensing agency released a new interpretation of the public health code. According to the interpretation published by the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs, Bureau of Professional Licensing, licensed physicians may choose to delegate to a licensed pharmacist the authority to authorize and dispense the contraceptives. To participate in the optional program, a pharmacist must complete training regarding the prescription, and the physician will have to provide predetermined procedures and drug protocols, among other requirements. The change is part of a broader effort by the governor’s office to facilitate greater access to birth control and increase protections for reproductive health care in the wake of the Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade. Read more at M Live.

Legislators will investigate transparency, reporting at NH Board of Medicine

Members of New Hampshire’s Health and Human Services Oversight Committee unanimously agreed to set up a subcommittee that will take a “deep dive” into the transparency and reporting practices of the state’s Board of Medicine. The subcommittee is tasked with comparing the board’s practices with those of other states and will provide recommendations for legislative changes after their investigation concludes. The move was prompted by a Boston Globe investigation into Yvon Baribeau, a now-retired heart surgeon, which detailed at least 20 malpractice settlements Baribeau made in New Hampshire. Lawmakers questioned why the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine had extensive records of the settlement payments while New Hampshire’s board had none – even though the events occurred in New Hampshire. Republican lawmaker Mark Pearson, who will chair the new subcommittee, said that there will also be a separate ongoing legislative review of the state’s Office of Professional Licensure and Certification (OPLC), which oversees the administration of 47 occupational licensing boards. Read more from Yahoo! News.

Survey shows physician burnout continuing at record levels, one-third feel ‘hopeless’

An annual survey by the non-profit Physicians Foundation found that physician wellbeing in America remains low two years into the pandemic. Sixty percent of the 1,509 physicians who completed the online survey said they often feel burned out, compared with 40% before the pandemic. In addition, one in three respondents reported feeling hopeless or that they had no purpose, and the share of physicians with self-harm thoughts grew from 7% in 2021 to 11% in 2022. Despite the record levels of burnout and distress, Physicians Foundation President Gary Price noted that stigma surrounding seeking mental health care and underlying system barriers are preventing physicians from getting help. “Nearly four in 10 physicians were either afraid or knew another physician fearful of seeking mental health care because of questions asked in medical licensure, credentialing, or insurance applications,” said Price. Although the share of physicians who sought medical attention for a mental health problem rose from 14% in 2021 to 19% in 2022, 80% of respondents reported stigma surrounding mental health and mental health care-seeking by physicians. Read more at Medpage Today.

Connecticut joins Interstate Medical Licensure Compact and Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact

With the passage of two important pieces of legislation by the state’s General Assembly, Connecticut will streamline licensure and broaden mental health care access by joining both the Interstate Medical Licensure Compact (IMLC) and the Psychology Interjurisdictional Compact (PSYPACT) on Oct. 1. The IMLC streamlines the licensing process for qualified physicians who want to practice in the multiple states that make up the compact. In addition to making it easier for physicians to obtain licenses in Compact States, the IMLC improves access to both in-person and telemedicine services for Compact State patients and also enhances the ability of member states to share investigative and disciplinary information. PSYPACT, a similar but more far-reaching agreement, allows qualified psychologists to practice via telehealth in Compact States for an unlimited amount of time and to provide in-person services for a period of 30 days per year per participating state. Similar to the IMLC, PSYPACT also provides for a coordinated licensure information system that enables Compact States to report any disciplinary action taken against a psychologist. Read more from JD Supra.

More news:

  • The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department is warning its 500,000 licensees about a scheme in which thieves posing as department staff or investigators are demanding money from potential victims. The scammers are telling licensees that they are under investigation, their license may be suspended, or an arrest warrant has been issued in their name. The agency advises licensees to hang up if they receive such a call, saying it does not contact licensees to demand payment of any kind.
  • A Utah doctor and lawyer pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor charges of attempted tampering with a witness and attempted illegal distribution of a controlled substance, admitting in court papers that he wrote a prescription for a woman who was not his patient and then asked her to not cooperate with police investigators. The man had been a licensed physician in Utah and several other states for over 30 years but relinquished his Utah medical license after a Division of Professional Licensing investigation in 2014. He has agreed to surrender his DEA registrations and has resigned from the Utah State Bar.
  • Building on recent legislative tax reform efforts meant to attract workers and businesses to Kentucky, the state’s Chamber Center for Policy and Research is recommending a slate of additional reforms, which include allowing local taxing jurisdictions to phase out occupational licensing taxes on employee payrolls and business net profits and replace them with local sales and use taxes.

Also noteworthy:

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BC expands licensure pathway for international doctors: 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.
British Columbia expands licensure pathway for internationally educated doctors, Ohio amendment could change the future of social work, proposal to reduce cosmetology licensure hours in Virginia sparks backlash, and more in our weekly look at regulatory news.

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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

Doctors handshaking.
British Columbia
BC expands licensure pathway for international doctors: 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.
British Columbia expands licensure pathway for internationally educated doctors, Ohio amendment could change the future of social work, proposal to reduce cosmetology licensure hours in Virginia sparks backlash, and more in our weekly look at regulatory news.

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