24 doctors certify most in Ariz.'s pot program

Associated Press Modified: November 9, 2012 at 6:01 pm •  Published: November 9, 2012

The report said Humble's agency has an agreement to help upgrade the state pharmacy board's controlled substances database that doctors are required to check before certifying a patient for the pot program. The improvements are aimed at improving a doctor's ability to check the patient's profile on the database. Officials say the check is meant to give doctors a full picture of a patient's treatment history.

Health officials work with the pharmacy board to see whether doctors have been assessing the database. The report recommends the faster identification of doctors who may have made false declarations on medical marijuana certifications.

State health officials have reported 11 doctors to their licensing boards for allegedly failing to check the database.

Humble said the Legislature has already made changes to the law that will help improve the law, such as allowing state health officials to share doctor information with medical licensing boards.

He said his agency will conduct training for doctors who are doing a large number of marijuana certifications so they are clear on their requirements.

Humble said one blind spot for regulators is enforcing a requirement that doctors check 12 months of a prospective marijuana patient's records before issuing a certification.

There is no way to monitor to see if that requirement is being followed because of patient privacy laws, but health officials are exploring ways to monitor it by working with the medical licensing boards.