Suit: Doctor solicited pre-approval, fee for medical marijuana - KMSP-TV

Suit: Doctor solicited pre-approval, fee for medical marijuana

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CHICAGO (Sun-Times Media Wire) -

In a matter of days, medical marijuana will be legal to possess, use and distribute in Illinois. But a doctor at the state's first clinic is caught in a scandal that could cost him his license.

It'll be another year before the specifics on Illinois' law to legalize medical marijuana are actually finalized. But that didn't stop a Chicago doctor and his co-worker from illegally offering potential patrons ‘pre-approval' to obtain medical cannabis at a price of $99, the state watchdog of doctors said Monday.

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) filed a complaint against Dr. Brian Murray for allegedly violating the Medical Practice Act, saying he mislead potential patients into thinking they could get pre-approval of medical cannabis if they paid a registration fee. This allegedly happened at Good Intentions, a medical marijuana clinic that opened in August in the 1700 block of North Ashland.

Murray could have his license as an Illinois doctor suspended or other action taken by the IDFPR, if he's found guilty.

Tammy Jacobi, listed as the founder and chief executive officer of Good Intentions on that website, also allegedly took a part in the alleged scheming, the department said. Jacobi is not a licensed doctor.

Murray and Jacobi could not reached Monday, but the general manager of Good Intentions, who said he is a spokesman for them, said the allegations are "absolutely speculative. And absolutely not true."

The ‘pre-approval' fee is for potential patients to meet with a doctor and provide their medical history to determine if they would qualify for medical marijuana, Good Intentions' general manager Dan Reid said. Then when the rules are finalized next year, they would undergo an appropriate medical exam and continue seeing that doctor.

"We have talked to many of the legislators that are behind this act and told them what they're doing and received their blessing," Reid said.

But the IDFPR urged physicians and the public to be cautious about setting up or visiting so-called "medical cannabis clinics." "Unlike some states, Illinois law does not allow for ‘medical cannabis clinics' or practices that exist solely to offer cannabis certifications," IDFPR Acting Secretary Manuel Flores said. "We want to make sure that patients who would truly benefit from the relief of medical cannabis are not misled and physicians are not violating the law."

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