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Are My Medical Marijuana Records Private?

Medical Marijuana Privacy

Like any medical records, patients expect their medical marijuana records to remain private to secure their personal information and medical history. This is a common concern of medical marijuana patients, especially because treatment has just recently been legalized and there are many new laws regarding the subject.

Fortunately, HIPAA regulations apply to medical marijuana records, and additional legislation has been put in place to protect the privacy of medical marijuana patients.

What Will My Doctor Do With My Medical Marijuana Records?

At CannaMD, we take privacy very seriously. We make it a priority to clearly communicate how we use and disclose any of your personal information. Although our commitment to privacy is equal to our commitment to providing patients with compassionate care, we are required by Senate Bill 8A to enter your medical marijuana use information into the Medical Marijuana Use Registry.

The Office of Medical Marijuana Use (OMMU), which is a branch of the Florida Department of Health, oversees the Medical Marijuana Use Registry. This secure, online registry is how your doctor will notify the state that you are eligible for medical marijuana. After you meet with a doctor, the following information will be entered into the registry:

  • Your qualifying condition
  • The amount and forms of medical marijuana you have been authorized for
  • The types of marijuana delivery devices you will need for treatment

After this data has been entered, the information will be reviewed and you will receive your medical marijuana card.

Throughout the year, we are required to update your profile on the Medical Marijuana Use Registry if changes in treatment or eligibility occur.

Who Has Access to My Medical Marijuana Records?

Once you begin medical marijuana treatment, the only people that will have access to your records will be:

  • Your doctor
  • The Florida Department of Health
  • Law enforcement
  • Medical marijuana treatment center (MMTC) staff

This information will be protected under the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA), so no other entities will be able to access your medical records. However, billing companies and other entities that work directly with your medical marijuana clinic may have access to your information as it pertains to their role as a business associate. These entities are still under HIPAA regulation, so you can trust that your information will be protected.

Some patients choose to designate a personal representative, giving them legal permission to access medical records and make health care decisions on their behalf. This is typically a spouse, child, or other family member who is trusted to handle the relevant information. With the exception of a medical emergency, this is the only way that someone else will be able to access your medical marijuana records.

Note: While MMTC staff and law officers may view your demographic information, route(s) of administration, and allowable milligrams, they cannot see your qualifying diagnosis or any other medical information.

Importantly, pursuant to Florida Statute 381.987, the Department of Health only allows access to confidential and exempt information in the Medical Marijuana Use Registry to law enforcement agencies that are investigating a violation of law regarding marijuana in which the subject of the investigation claims a medical marijuana exception.

What Extra Steps Can I Take to Protect My Information?

There are several steps you can take to ensure protection of your privacy rights under HIPAA guidelines. The first of these steps is to get a copy of your medical records. Under HIPAA, you have the right to receive a copy of your medical records at any time. Once you receive your records, look them over. By reviewing your medical records, you will be able to learn what information is included in them. This is also a great opportunity to review the accuracy of your medical records, which can be vital for future healthcare. If you notice any missing or incorrect information, you can contact CannaMD to have them updated.

Although medical records are often kept on paper, many healthcare providers are moving to paperless, electronic healthcare records called EHRs. EHRs will include all of the information that your traditional paper records include, such as medical history, x-rays, diagnoses, and more. Electronic records offer the same privacy as paper records, since they are kept on secured, backed-up computer systems. EHRs can also be sent more quickly and more securely than traditional paper records. Many patients are embracing the change to EHRs and looking forward to better protected information.

If you are concerned about privacy regarding specific healthcare information, there are a few things you can do. First, you can tell your healthcare provider about specific information that you do not want to be shared. Your doctor may have some objections if it will interfere with your quality of care, but this can be effective if you would like to keep details about your treatment or prescriptions private from other entities.

Another common concern is that receiving healthcare information at home, either via mail or phone call, will jeopardize privacy. If this is an issue, you can ask to be reached at a different phone number, such as a work number. Requesting that mail be sent in discreet envelopes can also help secure your information.

Ready to Get Started?

At CannaMD, we have a team of professionals and a range of resources to help provide you with all of the information you need regarding medical marijuana treatment. If you have questions or are ready to get started, just give us a call at 1 (855) 420-9170. You’re also welcome to complete an easy, online application!

Find Out If You Qualify

You may be eligible for medical marijuana!

Questions or comments? Let us know in the comments section, below!

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  1. can my primary care physician or my pain management physician access my records as i am interested in only improving on the usefullness of their medication

  2. Can my cousin who is a doctor in internal medicine look me up and see I have a medical mariujana card? I have since moved out of state after only being in FL for a year with my first ever MMU Card. I just surrendered my card as well. I hate worrying about my privacy in the healthcare field when I have family members everywhere in the field.

    1. No, they cannot – that would be a HIPPA violation (accessing your medical records without permission).

  3. if i have a medical card and apply for a job requiring drug testing, can the testing facility (assuming the testing isnt done directly by the employer) disclose to the employer that thc showed up ? even after I have disclosed to them that I have medical card? wouldnt that violate hippa ?

    1. Yes they can. And no, it would not violate HIPPA because you would be required to sign a release form prior to the drug testing authorizing the testing facility to share the results with your employer.

  4. Will having a medical marijuana card risk my business affairs..For example: If i want to open a home health agency, will the department of health or anyone use that against business affairs or cam they ? Can one have a firearm and medical marijuana card?

    1. Hi Anne! It depends on the scope and nature of the case. We’d recommend speaking with a lawyer re: any specific concerns.

  5. I have a medical card .
    A. Hospital added “ Marijuana use “ under Health Summary in MyChart. Couple questions please.
    Can they list MMJ use under “ Health summary “ ?
    With my card, should it be listed as Medical Marijuana use… if they had added it under Prescription meds or someplace NOT in health summary?
    I have asked to get it removed but it is still there .
    I think it’s horrible when a person wishes to try legal alternative care vs prescription meds that are damaging to them and now anyone who opens MyChart sees Marijuana use in a Health summary with NO further information. unless they were to go into my actual chart and see it under a more appropriate area.
    Comment- They really should update intake forms to say Medical use” instead of just marking a box that says “ Marijuana use”.
    I use strains suggested to me and some of the patches work , topicals, edibles and 20:1 CBD tincture.
    What they are saying is that a 60 yr old is a user, yet ( again) under HEALTH SUMMARY, if I saw that right away it looks like I am a non card carrying person who likes to get high … right?

    1. Hi, Laur. Hospitals and physicians are permitted to include any information the patient discloses; however, they cannot pull your medical marijuana patient status without your permission. You might consider speaking with your physician about removing the notation from your MyChart if you don’t authorize the sharing that information with other doctors. Hope this is helpful and sorry for your troubles!

  6. If I am in another state with no medical marijuana laws, when I give my license to law enforcement for a traffic stop, can he see the record of me having a MMR card and use that as justification to search my car?

    1. No, you would have to tell him you’re a medical marijuana patient. Police cannot access the Medical Marijuana Registry unless you disclose your patient status (most often as a defense).

  7. If i ever wanted to be removed from the registry is that possible? Eg if i stop the treatment and want all records that i ever used it to be purged?

  8. If I have been charged with a dui case pending and later file for a medical marijuana card will the state not authorized it even though doctor evaluation approved it?

    1. Driving under the influence – whether from medical or non-medical products – is prohibited in Florida. Medical marijuana cardholder status may only be used as a defense for possession of medically issued products; it does not exonerate DUI charges.

  9. Can any Florida Dept of Health employee check a registry for names of DOH employees or State board of Health as surveillance?

  10. If I work for a municipality who has stopped drug testing for employees who do not drive city vehicles, such as office staff, do they have access to the health department registry? I was told thru the grapevine our HR department runs our employee list thru the registry every few weeks or so, which doesn’t seem right to me?? Not sure it’s true but wondering if it’s possible

    1. We agree: That doesn’t sound likely (and sounds more like a violation of your HIPPA-protected rights!).

  11. Does my PCP and Pharmacy have access to MM records or see that I have a MM card? Over the last year, both have flipped out about small amounts of “controlled substances” They both use a flawed state program that equates tramadol with morphine etc. After 10 years of prescribing me 5X as much it is a problem with 20%. Both the pharmacy and doctor will flip out if they know I have a MM card,

    1. No, your primary care physician and pharmacist cannot access the state medical marijuana registry.

  12. Does the Florida Department of health report medical marijuana patients to any state or federal law enforcement

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