Seeing a qualified medical provider (QMP) is the first step in becoming eligible to use medical cannabis. It is the QMPs responsibility to enter the appropriate information into the state’s electronic verification system (EVS), including the person who will make dosing recommendations. Note that state law does not designate one particular person to make those recommendations. The QMP can choose one of two options.
Whichever option is chosen must be noted in the EVS record. That record will determine several things, including the delivery methods a patient has access to. So yes, the person who makes dosing recommendations for medical cannabis in Utah can stipulate something like vaping, a tincture, etc.
QMP Dosing Recommendations
The first option is for the QMP to make dosing recommendations him or herself. Some QMPs may prefer this option so as to be kept in the loop. They want to be able to speak with patients and find out for themselves how well medical cannabis is working. This is not a bad option if the QMP has knowledge and experience regarding the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids, in general.
Even without making dosing recommendations, a QMP tends to stay in touch with the patient by way of renewals. A QMP also has access to all of a patients medical cannabis purchases. As things currently stand in Utah, medical cannabis cards are initially good for ninety days. Thereafter, renewals can be for either six months or a year. In either case, patients have to consult with their QMPs to get their cards renewed.
PMP Dosing Recommendations
The second option is for the QMP to leave dosing recommendations to a medical cannabis pharmacist. In Utah, such pharmacists are known as pharmacy medical providers (PMPs). Every medical cannabis pharmacy must have at least one PMP on staff during normal operating hours. A PMP is there to oversee medical cannabis dispensing, consult with patients, and answer questions. Cannabis pharmacists are great free resources for patients
In order to leave dosing recommendations to the PMP, a QMP need only supply the correct information in the EVS. Patients must still consult with their QMPs in order to renew their medical cannabis cards, but they can consult with their PMPs on delivery method, dosage, and so forth.
The advantage of this model is that it allows patients and PMP to make modification to delivery method and dosage as needed. The patient does not have to make a new appointment to see the QMP just to adjust the dosage. That makes modifying a medical cannabis regimen a lot easier and more efficient. Most QMPs and PMPs allow each patient the freedom to try different doses and dosage forms based on each patient’s changing unique needs.
Adhering to Dosing Recommendations
As for adhering to dosing recommendations, there are two things to consider. First is the patient’s perspective. It is understood that patients will adhere to the recommendations and then track how their medicines are working. Obviously, the state doesn’t send someone to a patient’s house to make sure recommendations being followed. They are, after all, just recommendations.
The second consideration is the PMP’s perspective. When a QMP decides to make dosing recommendations, the PMP is required by law to adhere to them. So let’s say your PMP recommended using a tincture with a particular THC concentration several times per day.
Your PMP could only give you tinctures, and only with the right THC concentration. If they wish to dispense something else, your QMP must be consulted first. That is good in the sense that it forces PMP and QMP to establish a working relationship that benefits you. It is bad in the sense that the system is inefficient.
Both QMPs and PMPs are allowed under Utah law to make dosing recommendations. But it has to be one or the other for each patient. And now you know.