Coast physician goes extra step to prepare for new world of medical cannabis

Published: Jun. 1, 2022 at 5:22 PM CDT
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JACKSON COUNTY, Miss. (WLOX) - Dr. Philip Levin, a family and emergency medicine physician, is a long-time advocate for medical cannabis.

“Medical cannabis has been a treatment authorized and being used throughout the history of mankind,” he said.

So, it seems natural that he would go the extra mile to get ready for the next new step in his practice.

“Physicians should be trained – practitioners, whoever is doing certification – should be trained to know exactly what it is the patient needs for their particular disease,” he said.

The state requires eight hours of continuing medical education training to qualify.

Levin is seeking certification as a “Professional Cannabis Medical Prescriber” through a 10-week program by Pacific College in California.

“When the practitioner certifies the patient, they put on that certification what they want the patient to receive,” Levin said. “For example, I would say this patient has COPD, so I don’t want them to have a smoking product. This patient needs an oral medication that has a CBD-to-THC ratio of 20-1, which is the most likely to help for their disease with these specific flavonoids.”

He said this is a milestone day.

“I’m very happy that we have finally reached this effort to give the benefit of medical cannabis to patients of Mississippi,” he said.

Levin added that while some physicians will be cautious about medical cannabis at first, he believes buy-in will eventually come.

“I think that type of awareness will become much more open as time goes on and they see how their patients do gain benefit from the use of the cannabis products,” he said.

The rules are pretty tight when it comes to certifying patients for a medical cannabis card.

Among them:

  • There must be a “bona fide practitioner-patient relationship”
  • The practitioner must examine the patient in-person in Mississippi
  • And there must be follow-up visits with the patient

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