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Why 600 Missouri medical marijuana patients may have to give up their pot licenses

"Through our many types of regulatory efforts, we remain watchful for any wrongdoing in order to protect Missourians"
Credit: SLBJ

ST. LOUIS — Missouri's health department on Friday said it is investigating around 600 patients who received medical marijuana licenses with unauthorized physician signatures.

The state Department of Health and Senior Services said in a news release that certification forms on those applications were not valid. The department described it as "fraudulent activity," though it said there was no evidence that patients were aware that the physicians listed on their licenses were not the physicians who met with them.

Patients with the invalid physician signatures are being notified and will have 30 days to submit a valid certification to the department. If they fail to do so, their licenses will be revoked and they will receive a pro-rated refund of their original registration fee based on the amount of time left on their license.

The health department said it referred the case to the state Attorney General's Office and the Missouri Board of Healing Arts for further action. 

“Through our many types of regulatory efforts, we remain watchful for any wrongdoing in order to protect Missourians,” Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS, said in a news release. “Our main concern is how this fraudulent activity negatively affects patients, and we are working to minimize the impact on them while also holding accountable those who are responsible.” 

The state approved 22,706 medical marijuana patient applications between when the program started in June 2019 and December, according to data from the state. Since then, it's continued to receive more around 5,200 patient applications per month. 

RELATED: St. Louis marijuana firm will be first in state to begin operations

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