CHICAGO – State regulators allege a doctor misled potential patients by offering "pre-approval" for medical marijuana through a Chicago clinic, a claim clinic officials refuted Tuesday as "utterly baseless."
The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation filed a complaint Monday against Dr. Brian Murray, who has an active medical license in Illinois, and Tammy Jacobi, the founder of Good Intentions. The facility opened in August, the same month Gov. Pat Quinn signed a medical marijuana bill into law.
The law takes effect in January, but medical marijuana won't be available for months as state agencies work out rules and regulations. To qualify patients must be seriously ill — the law outlines dozens of illnesses and diseases – and have an established doctor relationship.
According to the complaint, the clinic offered potential patients early approval for medical marijuana in exchange for a $99 registration fee. Murray has been charged with violating the Medical Practice Act and faces revocation of his license.
Clinic officials said they were shocked.
"The charges are absolutely and utterly baseless," said clinic general manager Dan Reid. "They're entirely speculative. We think they're anti-patient."
He said the fee is for potential patients to meet with a doctor and provide their medical history to see if they would qualify. After rules are finalized patients would undergo an medical exam, he said. The clinic's website outlines those steps to seeking medical marijuana.
Officials with the regulation department said any physicians advertising a "medical cannabis clinic" will be scrutinized.
"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 in a statement. "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."
Clinic officials said attorneys were reviewing the complaint.