ACS Member Professional Code

ACS Professional Code of Conduct

  1. All patients will be treated with a level of care consistent with highest medical ethics and standard of care equal to, or exceeding, any other medical specialty.
  2. The purpose of a medical cannabis practice is to provide care for patients. Certification is only a tool to be used in that pursuit, and should be de-emphasized in favor of a holistic view of the patient and their needs.
  3. Cannabis patients require guidance by knowledgeable, caring specialists. Patients may have concerns and questions that are best not left to laypeople or non-cannabis specialists to address. Patients will receive ongoing care as often, and for a length of visit, as is medically indicated, commensurate with other specialty care for similar illnesses. We advocate for 60 minute initial consultations, and 30 minute subsequent visits.
  4. Cannabis science and practice is changing rapidly. Specialists commit to keeping pace with these changes through reading of the literature or other continuing medical education of at least 20 hours per year.
  5. Telemedicine visits are felt to be an inferior choice to in-person visits. They should be used only when circumstances make in-person visits impractical, perilous, or an undue hardship. Telemedicine should never be used in contravention of local law or regulation. At least annual in-person visits are strongly encouraged.
  6. All encounters with patients will be properly documented in the EHR.
  7. Records detailing prior and current treatment of illnesses relevant to cannabis treatment will be required of all patients, reviewed by clinicians, and properly filed in the medical record.
  8. Medications and allergies will be documented and reviewed at each visit (medication reconciliation). Medication reviews will be documented as well.
  9. Women of childbearing age will receive additional counseling on risks of using medical cannabis during pregnancy and breastfeeding.
  10. All patients will be reminded of the risks associated with driving or doing other generally hazardous activities while intoxicated.
  11. Records of clinical encounters will be communicated to a patient’s primary care provider or other such provider as the patient chooses, unless the patient actively chooses not to allow communication.
  12. The same high level of care and ethics will be applied to all patients regardless of race, gender, age, sexual orientation, sexual identification, or economic background.
  13. Neither the practice or any practitioner shall enter into any business arrangement that might cause an ethical conflict with patients’ best interests. Conflicts of interest, or apparent conflicts of interest, will be disclosed to patients, governing bodies, and the ACS.

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