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Mass. marijuana doctor should not have lost license, judge says

Medical marijuana buds.
Medical marijuana buds.JR Delia/The New York Times

A Massachusetts physician should not have had his medical license suspended for allowing nurse practitioners in his office to certify patients for medical marijuana use, according to a state administrative law judge.

Regulators in May suspended the license of Dr. John C. Nadolny, medical director of Canna Care Docs, a practice with eight Massachusetts locations that specialize in screening and approving patients for marijuana use.

The Board of Registration in Medicine had ruled that Nadolny was an immediate threat to public safety, saying his office improperly used nurse practitioners to certify that thousands of patients were eligible to receive medical marijuana.

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But in a decision made public Monday, administrative magistrate Kenneth Bresler ruled that Nadolny had not delegated authority to his nurse practitioners.

Bresler ruled that nurse practitioners in Nadolny’s office had “independent authority” to legally certify patients, and that the office was following the advice of the Department of Public Health, the state agency that oversees the medical marijuana program.

Bresler also said he would have recommended against Nadolny’s license suspension.

State records from early June showed that Nadolny’s office had certified the second-largest number of patients — nearly 3,000 — for the state’s medical marijuana program.

State regulators have 30 days to appeal Bresler’s decision, according to the ruling.


Kay Lazar can be reached at kay.lazar@globe.com.