Pot Doc gets suspended amid probe into trooper’s death
By Evan Lips | May 27, 2016, 20:01 EST
BOSTON – A leading consortium of medical marijuana clinics has confirmed that one of its offices was involved in securing the drug for a man prosecutors said had marijuana in his system when he struck and killed State Trooper Thomas Clardy in March, according to a WFXT-TV report Friday.
Late Thursday, the state Board of Registration in Medicine suspended the license of Dr. John C. Nadolny, the medical director of the Canna Care Docs clinic group, alleging that he delegated his nontransferable authority “to diagnose patients as having a debilitating medical condition” to nurse practitioners. Such a finding is required before a person can obtain legal permission buy cannabis products from a dispensary.
The board’s order doesn’t specifically link Nadolny with facilitating the issuance of a “license” – or card – to buy marijuana to David Njuguna of Webster, the man who allegedly drove into Clardy on March 16 as the trooper sat stopped in his cruiser on the shoulder of the Massachusetts Turnpike in Charlton. But in its description of Nadolny’s alleged transgressions, it makes clear that possibility exists.
The board outlines a specific instance in which a marijuana card was issued to a clinic patient under Nadolny’s authorization even though he wasn’t working that day. The board said Nadolny didn’t diagnose the patient or have a physician-patient relationship with the person.
State records show that a total of 29,974 medical marijuana cards had been issued in Massachusetts through April 30. According to the board, 5,792 of those were issued under Nadolny’s authorization, or almost one-fifth of the total, even though he is one of 149 doctors in the Bay State certified to give out those licenses.
The board’s report indicates that Nadolny began working at Canna Care Docs in March 2014, ultimately becoming their medical director in October 2014. It says Nadolny registered with the Medical Use of Marijuana Program on Dec. 2, 2014.
A lawyer for Canna Care Docs told the Boston television station, FOX25, that the clinic chain is cooperating with an investigation into Njuguna, who prosecutors have said had the drug in his system at the time he plowed into Clardy.
“Canna Care stands behind its medical staff and insures all state government regulations are complied with,” the clinic’s attorney, Michael Maloney, told the station.
State law holds that doctors can only issue marijuana cards “in the course of a bona fide physician-patient relationship,” which is defined under the law as “a relationship between a certifying physician (acting in the usual course of professional practice) and a patient, in which the physician has conducted a clinical visit, completed and documented a full assessment of the patient’s medical history and current medical condition, has explained the potential risks and benefits of the marijuana use, and has a role in the patient’s ongoing care and treatment.”
“A certifying physician cannot delegate to any other healthcare professional or other person the authority to diagnose the qualifying patient as having a debilitating medical condition.”
Calls to Nadolny’s practices in Medford and Melrose seeking comment didn’t elicit an immediate response.
Canna Care has eight clinics in Massachusetts and operates in four other states, including Rhode Island, Connecticut and Maine.