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Medical marijuana Web services dismay Massachusetts physician leaders

For now, as long as a Bay State doctor certifies the medical need, a patient may grow a small amount of marijuana .
For now, as long as a Bay State doctor certifies the medical need, a patient may grow a small amount of marijuana .Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

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Massachusetts’ nascent medical marijuana law has sparked a recent flurry of new Internet companies promising to match patients with doctors who will certify they need the weed for health reasons, a phenomenon that has dismayed the state’s medical society and raised concerns with the board that regulates physicians.

A number of the companies are run by entrepreneurs with no medical background, which the Massachusetts Medical Society said raises questions about the quality and safety of the care.

Some of the sites, the society said, appear to be tiptoeing just inside state rules, which require that a “bona fide physician-patient relationship” be in place before marijuana can be prescribed.

Voters last November approved a ballot referendum that legalized marijuana for medical use, but left it to the health department to issue regulations that would implement the law.

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