Doctors Being Paid For Medical Marijuana Referrals, Company Says

CANADA:  A major producer of medical marijuana says doctors and specialized clinics are receiving kickbacks from some licensed pot producers in exchange for sending them patients, a practice the company calls unethical and a violation of professional medical standards.

Greg Engel, CEO of Nanaimo, B.C.-based Tilray, said his company recently resigned from the Canadian Medical Cannabis Industry Association (CMCIA) after unsuccessfully pushing for the organization to adopt a code of ethics that would outlaw the practice.

The dozen members of the CMCIA were unwilling to sanction such a code because “many were currently participating” in such kickback schemes, he said. Tilray is starting a new industry group, the Canadian Medical Cannabis Council, which will insist on strict adherence to ethical conduct.

In a statement from the CMCIA, executive director Neil Belot said the organization agrees on the need for a high level of ethical conduct among producers, but more agreement had not been reached on the wording of such a code.