Eric Ruby, a pediatrician practicing in Taunton, Massachusetts — a town about 40 miles south of Boston — is one of the few doctors in the state who have been prescribing medical marijuana for minors under the state’s laws. His impending retirement has created a lot of uncertainty for the families of his patients and beyond.
In order for pediatric patients (minors) to make use of cannabis they must get a recommendation from two state-certified caregivers. Massachusetts only certifies 12 physicians and three nurse practitioners for this purpose.
Ruby, who is 73 years old, is the primary caregiver for 54 such patients. His retirement, planned for the end of the month, means that the families involved are scrambling to put together a new team to continue the care.
The Cannabis Control Commission is said to have under consideration an expansion of the number of certified cannabis providers allowed to work with minors. The expansion would increase the total from 15 to 79, providing for eight oncologists and 22 neurologists among them.
In Pill Form:
In an interview with the Boston Business Journal, Dr. Ruby said: “The whole reason to have medicinal cannabis is so it is clean, monitored, so that we know it is not impure. That is why my retirement puts it in crisis mode.”