Health Law Matters

Showing 12 posts by Charles M. Johnson.

West Virginia Adopts New Rules to Combat the Opioid Epidemic

Prescription pills

During 2018, the West Virginia Legislature took several important steps to supplement and strengthen the State’s response to the opioid epidemic. [1] Read More ›

SB 273 – New Limits on Opioid Prescriptions Change the Game for West Virginia Hospitals and Physicians

SB 273 - limits on opioids in West Virginia

On March 27, 2018, Governor James C. Justice signed SB 273, which among other dramatic actions limits initial opioid prescriptions in emergency rooms and also subsequent prescriptions by physicians in West Virginia, effective as of June 7, 2018.  Read More ›

West Virginia Rolls Out Comprehensive Opioid Response Plan

The response at the federal and local level is rapidly evolving to meet the overwhelming need to stem the opioid crisis. The numbers of deaths due to opioids in the United States increased from 28,647 in 2014 to 33,091 in 2015 and 42,249 in 2016 (an increase of 47% in two years). Read More ›

West Virginia Continues Cultivation of Medical Cannabis Rules

Medical Marijuana greenhouse

The West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board (“Advisory Board”) met on February 6, 2018, to review and consider comments made to proposed rules governing growers, processors, dispensaries, participating physicians and patients wishing to participate in the medical cannabis program. Read More ›

Green Grass in the Bluegrass: Kentucky’s Medical Marijuana Law

Medical Marijuana in Kentucky

To Kentucky, the grass must have literally been greener on the other side. After Kentucky lawmakers watched their neighbors in Ohio and West Virginia enact medical marijuana laws, they introduced a 65-page bill at the Kentucky statehouse Thursday morning to legalize medical marijuana. Read More ›

Dramatic Shift in Federal Enforcement Priorities Related to Legalized Marijuana Use

Medicinal Marijuana

In November of 2017, United States Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Department of Justice (DOJ) would abide by the Rohrabacher–Blumenauer Amendment which has been interpreted as prohibiting the use of federal dollars to prosecute marijuana-industry participants in specific states that have legalized medical marijuana. Read More ›

Comments Requested in New West Virginia Medical Cannabis Rules

West Virginia Medical Cannabis Regions

On December 14, 2017, the West Virginia Medical Cannabis Advisory Board announced: (1) the results of informal surveys to gauge patient need and physician interest in participation in the new medical cannabis program scheduled to be rolled out July 1, 2019; and (2) proposed rules to govern the implementation of medical cannabis programs in West Virginia. Read More ›

Carefully Navigate Shifting Sands of Federal Enforcement Priorities Related to Medical Marijuana

State Sanctioned Medical Marijuana compliance

Under the Obama administration, the Department of Justice (DOJ) placed a low priority on pursuing charges against individuals and entities complying with state-sanctioned medical marijuana programs. However, under President Trump and his appointee, Attorney General Jeff Sessions... Read More ›

A Multi-Pronged, Proactive Approach to the Opioid Crisis

Prescription pills, opioid crisis

On October 26, 2017, President Trump declared the Opioid Crisis a “public health emergency,” establishing a mechanism to devote considerable federal resources to help combat the growing opioid crisis, and setting in motion a coordinated approach by several federal agencies to focus on and eliminate this dire crisis. Read More ›

Substance Abuse Alert: West Virginia Expands Medicaid Program to Cover Naloxone Treatment, Methadone Treatment and Short-Term Residential Treatment for Substance Use Disorders

In 2015, West Virginia experienced the highest rate of deaths due to opioid overdoses in the United States, resulting in 41.5 deaths per 100,000 people, and a remarkable one-year increase in opioid deaths of 15%. The opioid crisis in West Virginia has garnered a lot of attention, including concerted efforts by the State and federal governments to increase the availability of treatment options to stem the crisis, especially for the Medicaid eligible population. Read More ›

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Attorney Spotlight

Alex S. Fisher is a senior associate with an emphasis in health care related boards, including the Tennessee Board of Medical Examiners and the Tennessee Board of Nursing. Alex is also currently a faculty member at the Vanderbilt Center for Professional Health.