What is going on with the fraudulent patient certifications?


It all started “[o]n Tuesday, May 19th, 2020, a patient contacted the WeedCerts phone line saying that she had been trying to reach us to get a copy of her medical records,” read the revised WeedCerts website on June 24 and June 25. “Upon further review, we found that this patient had never actually been seen by one of our doctors, yet she had a certification, with our information on it, with a physician we have NEVER used.”

Read WeedCerts entire post below, downloaded on June 24, 2020, from weedcerts.com.

News broke in a press release from the Department of Health and Senior Services on June 19 that a large group of patient certifications were voided due to an investigation into fraudulent certifications. It was later revealed around 600 patients were affected. One June 24, the WeedCerts clinic put up an explainer post about their side of the story.

“The idea was to catch the person/group/doctor who was behind this and try and flush them out by changing all our contact information on our forms, hoping that the imposter would be using our old forms and we could just trace back from there,” reads the site, which concludes with Lou Moynihan’s contact information. 

“In the meantime, DHSS was given all of our doctors cellphone numbers, so that they could verify each new certification individually. An inconvenience, for sure, but totally understandable with the current circumstances.

“The following Monday, May 25th, Erica called again to notify us that that DHSS wasn’t sure how many of our patients were affected, but that it was very realistic that a good amount of our certifications were going to have to be VOIDED because they couldn’t tell which certifications were fraudulent and which certifications were authentic.

“Once again, we stated that we were going to notify ALL of our patients and was TOLD by Erica NOT to do that until we had further information.”

The Department of Health and Senior Services would not confirm the account provided on the WeedCerts website but did provide a statement.

“Due to the ongoing investigation, we are not discussing specific details at this time,” Lisa Cox, DHSS spokesperson, said. “However, the description of discussions with DHSS is not accurate.”

The post goes on to apologize and “take accountability to many groups” for everything from “hosting too many events” to sharing their certification model.

“Unfortunately at this time, we have just about as much information as you guys do in regards to this situation,” the post reads. “We want make it very clear: until every single/last patient has been taken care of, whether it was our fault or not, we are not closing. Under the current circumstances, we don’t feel comfortable taking new appointments or even using or doctors to fix them.

“Instead, Peace of Mind: Medical has agreed to use our very REAL and LEGIT Missouri licensed doctors (and theirs) and help us fix this. Seems like many other clinics have stepped up to help us as well, and we applaud this.”

“Needless to say, WeedCerts is not going to survive this, but anyone involved with the company will because not one single employee, manager or owner, past or present, ever did anything malicious, fraudulent, or with ill intent, that we are 100% sure of.

“These next few days are going to be chaotic, so I invite any patients affected (or those that just like to complain) to call or text my cell phone anytime: 314-437-7300. It’s going to be busy, so leave a message or drop a text and we will get EVERYONE taken care of. That’s a promise.”

The WeedCerts post concludes with: “We feel accountability goes both ways. It would be nice to see some from Randall, Lyndall, Erica and all the other folks at DHSS for preventing us from taking care of this from day one, but we won’t hold our breath.”

The site includes an event invite to a re-certification event in St. Louis on Friday, June 26 from noon to 6 p.m. for effected patients and denotes that it plans to host more events to “try and fix anyone we can, for free.”

Dylan Splean, a sales associate of Greenway Media, Greenway Magazine’s parent company, was one of the 600 patients affected by the investigation into the fraudulent certifications. The Department notified effected patients, including Splean, who provided the correspondence and certification update guidance information from the Department.


“I honestly was under the impression it was legal the way [WeedCerts] was doing it,” Splean said. “So, I was definitely blindsided. The best part has been the community has really come together to help out I was able to solve my situation in a day and at no cost, which is incredible no community of people or business has that soul.”

Free re-certifications for those affected are being offered by several clinics around the state. Affected patients have 30 days to submit a new physician certification form.

Based on findings during a recent and ongoing investigation, the Section for Medical Marijuana Regulation within DHSS has determined that patient licenses have been issued to applicants who submitted physician certification forms with an unauthorized physician signature. DHSS said, at this time, there is no evidence to indicate the affected patients were aware the physician listed was not the physician who met with them.

However, the physician certification for these patients was not valid.

Patients impacted by this fraudulent activity have been or will be notified, and those patients will be allowed 30 days to submit a valid certification to DHSS. If a valid certification is not received, the patient’s license will be revoked, pursuant to 19 CSR 30-95.030(3)(B)1.C, and a pro-rated refund of the original registration fee for the amount of time left on the deactivated license will be provided.

DHSS Patient Notice: Investigation Impacting the Status of Current Medical Marijuana Patient Licenses

“Through our many types of regulatory efforts, we remain watchful for any wrongdoing in order to protect Missourians,” said Dr. Randall Williams, director of DHSS. “Our main concern is how this fraudulent activity negatively affects patients, and we are working to minimize the impact on them while also holding accountable those who are responsible.”

Dr. Lisa Roark of Roark Family Health and The Dispensary in Cassville, opening later this year, is one of the physicians making themselves available to fix certifications.

“This is absolutely outrageous,” Dr. Roark said. “Someone posing as a doctor did 600 fake physician certifications. Now, these poor patients have to scramble to get new certifications.”

Splean said he went to Happy Hydro on February 27, 2020, for his certification, where WeedCerts had set up a permanent location. WeedCerts recently stopped operations, though the post on the WeedCerts website says that they had planned to close and the timing was not good.

WeedCerts partnered with brick and mortar businesses for events. The partner businesses, most of which include home grow stores and smoke shops, helped patients as they could, but were not part of the certification process, only acting as hosts, a common practice.

“The only prior information that I had knowledge of was that they were a legitimate place that you would visit with a doctor via telehealth,” Splean said. “My mother in law had been a patient and was approved through them so by word of mouth I thought it was legal.”

Splean thought it was interesting that he did not see the physician. He was told to put on headphones and then answer a few questions – the process took five minutes and asked only 3 questions.

  • Am I currently prescribed for anything dealing with my anxiety and ADD?
  • Have I ever had any problems sleeping?
  • When was the last time I have seen a primary physician? 

The fraudulent certifications not only put patients’ rights to possess at risk but also their home grow – something Splean is concerned about.

“Immediately I was angry, I have a home grow that is 2/3 of the way complete and I would really like to not go to jail for having my home grow with an illegal certification,” Splean said. “I felt scared that I will have to jump through more hoops and what if I am unable to get a legal physician certification.”

Between other clinics stepping up and the Department’s guidance on re-certification, effected patients have options.

“My advice to patients looking to get their patient id card is to do it but also talk to a doctor that is in the industry,” Splean said. “There are numbers of clinics that are helping patients that were affected and they have been nothing but helpful. You really see the soul of the cannabis industry and community coming together to elevate this industry and one bad apple can’t spoil the whole bunch.”

DHSS has referred this case to the Missouri Attorney General’s Office and to the Missouri Board of Healing Arts for further action. Anyone with further information can contact the medical marijuana program call center at 866-219-0165, Monday through Friday, from 8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m., or by email at medicalmarijuana@health.mo.gov.