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Wednesday, June 24, 2020

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP)—About 600 patients seeking authorization to purchase medical marijuana in Missouri had their paperwork signed by a fake doctor, officials say.

The Missouri Department of Health and Senior Services said in a news release that there is no evidence to indicate the affected patients were aware the physician listed was not the physician who met with them.

“It was a person/people impersonating a doctor,” Department of Health and Senior Services spokesperson Lisa Cox told the Springfield News-Leader in a text message. She said the department could not comment on who was being impersonated.

The affected patients will be notified and given 30 days to submit a valid certificate before their license is revoked. The agency also said it has referred the case to the Attorney General's Office and to the Missouri Board of Healing Arts for further action.

“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.

Nearly two-thirds of Missouri voters in November 2018 approved medical marijuana. Sales aren't expected to begin until late summer at the earliest.