September 22, 2018
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Caribou doctor surrenders license to practice in Maine

Nok-Noi Ricker | File
Nok-Noi Ricker | File
File photo of a medical marijuana card. A Caribou doctor, who was reprimanded by the state medical licensing board in 2014 for his role in improperly dispensing medical marijuana certificates, has surrendered his license to practice in Maine.
By Jen Lynds, BDN Staff

A Caribou doctor, who was reprimanded by the state medical licensing board in 2014 for his role in improperly dispensing medical marijuana certificates, has now surrendered his license to practice in Maine.

The Maine Board of Licensure in Medicine announced Friday that Dr. William Ortiz has surrendered his license as part of a consent agreement this week that resolved a new complaint against him.

The recent complaint was based on Ortiz’s failure to disclose information on his 2017 medical license renewal applications. During the medical board’s investigation, Ortiz “underwent an evaluation which identified diagnoses that may result in his performing service in a manner that endangers the health and safety of patients,” according to a board statement.

In the previous board action in September 2014, the board reprimanded and fined Ortiz after he held medical marijuana clinics in Orono hotels, failed to keep adequate patient records and engaged in other unprofessional conduct. That discipline represented the first action by the state against a doctor in connection with medical marijuana since it first became legal in Maine in 1999.

The board investigation found then that Ortiz held a “medical seminar” in a conference room at the University Motor Inn and at the Black Bear Inn in March 2013. He saw 59 patients over two days and charged $200 cash to issue a three-month medical marijuana certificate. During follow-up visits, Ortiz charged patients $175 for a one-year certificate, the reprimand said.

In a consent agreement in that case, Ortiz agreed to pay a $2,000 fine and reimburse the Board of Licensure in Medicine $1,412 for the costs of its investigation.

The board is a state agency charged to protect the health and welfare of the public by verifying the qualifications of physicians and disciplining physicians for unprofessional conduct and incompetence.

All board disciplinary actions are reported to the National Practitioner Data Bank and the Federation of State Medical Boards Action Data Bank. These reports are regularly reviewed by every state licensing board in the country.

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