Naturopath's license pulled over medical pot 'assembly line'

OLYMPIA, Wash. - A Seattle-area naturopath's license has been suspended on charges that she provided medical marijuana authorizations after patient exams that fell below state standards.

The Board of Naturopathy and the state Department of Health say Carolyn Lee Bearss saw 106 patients and gave all but one a medical marijuana authorization at the Seattle Hemp Fest last year.

Charges say the exams averaged less than 15 minutes per patient, that patients weren't required to provide medical records and that Bearss didn't adequately diagnose the source of patients' pain or discuss treatment options with them.

Health officials said Bearss' "assembly-line" procedures amounted to a medical marijuana authorization mill that doesn't meet patient care standards.

Bearss may not apply to have her license reinstated for at least two years, state health officials said. She must also pay a $50,000 fine in order to reinstate her license and will be on probation for three years if she returns to practice.