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Cannabis Policy Considerations for Health Facility Regulators

Posted Nov 4, 20191 min Read

Regulatory & Clinical

The Indianapolis Bar Association recently published an article written by Randall R Fearnow and Jaya F White, Quarles & Brady LLP that outlined the CMS guidance to state facility regulators related to Medical Marijuana as follows:

  • The conditions of participation for skilled nursing facilities do not explicitly address the use of medical marijuana;
  • Although CMS regulations require a facility to comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, the agency (CMS) indicated it would not cite to this regulation unless the authority having jurisdiction has made an adverse finding; and
  • CMS is not aware of a facility that has lost funding or been penalized for allowing residents to use medical marijuana, but there have been citations for related issues, such as improper storage of medications and fire safety.

The issue with nursing home residents uses of cannabis is unlikely to go away anytime soon and thus forcing organizations providing health services to develop policies.

The article mentioned the following policy considerations:

  • Banning all cannabis products and enforcing the ban;
  • Banning all smoking (including tobacco) and looking the other way on pot edibles;
  • Banning all cannabis products and looking the other way until someone complains.

In conclusion, there are some other concerns each health organization should consider:

  • When a resident reported their cannabis missing, would your organization self-report this to the Indiana State Department of Health and/or call the police to report a theft?
  • Is it important to understand the interactions of cannabis with other medications your residents are taking?

Please email if you have questions.