CDPH has released guidance to SNFs, General Acute Care Hospitals, Congregate Living Health Facilities, Hospice Facilities and Special Hospitals permitting the use of medicinal cannabis by terminally ill patients, those with a medical condition resulting in a prognosis of life of one year or less if the disease follows its natural course.
Facilities are not required to provide medicinal cannabis or a recommendation to use medicinal cannabis and it does not have to be included in a discharge plan. Facilities may not prohibit patient use of medicinal cannabis due solely to the fact that cannabis is a Schedule I drug in the federal Uniform Controlled Substances Act, or other federal constraints on the use of medicinal cannabis. Compliance with the Act is not a condition for obtaining, retaining, or renewing a license.
Facilities must allow the patient, or someone on the patient's behalf, to bring in medicinal cannabis for their exclusive use and it is their personal property. They are also required to provide a copy of their valid medical marijuana identification card or written documentation that the use of medicinal cannabis is recommended by a physician. Facilities must record the use of medicinal cannabis in the medical record. They must also develop and disseminate written guidelines for the use of medicinal cannabis within the facility to ensure the safety of others, compliance with other state laws, and safe operations.
Facilities must reasonably restrict how a patient uses their medicinal cannabis, prohibiting smoking or vaping, and stores it, requiring it to be kept in a secure and locked container. They may suspend patient use of medicinal cannabis if a federal regulatory agency, the US DOJ or CMS, initiates or takes formal enforcement actions against it for complying with the Act or issues a rule or otherwise provides notification to that expressly prohibits the use of medicinal cannabis in health care facilities or prohibits compliance with a state-regulated medical marijuana program.