Senate Bill 311, the Compassionate Access to Medical Cannabis Act, which provides for the use of medical cannabis products within hospitals and other eligible health care facilities for terminally ill patients has reached Gov. Gavin Newsom’s desk and awaits his signature.
The bill, also known as Ryan’s Law, “would require specified types of healthcare facilities to allow a terminally ill patient’s use of medicinal cannabis within the health care facility, subject to certain restrictions,” it reads. “The bill would require a patient to provide the health care facility with a copy of their medical marijuana card or written documentation that the use of medicinal cannabis is recommended by a physician. The bill would require a healthcare facility to reasonably restrict the manner in which a patient stores and uses medicinal cannabis to ensure the safety of other patients, guests, and employees of the health care facility, compliance with other state laws, and the safe operations of the health care facility.”
The proposal restricts the use of any forms of cannabis in emergency rooms and prohibits patients from inhaling or vaping herbal cannabis products.
The U.S. Hemp Roundtable press release claims that they’ve reached an agreement and expect Governor Newsom to sign the hemp-derived CBD bill. “We’re excited to report that a final deal has been reached with Governor Gavin Newsom to move to final passage of AB 45, our long term effort to explicitly permit the retail sale of hemp-derived extracts such as CBD in California.”
Similar legislation was vetoed by Newsom in 2019 when he expressed concerns that it “would create significant conflicts between federal and state law.”
An advocate for the bill, State Senator Ben Hueso sent a letter to Health & Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra and Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services Administrator Chiquita Brooks-LaSure, asking for clarification on whether hospitals in legal cannabis states can allow terminally ill patients to use medical cannabis without jeopardizing federal funding.
Representatives from both HHS and the governor’s office have recently reached out to Hueso to say they’re continuing to look into the matter.
To date, Connecticut, Maine, and a handful of other states have enacted legislation explicitly permitting the use of eligible cannabis products for hospitalized patients under specified circumstances.