Governor Gavin Newsom signed a law this month that makes it now legal for the use of medicinal cannabis in a health care facility.
Newsom signed legislation that would allow the use of cannabis in health care facilities for terminally ill patients, according to his office.
The legislation, called Senate Bill 311 — Compassionate Access to Medical Cannabis Act, or Ryan’s Law — was introduced earlier this year by Sen. Ben Hueso, D-San Diego.
Newsom had vetoed the bill shortly after and expressed support for the use of medical cannabis in a hospital setting, but said, “This bill would create significant conflicts between federal and state law that cannot be taken lightly.”
The bill Newson has signed now is different because federal officials have since signaled that they don’t have a strong position against the use of medical marijuana in a hospital facility, according to Hueso.
Jamie Maites, vice president, marketing and communications for Marin Health has said the Marin Healthcare District Board of Directors supported SB 311.
Representatives at other North Bay health care systems, including Sutter Health, Kaiser Permanente, Providence Northern California and NorthBay Healthcare, all deferred to the California Hospital Association as they are all members.
“Hospitals’ primary goal is providing safe, high-quality patient care. Doing so means complying with myriad laws and regulations at both the state and federal levels, or risk losing Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement, as well as any other federal grants and contracts,” the California Hospital Association stated in a Sept. 15 letter to Newsom.
“For that reason, the California Hospital Association must oppose Senate Bill 311.”
“I think this is fantastic news the state of California made it easier for health care facilities to allow for cannabis consumption,” said Morgan Fox optimistically. He is the spokesman for the National Cannabis Industry Association.
“It’s definitely more and more common in hospice settings. We know there were instances in which some facilities were worried about losing federal funds, but we haven’t seen a backlash,” he said.