California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill on Tuesday requiring hospitals and other health care facilities to allow terminally ill patients to use medical marijuana, Marijuana Moment reported.
The governor approved the legislation, also known as “Ryan’s Law,” sponsored by State Sen. Ben Hueso (D), who had been pushing for this measure for years.
“It is inconceivable to me that, in a state where medical cannabis was legalized more than 25 years ago, those in deepest suffering receiving treatment in our state’s healthcare facilities cannot access this proven, effective and prescribed treatment,” Hueso disclosed in a press release. “Instead, terminally-ill patients in California healthcare facilities are given heavy opiates that rob them of their precious last moments with family and friends. This is a simple, yet critical, move that will provide relief, compassion, and dignity to terminally-ill Californians.”
In 2019, an earlier version of the bill was vetoed by Newsom due to confusion related to possible implications connected to allowing cannabis consumption in health facilities.
The issue arose over whether medical facilities in legal marijuana states can legally allow certain patients to use medical cannabis without jeopardizing the facility’s federal funding.
Hueso recently asked the head of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) to clarify the subject.
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) responded in a letter to Hueso that there are no federal regulations that specifically address the issue and that the agency was not aware of any cases where funding had been pulled due to a hospital or long-term facility allowing patients to use medical marijuana.
“With this confirmation from CMS and the safeguards in the law, we are confident that healthcare facilities have the necessary authority to implement these provisions while ensuring the safety of other patients, guests, and employees of the healthcare facility, compliance with other state laws, and the safe operations of the healthcare facility,” Senator Hueso said.