Is Your Organization Prepared for the Risks of Medical Marijuana?
April 26, 2017 | Strategic Insights for Health System
Because of differences between federal and state law, "there are no easy answers" for healthcare providers when it comes to mitigating the risks of medical marijuana, according to an article in the April 2017 issue of the Journal of Healthcare Risk Management. Since marijuana is a Schedule I drug under the Controlled Substance Act, the federal government considers it without therapeutic value; however, 43 states and territories have some sort of allowance for medical marijuana. Normally, when the two jurisdictions conflict, the authors said, the state defers to federal law, making the current situation "tenuous." However, Congress in 2015 renewed a law that largely removes the threat of federal prosecution in the medical marijuana industry, as long as entities strictly comply with state law. But legal issues remain. It is thus important that medical marijuana recommendations be made as part of an objectively defensible patient-provider relationship.