Medical Marijuana

Amendment 2 has some very specific guidelines that will need to be followed and incorporated into the existing regulations set forth by the Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS). The effective date of the amendment is December 6, 2018. DHSS has until June 6, 2019, to make the application forms available for individuals who wish to become qualifying patients and to begin accepting applications. Note that even though the law has passed, this practice will not begin immediately.

Nurses must keep in mind that marijuana, in any form, is still federally illegal. Employers and nurses who receive monies from federal sources (like Medicare) will have to address how they are going to move forward with the possession on the premises and the administration of medical marijuana. Employers will also have to determine how to manage staff and their personal use/possession of medical marijuana. The Department of Health and Senior Services (DHSS) has been given the authority to write rules regarding medical marijuana in Missouri. These rules are not yet in place.

335.066 RSMo in the Nurse Practice Act does cite:

The use or unlawful possession of any controlled substance, as defined in chapter 196 or alcoholic beverage to an extent that such impairs a person's ability to perform the work of any profession licensed or regulated by the Board of Nursing;

A pattern of personal use or consumption of any controlled substance unless it is prescribed, dispensed, or administered by a provider who is authorized by law to do so;

Violation of the drug laws or rules and regulations of this state, any other state or the federal government;

Keeping the 335.066 RSMo in the Nurse Practice Act in mind, the MO medical marijuana laws have language which provides protection from civil or criminal prosecution, disciplinary action by any licensing board, etc., for health care providers who follow the rules and standards set forth in Missouri.

In addition, the National Council State Board of Nursing (NCSBN) has a set of marijuana guidelines, which you can find at https://www.ncsbn.org/marijuana-guidelines.htm.