By Paul Armentano, NORML Deputy Director
Legislation recently signed into law in Connecticut and Maine permit for the use of medicinal marijuana formulations by hospitalized patients.
Connecticut Gov. Dannel Malloy yesterday signed legislation, HB 5450, to protect nurses who administer medical marijuana to qualified patients in hospital settings from any criminal, civil, or disciplinary action. Other provisions in the bill expand the pool of patients eligible for cannabis therapy to include those under the age of 18, and seek to establish a state-sponsored research program.
In Maine, Gov. Paul LePage recently signed LD 726 into law, which similarly protects hospital administrators and staff from criminal or civil liability if they permit qualified patients access to non-inhaled preparations of medical marijuana in hospitals. Under the law, patients would not necessarily be provided or administered medical marijuana by hospital staff, but could be provided cannabis products by third parties.
Separate provisions in LD 726 establish licensing protocols for marijuana testing facilities and the labeling of medical cannabis products.
Connecticut and Maine are the first states to explicitly provide immunity to hospitals that permit patients to medicate with cannabis.
A summary of 2016 state legislation is online from NORML's Take Action Center here.