ACMPR Rules Detail Hospital Staff Can Only Access Cannabis from Licensed Producers

Health Canada‘s new Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations, which were released in full earlier this morning, contain expanded roles for hospital pharmacists in the system.

The new regulations mention hospital pharmacists a dozen times and state that, under the ACMPR, “a pharmacist may sell or provide a narcotic — other than fresh or dried marihuana or cannabis oil received from a licensed producer or methadone — to a person … If authorized by the person in charge of the hospital, a pharmacist practising in a hospital may sell, provide or return fresh or dried marihuana or cannabis oil received from a licensed producer.”

What this means for patients currently under hospital care that will receive dried cannabis or cannabis oil from sources other than licensed producers (their own home grow or provided by a designated grower) is unknown.

Posting on Facebook, Cheryl Rose, director of the Hayley Rose Foundation, wrote that the new rules made her livid and that if the medicine is needed by a patient and tested properly hospital staff “should administer any cannabis to any patient in need.”

Defined under the Narcotic Control Regulations as “a person who is registered or otherwise entitled under the laws of a province to practise pharmacy and to operate a pharmacy or dispensary,” pharmacists had previously, under the MMPR, been allowed to purchase cannabis from licensed producers under the responsibilities of their role.

“A licensed producer must not sell or provide dried marihuana … unless the producer has first received a written order” from “a pharmacist practising in the hospital or a health care practitioner authorized to place orders for dried marihuana on behalf of the hospital.”

A post from S&M Sweet Shoppe edibles owner Michelle Sikora said that hospitals may not have always adhered to this system.

Sikora wrote that, in October, a client’s wife called her after her husband was put on palliative care.

“Her husband’s doctor asked her to call me!” Sikora wrote. “To bring oil and tincture to the hospital, as it was the only medicine that helps her husband’s pain.

“Not one doctor or nurse gave me any kind of recognition. They [knew] who I am and what I was doing there.”