California works with the feds to clear up medical cannabis rules in hospitals

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California wants to make sure hospitals have protection if following state medical marijuana laws

Federal funding has always been a topic of discussion, especially when related to the cannabis industry. That’s why the California Governor’s office and the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) are working together to determine whether hospitals and other healthcare facilities in states where marijuana is already legal can allow terminally ill patients access to medical cannabis without jeopardizing those funds. This measure comes somewhat late in response to a request from a state legislator who is pursuing legislation related to the issue.

California Senator Ben Hueso has taken up the task of introducing a bill aimed at determining whether hospitals in the Golden State have the ability to allow cannabis treatment. Hueso began sending letters to federal and state officials last month asking about cannabis access for terminally ill patients, and in response, began receiving calls from representatives of both HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra and Governor Gavin Newsom. According to a local media outlet, both officials stated that their offices are conducting an investigation into the matter.

Because there has always been too much confusion regarding the possible federal funding implications of allowing cannabis use in different health care facilities, Newman decided to veto a bill two years ago that was intended to address the problem. While it is true that the Governor is known to be in favor of legalization, the lack of clarity caused him to make the decision anyway.

Hueso’s inspiration for pursuing this legislation was born primarily through the experience of a father whose son was unable to win his battle against cancer after initially being denied access to cannabis at a California hospital. The father, Jim Bartell, was able to find a medical facility that agreed to allow treatment and said that although it was too late, his son’s quality of life was at least exponentially improved during his last days of life.