Caring for Clients Who Use Medical Cannabis

LPNs who care for clients who use medical cannabis are advised to review the guidelines produced by the College of Licensed Practical Nurses of Manitoba (CLPNM), the College of Registered Nurses of Manitoba (CRNM) and the College Registered Psychiatric Nurses of Manitoba (CRPNM). The purpose of the guidelines is to help nurses understand their professional and legal responsibilities related to the administration of medical cannabis in Manitoba. Note that the guidelines were updated in July, 2018 to address a nurse’s authority to administer medical cannabis in personal care homes.

Review the guidelines here.

Here are a few questions LPNs may have about the guidelines:

Why were the guidelines updated in July, 2018?

Federal regulations authorize the employees of “hospitals” to administer medical cannabis under certain conditions. When the guidelines were first published, the colleges did not have confirmation that personal care homes could be interpreted as “hospitals” under those regulations.  After completing further consultation, the colleges now interpret that the authority to administer medical cannabis in hospitals extends to personal care homes.  Review the guideline for full details.

Why publish guidelines now? Won’t everything change when the new Cannabis Act takes effect?

The implications of the new Cannabis Act on the rules surrounding medical cannabis and a nurse’s practice are not yet fully understood.  The CLPNM  continues to work with other regulators, government representatives and stakeholders to clarify the implications. The nursing colleges will add to, or amend, their guidance document as new information becomes known.

LPNs Who Use Medical Cannabis

LPNs who are authorized to use medical cannabis must meet the same expectations for fitness to practice as all LPNs who have been prescribed a medication regimen.

Review the CLPNM’s Practice Direction on Fitness to Practice for more information.