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Cannabis resource centre

​BCCNP news and resources related to cannabis

As of Oct. 17, 2018, the federal Cannabis Act and Cannabis Regulations are the primary law governing cannabis in Canada.

 

In B.C., the provincial Cannabis Control and Licensing Act and its associated regulations support the province's implementation of legalized cannabis.

For details about cannabis for medical purposes, visit Health Canada's website. For details about cannabis for non-medical purposes, visit the BC Government's website.

What to consider

Nurses need to know that some activities with cannabis will still be illegal. Before carrying out any activities with cannabis, whether for medical or non-medical purposes, nurses should ensure they are familiar with federal and provincial cannabis legislation.

Nurses should also consider:

  • Their competence to carry out the activity.
  • Their organization's policies and procedures related to cannabis.
  • Their ability to authenticate the substance and determine the dosage.
  • The requirements set out in the BCCNP standards of practice specific to their nursing designation. These include
    • their responsibility and accountability for their nursing actions,
    • documentation requirements, and
    • collaboration and communication with the health care team.

 FAQs

Can nurses administer medical cannabis to adult clients in hospital settings?

Generally, yes, if there is a client-specific medical document or order from a physician, the employer permits nurses to do so, and the packaged and labelled cannabis product (dried cannabis, cannabis oil, or fresh cannabis) has been received from a licensed retailer or producer. Subsection 348 of the Cannabis Regulations sets out the requirements for cannabis products in hospital settings.

Nurses also need to consider:

  • Their competence to carry out the activity.
  • Their organization's policies and procedures related to cannabis.
  • Their ability to authenticate the substance and determine the dosage.
  • The requirements set out in the BCCNP standards of practice specific to their nursing designation. These include
    • responsibility and accountability for your nursing actions,
    • documentation requirements, and
    • collaboration and communication with the health care team.
  • Applicable federal and provincial legislation.
Can nurses administer medical cannabis to their adult clients in non-hospital settings?

Generally, yes, if there is a client-specific medical document or order from a physician, the employer permits nurses to do so, and the client has legally obtained the medical cannabis. Subsections 266(1)(f) and 269(2) of the Cannabis Regulations give adults (including nurses) this authority.

Nurses also need to consider:

  • Their competence to carry out the activity.
  • Their organization's policies and procedures related to cannabis.
  • Their ability to authenticate the substance and determine the dosage.
  • The requirements set out in the BCCNP standards of practice specific to their nursing designation. These include
    • responsibility and accountability for your nursing actions,
    • documentation requirements, and
    • collaboration and communication with the health care team.
  • Applicable federal and provincial legislation.
Can nurses administer medical cannabis to clients under 19 years of age?

​There are specific provisions in BC's Cannabis Control and Licensing Act and BC's Cannabis Control Regulation that regulate the administration of cannabis to minors. In particular, there are specific consent requirements for minors. See section 26 of the Cannabis Control Regulation for more details.

Nurses also need to consider:

  • Their competence to carry out the activity.
  • Their organization's policies and procedures related to cannabis.
  • Their ability to authenticate the substance and determine the dosage.
  • The requirements set out in the BCCNP standards of practice specific to their nursing designation. These include
    • responsibility and accountability for your nursing actions,
    • documentation requirements, and
    • collaboration and communication with the health care team.
  • Applicable federal and provincial legislation.
Can NPs order or issue a medical document for medical cannabis?

No. The Scope of Practice for Nurse Practitioners: Standards, Limits, Conditions limits NPs from prescribing or issuing a medical document for fresh or dried marijuana or cannabis oil.

Can LPNs, RNs, or RPNs order or issue a medical document for medical cannabis?

No. LPNs, RNs, and RPNs are not considered "health care practitioners" under the Cannabis Regulations and therefore do not have the authority to issue medical documents or written orders for medical cannabis.

 

Does BCCNP have any restriction on nurses' personal use of cannabis for recreational purposes?

Nursing is demanding work, in which impairment could result in direct and significant risk of injury to clients. Nurses must adhere to the BCCNP Standards of Practice, and in particular, the requirement that they maintain their physical, psychological, and emotional fitness to practice.

 Need help or advice?

​For further information on the Standards of Practice or professional practice matters, contact us:

  • Email practice@bccnp.ca
  • 604.742.6200 (Metro Vancouver)
  • Toll-free 1.866.880.7101 (within Canada only)