Hospitals Authorized to Allow Patients to Self-Administer Medical Marijuana During Stay

On May 17, 2017, final regulations were published by the NYS Department of Health (DOH) authorizing hospitals to allow patients to self-administer medical marijuana in the facility during their hospital stay.  The procedures regarding self-administration can be found in 10 NYCRR 405.5.

The relevant portion of that section of the law is reprinted here:

(5) Hospitals, in accordance with hospital policies and procedures, may authorize a patient to bring in his or her own medications, including prescription medications, non-prescription medications and medical marihuana as defined in section 3360(8) of the Public Health Law, and self-administer such medications, provided that:

  1. a practitioner responsible for the care of the patient in the hospital has issued an order permitting self-administration of the medication the patient brought into the hospital, and in the case of medical marihuana, upon presentation of the patient or designated caregiver’s registry identification card issued pursuant to section 3363 of the Public Health Law;

(ii)        the capacity of the patient or the patient’s caregiver to administer the medication has been assessed;

(iii)       a determination is made concerning whether the patient or the patient’s caregiver needs instruction on the safe and accurate administration of the medication;

(iv)       the medication is identified and visually evaluated for integrity;

(v)        the security of the medication is addressed;

(vi)       documentation is made of the administration of each medication in the patient’s record, as reported by the patient or the patient’s caregiver; and

(vii)     if a patient dies in the hospital, any unused prescription medication shall be destroyed or disposed of in accordance with all applicable state and federal laws and regulations. Such prescription medications may not be turned over to the patient’s caregiver.  In the case of medical marihuana, it may be turned over to the deceased patient’s designated caregiver or to appropriate law enforcement for destruction or disposal.

Facilities that allow patients to self-administer any medications should ensure that all aspects of the regulation are included in their policies and procedures.  Likewise, there should be thorough documentation in the patient’s record as required by the regulation.