April 13, 2017 update: We continue to monitor legislative developments on this issue while awaiting a legal review.
The Canadian Nurses Protective Society (CNPS) recently issued a caution to all RNs related to administrating marihuana for medical purposes. In the article, Cannabis for medical purposes: Legal implications for nurses CNPS stated the following:
“In light of the explicit authorization given to physicians and NPs to administer the substance, the corresponding lack of legislative authorization given to RNs to do so and the use of the phrase 'providing assistance in the administration' of cannabis, it is recommended that RNs do not directly administer cannabis to patients at this time, even when they are provided with a valid medical document issued by an NP or a physician.”
We have noted that this statement is inconsistent with our current reference to marihuana for medical purposes in our Medication Guidelines and we are currently undertaking a legal review. We have also added a notation to the guidelines document posted on our website.
Our top priority is ensuring public safety and access to care. We encourage RNs who are concerned they may be asked to administer marihuana for medical purposes to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.