On October 17, 2018, federal legislation that decriminalizes recreational cannabis comes into effect. The new act and regulations also replace the regulatory framework for cannabis for medical purposes. The legislation is complex and introduces new language and new provisions, different from previous legislation. ACP continues to analyze the legislation and will progressively provide communication and guidance to pharmacists and pharmacy technicians about it.
What is clear is that pharmacists and pharmacy technicians must comply with ACP’s standards and Code of Ethics where cannabis is involved. Council will be considering draft guidelines to support pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy proprietors to meet these responsibilities. These will be published with the next edition of The Link on October 17.
Pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, and pharmacy proprietors are reminded that pharmacy does not have a role in the sale and distribution of cannabis for recreational purposes. Regardless of purpose, the first responsibilities of pharmacists are to
- include assessment for cannabis use as part of your assessment of individuals in your care;
- provide monitoring and support of individuals using cannabis for medical purposes, as you would any prescription drug; and
- advocate for safe, responsible, and appropriate use, emphasizing the risks associated with recreational use.
Watch the next edition of The Link for more information.