Summary

Senate Bill 311 would require that hospitals and certain types of healthcare facilities in the State of California allow a terminally-ill patient to use medical cannabis for treatment and/or pain relief. Smoking or vaping cannabis is expressly prohibited, and the bill is not applicable to a patient receiving emergency services or care.

SB 311 would require a patient to provide the healthcare facility with a copy of their medical cannabis card or recommendation by a physician. Additionally, it would authorize a healthcare facility to reasonably restrict the way a patient stores and uses medical cannabis to ensure the safety of other patients, guests, and employees of the healthcare facility, compliance with other state laws, and the safe operations of the healthcare facility.

To address concerns about federal intervention, Ryan’s Law provides a safe harbor clause. Healthcare facilities would be permitted to suspend compliance with this bill if a federal regulatory agency, the US Department of Justice (DOJ), or the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) takes specified actions, including initiating an enforcement action against a healthcare facility for its compliance with a state- regulated medical cannabis program, or otherwise issuing a rule or notice that expressly prohibits the use of medical cannabis in healthcare facilities.