Jeff Brecht and Julie Engbloom co-authored an article in Oregon Business magazine’s July/August issue titled “Cannabis Conundrum: Conflicting Laws Mean Ongoing Challenges for Oregon’s Senior Housing and Long Term Care Industry.” In the article, Brecht and Engbloom discussed federal and state law conflict as it applies to marijuana use in Oregon’s long term care and senior housing industry and to residents in senior housing (i.e., assisted living and memory care facilities) and long term care (i.e., skilled nursing facilities— collectively, (SH/LTC)).
SH/LTC providers that permit residents to possess or use marijuana at facilities where Medicare or Medicaid is a payment source risk potential federal sanctions, such as disqualification from participation in Medicare or Medicaid programs.
Brecht and Engbloom also discussed the potential reclassification of marijuana from a “Schedule I” to a “Schedule II” drug or substance, which is currently under consideration by the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration and regulated by the Controlled Substances Act.
Oregon SH/LTC providers can reasonably expect that laws will eventually be passed that will clarify how they must or should respond to the federal/state marijuana law conflict. Until then, providers should continue to carefully consider the pros and cons of permitting marijuana in their facilities and closely monitor this ever-evolving area of law.
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