Applying Ryan’s Law: The Compassionate Use of Cannabis in Health Care Facilities

On September 28, 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed SB 311, “Ryan’s Law”, to allow
terminally ill patients who have been authorized to use cannabis under California’s
Compassionate Use Act to use their own medical cannabis in a health care facility.
While there are three FDA approved medications that contain synthetic delta-9-
tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), all other cannabis products remain in the Schedule I category
under the DEA’s Controlled Substance Act and are therefore considered federally illegal.
For this reason, health care facilities until now have not allowed cannabis to be used as a
treatment for patients. With the passing of Ryan’s Law, these facilities are now compelled
to allow authorized terminally ill patients use of their own medical cannabis. Due to conflicts
in federal and state cannabis laws, health care facilities must address several factors
regarding the complications of federal funding and oversight by federal agencies.
Pharmacists historically have not been educated on cannabis pharmacology and may not
be prepared to assess the use of cannabis, side effects, and potential drug interactions in
this population. Pharmacists will learn the implications of Ryan’s Law, what the requirements are for health care facilities and how to practically implement policies that will comply with state laws
while minimizing federal risk. In addition, this program will inform pharmacists about the
most important aspects of cannabis use as it pertains to this bill.



To provide pharmacists with the tools necessary to implement institutional policy in compliance with Senate Bill 311, “Compassionate Access to Medical Cannabis Act or Ryan’s Law” in health care facilities.

Pharmacists committed to implementing SB311 in health care facilities.

Learning Objectives

At the completion of this activity, the participant will be able to:

  • Differentiate the types of medical Cannabis used for compassionate purposes and their status according to federal and California laws
  • Identify the key features and requirements of Ryan’s Law
  • Articulate possible facility policies and procedures that will comply with state law and minimize institutional risk resulting from federal enforcement

Course Faculty:

Kari Franson, PharmD, PhD, BCPP
Associate Dean for Academic and Student Affairs, Professor of Clinical Pharmacy,
USC Mann School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Jill Simonian, PharmD
Affiliate Faculty, UCSD Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences

Codi Peterson, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacist, CHOC; Scientific Advisor, The Cannigma

Paul Lofholm, PharmD, FACA
Clinical Professor of Pharmacy, UCSF

Leah Johnson, PharmD
Medical Cannabis & Long Term Care Consultant Pharmacist, Alchemist Consulting

Speakers and CPD Administrator (Lisa McDonald Reyes) report no conflict of interest, real and apparent, and no financial interest in any company, product or service mentioned in this activity, including grants, gifts, stockholdings, and honoraria.


General Registration: $35

For CE related questions contact the USC Mann Office of Continuing Professional Development at