WENATCHEE — Parents, not school nurses, can administer medical marijuana-infused products to their children during school.
That’s one of the clarifications school districts are making sure hits home as they begin implementing a new state law, House Bill 1095: “Medical Marijuana: Administration to Students,” that went into effect July 28.
The new rules allow qualified students to take marijuana-infused products while they are on school grounds, aboard a bus, or while attending school-sponsored events. Students aren’t allowed to carry the products with them. The doses must be administered by a parent or guardian with a designated provider card.
To qualify, students must be authorized by a health care practitioner as having a terminal or debilitating medical condition and be registered with the state.
The state superintendent’s office issued a bulletin Aug. 13 about the issue and it was discussed in the Washington State School Directors’ Association July newsletter.
WSSDA recommends school districts tweak the “Medication at School” Policy 3416 and “Drug-Free Schools” Policy 5201. It also recommends adopting a new Policy 3423, titled “Parental Administration of Marijuana for Medical Purposes.”
The timing on when all that happens depends on circumstance. The policy must be adopted if requested by a parent or guardian, but some districts are getting ahead of the game.
Eastmont is one of those.
Changes to the three related policies were on the Eastmont School Board’s agenda for a second reading Monday night and expected to be approved.
“To date, I am not aware of any parents asking to administer medicinal marijuana during school,” said Superintendent Garn Christensen. “The law is very specific and requires that we comply.”
Eastmont’s policies and procedures mirror those recommended by the state.
The Wenatchee School District is waiting to make a move until further direction is received from the state, according to Communications Director Diana Haglund.
In Leavenworth, the Cascade School District’s model policy has not yet been brought forward, but the board has clarified that school nurses cannot administer medical marijuana, said Superintendent Tracey Beckendorf-Edou.
Chelan School Superintendent Barry DePaoli said he expects to review the policies with the board in the near future.
“Perhaps the biggest concern related to HB 1095 is that although (House Bill 1095) is approved by state law, if adopted by school districts, will it jeopardize funding at the federal level?” he said.
The state superintendent’s office has requested a formal opinion from the state attorney general on the risks to federal funding.
The law calls for school districts to put an end to the practice if federal funding is determined to be at risk.