US (CA): Governor signs bill protecting medical cannabis patients from healthcare discrimination

California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) has signed another pair of cannabis reform bills, including one that provides protections for medical cannabis patients against discrimination in healthcare.

Ahead of the end of the legislative session last week, lawmakers delivered a number of cannabis measures to the governor in the final push. On Friday, Newsom signed AB 1954 from Assemblymember Bill Quirk (D) and SB 988 from Sen. Ben Hueso (D).

The former legislation makes it so doctors cannot discriminate against patients by denying medication or treatment based on a positive THC test if the person is a registered medical cannabis patient in the state. It further stipulates that medical professionals can’t be penalized for administering treatment to a patient who uses medical cannabis in compliance with state law.

Advocates say this is necessary to clear up confusion among physicians about how to manage patients’ treatment when they test positive for THC. Some patients have reported being cut off from opioid prescriptions for pain because they use medical cannabis.

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