Federal Agency Loosens Marijuana-Related Grant Funding Restrictions For Mental Health Treatment

MJ moment

The federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) is loosening restrictions on grant funding for state health providers and other entities that allow patients to use medical marijuana for mental heath treatment. The Pennsylvania Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs flagged the new policy change in a notice to SAMHSA grant recipients on Monday. It said that the federal agency has removed language from its terms and conditions that until now has prevented grant funds from going to any institution that “provides or permits marijuana use for the purposes of treating substance use or mental disorders.” This restriction led the state department to issue a memo in June warning recipients and applicants about the possible withholding of funding. Despite the recent change, SAMHSA is still continuing a narrower ban that says federal funds themselves “may not be used to purchase, prescribe, or provide marijuana or treatment using marijuana.” The broader prohibition, which has now been rescinded, prompted a notice last year from Maine’s Education Department, which said is was no longer eligible for certain federal funds to support mental health programs in schools because the state allows students to access medical marijuana. It seems the federal agency is now being somewhat more permissive. Here’s how SAMHSA’s updated marijuana restriction reads: “SAMHSA grant funds may not be used to purchase, prescribe, or provide marijuana or treatment using marijuana. See, e.g., 45 C.F.R. 75.300(a) (requiring HHS to ensure that Federal funding is expended in full accordance with U.S. statutory and public policy requirements); 21 U.S.C. 812(c)(10) and 841 (prohibiting the possession, manufacture, sale, purchase or distribution of marijuana).” The older, more broad prohibition read: “Grant funds may not be used, directly or indirectly, to purchase, prescribe, or provide marijuana or treatment using marijuana. Treatment in this context includes the treatment…

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Source : Federal Agency Loosens Marijuana-Related Grant Funding Restrictions For Mental Health Treatment

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