Pennsylvania Officials Warn About Federal Marijuana Policy That Could Jeopardize Health Funding

Marijuana Moment report..

Pennsylvania officials recently issued a memo stating that the federal government is withholding grant money for certain health programs that allow medical marijuana use among participants—but there is an exception.

In the bulletin posted this month, the state Department of Drug and Alcohol Programs said the federal Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) “has been including the following special conditions in federal funding awards.”

Those conditions stipulate that grant funds “may not be used, directly or indirectly, to purchase, prescribe, or provide marijuana or treatment using marijuana.”

This decision, which also impacts grant funding for education programs, prompted a notice last year from Maine’s Education Department, which warned grant recipients about SAMHSA’s updated cannabis policy.

That said, a 2020 follow-up from the federal agency that was included in the new Pennsylvania notice adds some nuance to the policy. SAMHSA clarifies that recipients would only be disqualified from the grants if the people participating in their program are using marijuana for mental health or substance misuse treatment.

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