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Senior Assisted Living Cannabis Conundrum


Well-Known Member
Federal and state law conflicts over cannabis have created an ongoing dilemma for the senior housing and long term care (collectively, SH/LTC) industry. In return for providing services to facility residents, many long term care providers are paid by the Medicare federal health insurance program and the joint federal and state Medicaid program. Likewise, some senior housing providers receive Medicaid payments. SH/LTC providers that permit residents to possess or use marijuana at facilities where Medicare or Medicaid is a payment source risk potential federal sanctions, such as disqualification from participation in Medicare or Medicaid programs. In fact, the Social Security Act requires that any individual or entity convicted of a felony offense related to the unlawful manufacture, distribution, prescription or dispensing of a “controlled substance” (which includes marijuana) be excluded from participation in any federal health care programs, including Medicare and Medicaid.


Tokin' Away Since 1968
I'm a single daily/nightly vaper and occasional edible dude in my mid-seventies with health "issues". I worry that if I have to spend time in the county nursing home that I will be denied one of my primary pleasures. Meanwhile so many nursing homes use powerful sedatives and anti-psychotic drugs to keep their residents/patients/clients "calm", largely to make the staff's lives easier.

Related: My bro is wealthy and lives in a large house in a wealthy area with outstanding services for seniors. Now that their last late child has moved on, he and his wife have repeatedly invited me to come and live there with them. But they don't use dope or drink alcoholic beverages and are very very judgemental about people who do, including me. I sometimes think I'd rather live in our local not great nursing home or just die than give up my autonomy, independence, and ability to do what I want. This fits with the motto of my state: Live Free or Die!
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Well-Known Member
I only learned about this when looking into a home for my father-in-law and was advised that even though recreational & medical cannabis were legal in his state of residence, Oregon, every home my wife contacted told her that "it's against federal law and we receive funds from Medicaid, therefore we could be subject to federal criminal charges if we allow residents to consume or possess cannabis, EVEN medical cannabis."'

"Marijuana is a Schedule I substance under the Controlled Substances Act, CSA, meaning that it has a high potential for abuse, no currently accepted medical use in treatment in the United States, and a lack of accepted safety for use under medical supervision." CSA Act from 1970!!

In June 2010, the Oregon Board of Pharmacy reclassified marijuana from a Schedule I drug to a Schedule II drug. News reports noted that this reclassification makes Oregon the "first state in the nation to make marijuana anything less serious than a Schedule I drug."

They are afraid they'll loose their certification and federal funding!


Well-Known Member
Oh my! Matters of which I have not been in thought of. I am another mid-seventies long time user. One of (how?) many in a boomer generation epidemiological research population.
Healthy now, and in hope of dying healthy at home rather than in a home away or worse.

I am in Uruguay. Cannabis is legal but frowned upon, like tobacco. There are 'hogares para adultos majores'.
It may be worth my time to ask questions.
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