American Nurses Association Formally Recognizes Cannabis Nursing Specialty

Fri, Sep 29
Key Points
  • The American Nurses Association (ANA) has recognized cannabis nursing as a specialty.
  • The ANA is the sole reviewing body for specialty nursing scope of practice and standards.
  • The recognition highlights the important role of cannabis nurses and promotes the integration of cannabis therapies in healthcare settings.
  • The ANA also supports the need for clinical research on cannabis and advocates for the reclassification of marijuana from a Schedule I controlled substance.

The American Nurses Association (ANA) on Thursday announced it is formally recognizing cannabis nursing as a specialty. The American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA) identifies cannabis nursing as a practice focused on the care of healthcare consumers seeking education and guidance in the therapeutic use of cannabis.

ANA is the sole reviewing body of specialty nursing scope of practice and standards of practice, requests for specialty recognition, and affirmation of focused practice competencies.

In a statement, ANA President Jennifer Mensik Kennedy said the recognition “highlights the essential role and special contribution of cannabis nurses to the health care system and promotes enhanced integration of cannabis therapies for health care consumers across diverse health care settings.”

ACNA President Rachel Parmelee said the organization is “deeply gratified by the groundbreaking establishment of cannabis nursing as an ANA-recognized nursing specialty.”

“Nurses are the largest group of health professionals, providing an opportunity to change the health care paradigm and include diverse wellness modalities beyond traditional Western medicine. Cannabis nursing requires specialized knowledge and competencies to navigate care and address the stigma associated with medical cannabis use to support a healthy society. We seek to create lasting, transformative change that enriches both specialized and general nursing practices, ultimately serving the well-being of patients nationwide.” — Parmelee in a press release

The ANA added that it “supports the urgency of clinical research to inform patients and providers on the efficacy of marijuana and related cannabinoids.” In a 2021 position statement, the organization said it supported the “review and reclassification of marijuana’s status from a federal Schedule I controlled substances.”