Arizona has loosened its laws on medical cannabis card-carrying foster parents due to a recent court ruling, but it still limits medical cannabis in foster homes.
The new rule, which allows a foster parent to have CBD oil in the home, is a result of a recent decision reported on by the Phoenix New Times that toes the dilemma of states allowing for medical cannabis and having to work with federal organizations.
This fall, a prospective foster parent was denied foster licensing because she had a cannabis caregiver card. She dosed her 12-year-old biological son with some CBD oil to alleviate his self-injuring tic, which other treatments had not helped with. She had taken in a 16-year-old boy under a kinship placement and wanted to be licensed as a foster parent to get him access to more benefits and support.
“I thought, easy enough, I’ll just cancel my son’s medical marijuana card. Done and done. I forwarded my email canceling the caregiver card to the agency,” Becca Masterson wrote on her blog in September. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to appease the state, because she was still denied even though the CBD oil she used was available through major retailers like Wal-Mart.
She wrote, “The State basically said, Sorry, you crazy lawyer with an adopted son and all this special needs and attachment experience, even though you’re the only person willing to open your home to this 16 year old boy in the system, and even though he is already living in your home, we don’t think you’re suitable to be a licensed foster parent because you buy a supplement online that really helps your child.”
The state’s Department of Child Safety soon changed its mind and said it would revise policy to no longer exclude foster parents with CBD oil in the home.
Arizona was the only state that allowed medical cannabis but denied a foster license because of a medical cannabis consumer or caregiver card. Their new policy allows for CBD products that are not covered by medical cannabis regulation to be used, but any products purchased for medical reasons through a dispensary are not allowed.
“ . . . A foster parent may possess the oil in their home and use it for medically allowable purposes. The oil must be safeguarded as applicable under the Arizona foster home licensing rules and guidelines,” the Phoenix New Times reported as it shared a copy of the policy on its website.
The updated policy nods to the federal categorization of cannabis as a schedule 1 drug. No other state with medical cannabis regulation has any rules against medical cannabis consumers or caregivers from becoming foster parents if the cannabis is stored safely according to guidelines.