Belle Fourche School Board holds medical cannabis policy 1st reading

Courtesy photo

BELLE FOURCHE –– The Belle Fourche School Board held a first reading for its new medical cannabis policy and procedure Monday.

The topic, which involved an administration of medical cannabis to qualifying students policy and a medical cannabis administration plan, was among a handful of items on Monday’s special school board meeting agenda.

The “Administration of Medical Cannabis to Qualifying Students” policy, labeled by the district as JHCDE, is a five-page document outlining how the district is expected to permit the administration of cannabis to students on school grounds.

According to the new policy, students with valid registry identification cards for medical cannabis, who intend to use the substance while at school or school-related events, are required to have a designated caregiver to administer the medication.

The policy requires that each qualifying student and their parent, guardian, or designated caregiver, 21 or older, provide three items of documentation. Those include a student’s valid state Department of Health (DOH) approved registry ID card, a caregiver’s card that has been approved by the state showing his or her status as the registered designated caregiver for the qualifying student, and a written, dated, and signed certification from the student’s recommending practitioner that lists the dosage, frequency or time of administration, and length of time between doses of medical cannabis.

The policy states that copies of the required documentation would be made and placed into the student’s educational record.

A student’s designated caregiver is the only person authorized by the policy to provide, administrate, or assist the student with the consumption of medical cannabis while on school property or participating in school activities.

“Schools will not store, and school personnel will not administer, medical cannabis,” the policy reads.

Administration of medical cannabis at school

The new policy further delineates the administration of medical cannabis at school. It states that a qualifying student’s designated caregiver is permitted to administer a “permissible form of medical cannabis to a student in a designated location, after meeting eight parameters.

Student’s parent or guardian provides the previously mentioned documentation at the beginning of each school year and at any time the student’s administration of medical cannabis changes.

• A student’s parent or guardian provides written notification to the school within 10 days of a change in their designated caregiver, ceases to have a debilitation medical condition as the term is defined in state law, or if the qualifying student’s registry ID card is void, expired, or revoked.

• In the event that a new medical cannabis registry ID card is issued, a parent or guardian must present the new card within 10 days of its issuance.

• The qualifying student’s parent or guarding signs a written acknowledgement form assuming all responsibility for the provision, administration, maintenance, possession, storage, and use of medical cannabis under state law and releases the district from liability for any claim or injury that occurs.

• A student’s parent, guardian, or designated caregiver is responsible for providing the permissible form of medical cannabis to be administered, shall transport it in a container that meets the packaging and labeling requirements outlined by the DOH, and is not permitted at any time to possess an amount of medical cannabis that exceeds the student’s prescribed daily dosage on school property.

• The district will determine the location and method of administration of medical cannabis to avoid disruptions to the educational environment or exposure to other students.

• Following the administration of medical cannabis to a qualifying student, the designated caregiver is required to remove any remaining cannabis from school property or school-sponsored activity or event.

• A written, dated, and signed medical cannabis administration plan is required to be prepared, identifying the form, designated location(s), and any protocol related to administration of a permissible form of medical cannabis to a qualifying student.

According to the policy, a permissible form of medical cannabis is defined as “non-smokable products” such as oils, tinctures, edible products, or lotions that can be administered and fully ingested or absorbed in a short period of time. Smoking or vaping medical cannabis is prohibited.

Any violation of the policy, on behalf of a student or their caregiver, could result in the limitation or revocation of a qualifying student’s continued administration of medical cannabis while in school or school-related activities, the document states.

Lastly, the policy states that should the federal government indicate that the district’s federal funding will be or have been lost as a result of the new policy, “… the board declares that this policy shall be suspended immediately and that the administration of any form of medical cannabis to qualifying students on school property or at a school-sponsored event shall not be permitted.”

Should that occur, the policy states that it will post notice of the suspension and prohibition in a “conspicuous place on its website.”

Second readings for the policy and plan are anticipated to occur during the district’s Sept. 13 board meeting.

Following the second reading and adoption, and advertisement of the documents, the documents can be found on the districts website: https://www.bellefourche.k12.sd.us. To locate the information, click on the “Menu” link on the district’s main page followed by documents, central office, district policies, and students, which is located in the “J” section of the policy list.

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