A new policy in Worcester County Public Schools allows students with a prescription for medical marijuana to be administered the cannabis while in school, but only by a school nurse.
Dr. Annette Wallace, the chief safety and academic officer for the school district presented the policy to school board members on Tuesday, saying it was being put in place to protect all students around controlled substances.
In 2020, Wallace said, the General Assembly passed legislation requiring all Maryland schools to allow the administration of medical cannabis during school hours and school-sponsored activities while on a school bus.
The purpose of the legislation is to help designated personnel in the schools to manage and coordinate the care of students who receive medical marijuana for a variety of qualifying medication conditions, like seizures.
If a student is prescribed cannabis for treatment, several steps must be taken by the parents, prescribing doctor, and school nurse to ensure the medication is checked into a locked and secured locker and administered properly.
Wallace said she is not aware of any requests for the administration of medical cannabis in the schools, but if one ever comes forward, the policy will be in place.
Wallace presented a batch of policy revisions to the board, but led with the new policy for medical cannabis intentionally.
“Just for transparency, we did put this new policy first because in the past, sometimes, we’ve been accused of not being transparent,” she said.
Some of the board members had questions about students being administered marijuana at school, including who would give it to the students and how it was different from any other prescribed medication.
Wallace assured the board that cannabis would be treated just like any other prescribed controlled substance: it will be locked and secured, and will only be administered by qualified personnel, such as a school nurse or substitute nurse.
Superintendent Lou Taylor recommended the policy be approved, and the board members unanimously approved it.