Cannabis Legalization Resources

The College of Registered Nurses of Saskatchewan (CRNS) supports a harm reduction approach when responding to the legalization of non-medical cannabis.

Information to Support Professional Nursing Practice

Registered nurses and nurse practitioners are essential to provide education about the legalization of cannabis, potential risks, and support for populations that may be at increased risk including pregnant women, youth and people with addictions. To learn more about cannabis and your role as a registered nurse or nurse practitioner, please review:

Fitness to Practice

Registered nurses and nurse practitioners are professionally accountable to ensure their physical, mental and emotional capacity remains healthy to meet the standards of care and the CNA Code of Ethics 2017 to practice safely. Impairment from cannabis use is treated the same as impairment from alcohol and other substance use.

If the use of cannabis or other substances is preventing registered nurses and nurse practitioners from utilizing professional judgement to make appropriate care decisions, the individual should contact their manager and refrain from practice because of their professional responsibility to protect the public. If an individual registered nurse or nurse practitioner has concerns about their own fitness to practice, they can also access the following resources:

  • Discuss with primary care provider
  • Review employer policy
  • Access employee family assistance
  • Contact an CRNS Nursing Advisor – Call 1-800-667-9945 or 306-359-4200 (ask to speak to a Nursing Advisor on the Practice team), or email us at

Reducing Harm of Cannabis Use

Harm reduction is a patient-centred, non-judgemental approach designed to reduce drug-related harm without abstaining from the use of the drug. Principles of harm reduction include promoting health and well-being, maintaining privacy and dignity, and respecting informed decision-making. To learn more about harm reduction and cannabis use please visit:

Cannabis Use in the Workplace

To learn more about the strategies to address risk of impairment of cannabis in the workplace please visit:

Difference Between Medical Cannabis & Non-Medical Cannabis

The rules for medical and non-medical cannabis will remain different.

  • For medical cannabis, Canadians require a medical document issued from a prescriber to possess medical cannabis for relief of symptoms of a disease or disorder.
  • Non-medical cannabis will be legal for purchase in retail stores after October 17, 2018. Please visit Cannabis: Be Informed. Rules in Saskatchewan to learn how much a person can possess, where cannabis can be consumed and travelling inside and outside Canada.

Legalization of Cannabis

On October 17, 2018, The Cannabis Act was implemented in Canada, legalizing the recreational use of cannabis. The purpose of The Act is to improve public safety by reducing illicit activity, provide a regulated supply and restrict access of youth.

For more information about the federal rules please visit:

CRNS Nursing Advisors on the Practice team are available to discuss the implications of cannabis on nursing practice.

To contact the CRNS for practice advice, please call

1-800-667-9945 or 306-359-4200 (ask to speak to a practice advisor), or email us at

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