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CHEO and the legalization of cannabis

October 17, 2018 — Ottawa — In anticipation of today’s legalization of cannabis in Canada, CHEO has developed policies and guidance about the recreational and medicinal use of cannabis in children and youth at CHEO.

CHEO is committed to protecting children and youth from potential harms associated with cannabis use, while also recognizing the need to address its medicinal role.

In accordance with Canadian law, the possession of recreational cannabis will not be permitted for children or youth under the age of 19.

In addition, the smoking or vaping of recreational and medicinal cannabis is not permitted anywhere on CHEO property, which aligns with Ontario legislation that bans the smoking of tobacco on hospital property. 

While not yet routinely prescribed at CHEO there are specific circumstances where evidence indicates the medicinal benefits of cannabis may outweigh its known or potentially unknown risks. CHEO supports such use and has developed processes and criteria regarding its prescription and administration within CHEO’s walls.

In order to contribute to knowledge about the safety and effectiveness of medicinal cannabis for children and youth, CHEO will support opportunities for research on the use of cannabis in pediatric clinical care. 

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Media contact

Paddy Moore
o. 613-737-7600, ext. 3536 | c. 613-769-5553

About CHEO

Dedicated to helping children and youth live their best lives, CHEO is a global leader in pediatric health care and research. Based in Ottawa, CHEO includes a hospital, children’s treatment centre, school and research institute, with satellite services located throughout Eastern Ontario. CHEO provides excellence in complex pediatric care, research and education. We are committed to partnering with families and the community to provide exceptional care — where, when and how it’s needed. CHEO is a founding member of Kids Health Alliance, a network of partners working to create a high quality, standardized and coordinated approach to pediatric health care that is centred around children, youth and their families. Every year, CHEO helps more than 500,000 children and youth from Eastern Ontario, western Quebec, Nunavut and Northern Ontario. 

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