In hospitals and nursing care facilities across the country, patients are systematically denied access to medical cannabis, even if they are located in states where it is legal. The reason behind this is simple. As long as the vast majority of these institutions rely on funding from Medicare and other federal sources, they opt not to put those funds at risk by allowing a Schedule 1 controlled substance onto their premises.

One courageous trailblazer, however, has challenged this status quo. The Hebrew Home of Riverdale, a 735-bed skilled nursing facility located outside of New York City, developed an ingenious program that enables senior residents to access medical cannabis under New York state law, while the institution itself remains compliant with federal law.

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