This bill, the Department of Veterans Affairs Survey of Medicinal Cannabis Use Act of 2018, would direct the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) enter into an agreement with a federally-funded research and development center to conduct national surveys to measure veterans’ medicinal cannabis use. There would be two surveys: one surveying veterans who use cannabis, and another collecting information from health care providers at the VA.
The survey of veterans using medicinal cannabis would cover:
The veteran’s current medicinal cannabis use;
The conditions and/or symptoms that the veterans uses cannabis to treat;
The types of cannabis and cannabis products the veteran uses, with respect to 1) tetahydrocannabinol or cannabidiol content; 2) indicia, sativa, mixes, or hybrids; and 3) flower, oils, hash or kief, concentrates (wax, shatter, budder), edibles, drinks, tinctures, and topical ointments
Other medications the veteran takes concurrently with cannabis, and any medications the veteran stopped taking because of cannabis use;
How the veteran is self-administering medicinal cannabis, including: 1) the method; 2) the typical times each day they self-administer; 3) the frequently of different products per day and for what condition and/or symptom, and 4) the amounts per product;
Ratings and descriptions of cannabis’ effectiveness in treating conditions and/or symptoms;
Any experiences with side effects;
The number of different cannabis products tried before settling on the current product;
The typical source of medicinal cannabis (i.e., single dispensary, multiple dispensaries, mail order, or other source), the typical purchase frequency, and the typical amount purchased;
Sources of information the veteran uses for products and dosages;
Factors that influence the veteran’s choice of product (i.e., levels of tetrahydrocannabinol or cannabidiol content, cost, availability, consistency, or strain); and
Any other matters deemed appropriate
The VA healthcare provider survey would cover:
The healthcare provider’s experience with patients using medicinal cannabis;
The healthcare provider’s perception of how medicinal cannabis is changing patients;
How treatment plans have been modified after a veteran discloses using cannabis;
Any documentation of the products, dosages, or frequency of cannabis use in veterans’ medical records;
Source of information the healthcare provider uses with respect to cannabis products and cannabis’ medical effectiveness; and
Any other matters deemed appropriate.
After a year, the VA Secretary would submit a report on the surveys’ results to the Senate and House Committees on Veterans’ Affairs.