CAN/HSO 11013:2021 Cannabis Use in Health and Social Services Settings – Public Review

The public review of HSO’s Cannabis Use in Health and Social Services Settings standard is taking place between September 15th, 2021 and November 15th, 2021.

The public is encouraged to take this time to review and provide feedback on the draft standard prior to its publication. Once collected, HSO will use this feedback in order to amend and improve the content of the standard, under the supervision of the technical committee overseeing this work.

Once published, the standard will be reviewed every five years, as part of an ongoing improvement process.

Important note: CAN/HSO 11013:2021 (E) Cannabis Use in Health and Social Services Settings is NOT part of the Qmentum Accreditation or Distinction Programs at this time. If, in the future, this standard or other components are introduced to assessment programs that you are a part of, you will receive ample notice and direction from your accreditation body.

About the standard

The recent legalization of cannabis use for non-medical purposes in Canada in October 2018 via the Cannabis Act introduces new challenges for health care providers and patients alike. Research into the potential benefits and risks of cannabis use for medical and non-medical purposes remains limited, and no standards yet exist surrounding patient/client safety in this regard.

This National Standard of CanadaCAN/HSO 11013:2021 (E) Cannabis Use in Health and Social Services Settings aims to provide knowledge to care providers in the environment of legalized cannabis, as well as guidance to navigate situations in which cannabis must be accounted for in a treatment plan. It specifies guidelines for health and social service organizations and their employees in providing safe, high quality, and people-centred care for individuals who use cannabis and their care providers. The standard will help organizations ensure safe, high quality of care related to cannabis for both staff and clients by outlining organizational and provider responsibilities regarding operations, policies and procedures, training and education, and safe handling of cannabis for medically authorized and non-medical (“recreational”) use. The standard may also inform cannabis policy and regulation.

The technical content of this standard is divided as follows: 

  • Establishing a people-centred, lower-risk cannabis use care environment 
  • Defining guidelines for cannabis authorization 
  • Defining guidelines for the safe storage and handling of cannabis products 
  • Providing continuing education on cannabis to care providers.

CAN/HSO 11013:2021 (E) Cannabis Use in Health and Social Services Settings is intended for use by any health or social service setting providing care to clients/patients who use cannabis, including acute care hospitals, specialized care clinics, community clinics, rehabilitation centers, hospices, and mental health service institutions.

Development process

CAN/HSO 11013:2021 (E) Cannabis Use in Health and Social Services Settings is being developed using the best and latest available evidence by the HSO Working Group on the Quality and Safety of Cannabis Use for Health and social Services with oversight by the HSO Medication Management Technical Committee. Technical Committee members include people with lived experience using cannabis, clinicians and health service administrators, government and health services stakeholders, and researchers. Working Group members provide specific expertise in the field of cannabis. 

CAN/HSO 11013:2021 (E) Cannabis Use in Health and Social Services Settings will be undergoing periodic maintenance. HSO will review and publish an updated standard no later than five years following initial publication.

Tell us what you think

We are asking anyone who has interest in this standard, such as people who have lived experience using cannabis for medical purposes, medical and social service providers, policy makers, industry specialists, and others with expertise in this subject matter, for their feedback and views on this proposed standard.  

You may provide general feedback or comment on specific criteria.

The public review remains open for 60 days, until 11:59 PM EST on November 8th, 2021. We greatly appreciate your feedback on the proposed standard. The simplest way to respond is to follow the link at the bottom of this page and provide your feedback in the questionnaire that follows.

Draft StandardQuestionnaire


What happens next?

The Technical Committee will review and consider each comment received and will incorporate feedback as applicable. We expect to release the final version of the standard by end of 2022.

For more information, questions or concerns regarding the standards, please contact us at