What's covered

About HSO’s Standards

HSO’s standards are the foundation on which leading-edge accreditation programs and evidence-informed public policy are built. Standards create a strong people-centred health care system that stakeholders can rely on to enable people around the world to continuously improve quality of care.

HSO’s standards are formatted using the following structure:

  • Section title. A section of the standard that relates to a specific topic.
  • Clause. A thematic statement that introduces a set of criteria.
  • Criteria. Requirements based on evidence that describe what is needed by people to achieve a particular activity. Each criterion outlines the intent, action, and accountability.
  • Guidelines. Additional information and evidence to support the implementation of each criterion.

About This Standard

CAN/HSO 11013:2022 (E) Cannabis Use for Medical Purposes: Inpatient Care Settings is based on findings from literature reviews, clinical expertise, evidence-informed practices, and those with lived experiences.

This standard focuses on the delivery of client-centred care by inpatient care teams specifically for clients who use cannabis for medical purposes.  This approach ensures the client in an inpatient care setting receives safe, reliable, and high-quality care that is based on their goals, abilities, and preferences.

The content of this standard is structured into the following sections:

  1. Promoting People-Centred Care Practices for Clients Who Use Cannabis for Medical Purposes
  2. Assessing Clients for Cannabis Use for Medical Purposes
  3. Ensuring Appropriate Cannabis Authorization
  4. Implementing Safe Storage and Handling Practices for Cannabis Products
  5. Enabling a Healthy and Competent Workforce to Support the Delivery of Inpatient Services for Clients Who Use Cannabis for Medical Purposes
  6. Monitoring Quality and Achieving Positive Outcomes

This standard integrates the principles of equity, diversity and inclusion outlined in Annex B.

This standard is aimed at the following key audiences:

  • Organizational leaders and members of the workforce providing inpatient services. This standard provides these audiences with information on delivering high-quality, client-centred services in inpatient care settings with clients who use cannabis for medical purposes.
  • Clients who use cannabis for medical purposes, designated support persons, and communities. This standard provides these audiences with information that allows them to co-design inpatient services and participate in and support high-quality care as active members of the team.
  • Policy makers and health care stakeholders. This standard provides these audiences with quality and safety guidance to inform policy development, build a healthy and competent workforce for the future, and ensure the delivery of high-quality, client-centred inpatient services.

The published evidence used to inform this standard can be found in the bibliography.

This standard is intended to be used as part of a conformity assessment. This standard will undergo periodic maintenance. HSO will review and publish this standard on a schedule not to exceed five years from the date of publication.



This standard provides guidance to health organizations on the safe handling and use of cannabis for medical purposes, either medically authorized or client-administered, recognizing Canada’s 2016 Access to Cannabis for Medical Purposes Regulations and Bill C-45, the Cannabis Act.

This standard specifies the accountabilities of organizational leaders and teams in ensuring safe practices of cannabis use in the delivery high-quality care for clients who use cannabis for medical purposes.


This standard applies to organizational leaders and teams working in health and social service organizations that provide care in inpatient care settings.

The defined client population for this standard is people of any age who use cannabis for medical purposes.


This National Standard of Canada was produced with funding and support from the Standards Council of Canada (SCC).


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