Think you’re safe? You go see a client at their home for a massage. They hand you a bottle of oil and tell you it’s their own cannabis-infused oil they have made and ask you to massage them with it. Do you? Currently in the state of WA, recreational/medicinal cannabis is legal. So, do you? If you do, you have just created not only a licensing violation, but also a criminal violation for administering a schedule 1 drug. Pro or against the cannabis plant, the “green rush” is here to stay. Right now there are 30 states with medicinal cannabis markets and 8 states (DC too) with legal cannabis. This year, we may have our 9th state (VT) legalize cannabis.
The state of WA is the birthplace is CHABA (Cannabis Health & Beauty Aids). I was proudly the first CHABA massage therapist out of the green closet and helped promote the law before it was signed by the Governor. After several requests to the WA Department of Health, along with requests sent by the chief orchestrator and co-author of the CHABA law, 15 months after the CHABA law took effect, we got the subject of CHABA and cannabis topicals on the WA Department of Health Licensed Massage Practitioners FAQ list of questions. As of July 1st 2015, when the CHABA law went into effect, I’ve been slowly, but surely educating my fellow LMPs. I taught the 1st ever CE’s in WA ETHICS: CHABA & CANNABIS 101 FOR WA LMPs because I found there was a BIG need for the education seeing wrong information being passed on social media forums. At the same time, we are starting to see the “green rush” in retail fashion. Topicals with CBD in them are appearing faster than I can blink.
I want to make sure I help my fellow WA LMP stay safe, remain within scope avoiding licensing and criminal violations, and be able to answer the many questions one may be hearing on their table these past several years. With all that said…
Here’s my TOP 10 THINGS YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT CHABA & CANNABIS
Two last points I want to make. Topical delivery method is the lowest risk method of receiving benefits of the cannabis plant. If you don’t like it, it can be washed off immediately! Lastly, if you are in another state other than WA, I suggest checking in with your state’s current cannabis laws on top of checking with the rules and regulations of those who regulate your licensing, if that be the department of health, or board of nursing etc.
I very much appreciate all of the support I’ve received from the co-authors of the CHABA law, from other CHABA producers, and from the cannabis industry here in WA. I especially want to thank the WSMTA for being open about his “hush hush” topic and allowing me to write this article. Again, I am not here to influence your opinion on the subject of cannabis. I’m here to let my fellow LMPs be aware of and understand this topic. I hope that armed with this knowledge, fellow LMPs may avoid any licensing or criminal violations and feel more confident when speaking to their clients about this subject.
Please check out my 4 hr continuing education class, ETHICS: CHABA & Cannabis 101 for WA LMPs, for more detailed 411 and to get a better understanding on the topic. Feel free to check www.southsoundmassageeducation.com for class description and sign up for classes.
Jennifer Chan, CMT/LMP, BCTMB
Board Certified Massage Therapist
703-623-1794 / 206-305-5204