The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore is gearing up to start providing training courses for workers who will be involved in the medical marijuana industry.
The training will educate prospective workers on the standards of an industry that struggles with an uncertain legal standing and evolving science. The university is one of the few schools that will offer such training and supports medical marijuana use, since the drug is not approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA). A federal law restricts the access of marijuana, which puts it in the same category as LSD and heroin.
MedStar Health and LifeBridge Health are among the few health systems that are so concerned that they are requesting their physicians not to recommend cannabis to their patients. The University of Maryland Medical System and Johns Hopkins Medicine are still drawing up policies.
The classes will be offered online toward the certification requirements under Maryland’s medical marijuana law. Everyone involved in the industry must obtain the certification. The pharmacy school has partnered with Americans for Safe Access, an advocacy group that promotes legal and safe access to marijuana (cannabis) for therapeutic use, on the certification program. The group will provide the curriculum, analyzed and modified by the school, as well as the instructors.
Physicians are not required to undergo special training under the state’s medical marijuana laws. However, most states, including Maryland, require dispensaries, laboratories, growers and processors to be “certified,” said executive director of the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission, Patrick Jameson.
Open enrollment for the certification program will begin June 29.