Higher education for the medical marijuana is becoming more common and will be offered at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy through their online platform. There is not a lot of research on marijuana and its effects especially with how it interacts with other pharmaceutical drugs and what dosing will best combat unique conditions. Do you feel like you know enough about marijuana and how it can harm or help you?
The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy will begin offering training to prepare prospective workers for the medical marijuana industry.
The move puts the Baltimore school in league with few other established universities and colleges, including the University of Vermont College of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology, seeking to bring educational standards to a growing national industry that grapples with evolving science and uncertain legal standing.
“We wanted to be there as a resource,” said Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, a pharmacy professor and executive director of the school’s Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions, which began signing up potential workers for training last month.
“If you’re going to be dispensing,” she said, “let’s make sure your staff is trained in best practices to do it safely and effectively.”
The pharmacy school will offer classes through its online platform toward certifications required under the state’s medical marijuana law for those involved in the business. It is partnering with the advocacy group Americans for Safe Access on the certification program. That organization will provide the instructors and the curriculum, which the school vetted and adjusted.
Training doesn’t mean an endorsement of using marijuana by the school, a well-regarded institution founded in 1841, Rodriguez de Bittner said. Medical marijuana is not approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
The school had an online platform to offer the training and a mission to provide education to health-care providers, even if the science and government regulation has yet to catch up with demand, she said.
Few universities even support research into medical uses for cannabis, largely because accessing the plant is restricted by federal law that categorizes it the same as heroin and LSD. And though Maryland, 28 other states and the District have made medical marijuana legal, the Trump administration has signaled that it could increase enforcement efforts.