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Ontario is the First Province to Require Cannabis Education for Pharmacists

Following legalization in October of 2018, interprovincial laws dictating where and how Canadians can buy cannabis products have made it difficult for recreational and medicinal consumers to get detailed, customized information about safe cannabis use.

To help people better navigate the world of cannabis and educate users, the Ontario College of Pharmacists (OCP) has made a cannabis education course mandatory for pharmacists across the province.

With a range of products available through the Ontario Cannabis Store, brick and mortar stores opening slowly around the province, and the impending arrival of edible cannabis products, the OCP wants to position pharmacists as resource professionals to answer for questions about risk, dosage, side-effects, and drug interaction of cannabis with medications. The required course also aims to clarify pharmacists’ legal, ethical, and professional responsibilities regarding legal recreational and medicinal marijuana.

About Mandatory Marijuana Courses

  • Formally, the course is called the Essential Cannabis Knowledge for Pharmacists Certificate Program.
  • The training is mandatory for all pharmacists and must be completed by all members of the OCP regulatory body by March 27, 2020.
  • Ontario is the only province so far to require formal cannabis training for pharmacists.
  • The course unpacks the difference between recreational and medical cannabis products.
  • Courses will cover pharmacists’ ethical, legal, and professional obligations as well as risks, dosages, and side-effects of cannabis products.
  • Core cannabis competencies have been identified by the OCP’s Cannabis Education Advisory Group and are included in this training.
  • The courses were created in collaboration with the Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy (CCCEP).
  • This course was created in collaboration with the University of Waterloo’s Associate Professor Michael Beazely.

As cannabis products, stores, and retailers become more and more prevalent, healthcare providers can help their patients learn more by directing them to resources and people in their circle of care.

Are you in Ontario? Have you let your patients know that pharmacists are being trained to answer their questions about cannabis? What cannabis education resources are you using outside of Ontario?

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Until next time!

CDA Oasis Team

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1 Comment

  1. Kristine Raya June 24, 2019

    This marks the beginning of revolutionizing cannabis in the medical world. I cannot wait for the next months and years to come when learning cannabis professionally spread widely to the world.


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