As medical marijuana legalization spreads, important questions come up regarding regulation and access. Most of the time, access to medical marijuana is made possible through marijuana dispensaries, which are shops run by knowledgable marijuana gurus. There is a group of people, however, who believe their knowledge in dispensing medications makes them more qualified for the job: the pharmacists. Director of Professional Affairs for the Canadian Pharmacists Association (CPhA) Phil Emberley wrote a guest column in The Globe and Mail describing why pharmacists are better able to dispense medical marijuana, saying, "As experts in medication management, we work with controlled substances daily and have a proven ability to secure the supply chain ensuring the safety and security of the products we dispense."
Although pharmacists have not yet been involved in the cannabis industry, Emberley believes pharmacists will have no issue adapting to the evolving market and incorporating the knowledge of a new medication into their daily routine. Emberley says, "In a given year, I can't even guess the number of new drugs that are introduced, and pharmacists have to be competent in knowing the dosages, the use, the mechanisms, and the interactions that they have with other medications because they need to explain this to patients." Pharmacists also have the knowledge about other medications that a patient might be taking in addition to medical marijuana, and understanding the interactions between these medications is necessary in order to tweak and tailor the dosing recommendations to fit the patient's needs.
In the future, we may see a wonderful outcome if medical marijuana makes its way into mainstream pharmacies and drug stores. This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.