The Ontario College of Pharmacists has informed its members that they must complete a mandatory cannabis education course to continue practicing in the province. The regulatory body began offering a cannabis education class online last month and will require pharmacists to complete an accredited course by March 27, 2020.
The College of Pharmacists class covers the benefits, risks, and side effects of cannabis and explores a pharmacist’s legal, ethical, and professional responsibilities involved in its use by patients. Although pharmacists do not dispense cannabis, regulators believe that they will be likely to encounter consumers curious about medicinal uses or risks of using marijuana products.
In June of last year, the college released A Cannabis Strategy for Pharmacy: Enhancing Knowledge, Protecting Patients consisting of four priorities to serve and maintain the public interest. The priorities include developing and maintaining competency in cannabis, providing patient care, health information and advice, documenting, developing and tracking data, and preventing harm.
Educating Consumers About Cannabis
“As medication experts who are often the most accessible health-care provider for patients, pharmacy professionals play an important role in educating their patients if equipped with the necessary knowledge,” the college wrote in a brief sent to The Canadian Press.