The Chatter

University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy Offers Training for Medical Marijuana

The school is partnered with a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit to create online programming.

By Michelle Evans | July 12, 2017, 5:18 pm

-Shutterstock
The Chatter

University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy Offers Training for Medical Marijuana

The school is partnered with a Washington D.C.-based nonprofit to create online programming.

By Michelle Evans | July 12, 2017, 5:18 pm

-Shutterstock

The Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions (CIPS) at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy in Baltimore has begun offering training for workers in the medical marijuana industry. The patient-focused certification training (PFC), which launched on July 1, provides professional instruction and educational standards to a growing national industry that struggles with evolving regulations and science.

“Each program is a little bit different—this is not a simple one hour, quick in, quick out,” said Roxanne Zaghab, director of operations and business development for CIPS. “This is a true commitment to learning the things you need to know: state laws, federal laws, how those two interact.”

The school will offer courses through an online platform that will award certification required under the state’s law for medical marijuana. The curriculum and instruction is provided by Americans for Safe Access (ASA), a nonprofit advocacy group that the school vetted.

The program will prepare its students to “safely cultivate, process, dispense, and control the quality of medical cannabis, as well as how to manage customers.”


⇓ Article continues below ⇓

Courses can range anywhere from six to 10 hours of instruction that includes a combination of PowerPoint slides, videos, and course guides with a price tag of $450-$750. The proceeds from the courses go toward supporting patient efficacy and generating new content for the program.

With science and regulations evolving at a rapid pace, chief scientific officer for ASA, Jahan Marcu said this type of training is something that took 15 years of vetting to perfect. Back when there were only 11 dispensaries in the country, the instruction originally only focused on law enforcement interaction and customer service.

“We needed a more aggressive training program that turned up the heat,” he said. “The patients also require clean medicine, and testing records—things to hold these places accountable for patient advocacy and safety regulations.”

Although the regulations vary form state to state, this program is designed to fit the national industry and meet the requirements of all 29 states that have legalized medicinal marijuana.

“These regulations will continue to evolve as the industry evolves,” Marcu said.

This training is only phase one of three with the next phase—geared to more advanced professionals—is rolling out on August 15.

The program comes at a good time, as the state just granted its first medical marijuana dispensary license to the Wellness Institute of Maryland in Frederick. The first crop is not expected to be ready until September, so the Frederick dispensary is accepting pre-orders until then.

“I think regardless of how you feel about cannabis, we all have the same goal,” Marcu said. “Whether you’re for it, against it medically or recreationally, we all want to protect public health, that’s the main thing. How do you do that? With education and training.”




Meet The Author

Michelle Harris is the digital content producer for Baltimore, where she covers news, community, sports, and beauty.



You May Also Like


Health & Wellness

Back to Basics

Natural beauty: From the pantry to the beauty cupboard

Health & Wellness

Beauty Foods

Foods that promote healthy skin.

Charmed Life

How to Find The Right Athletic Shoes For You

Local running experts share tips and tricks for planning your next purchase.


The Chatter

City Council Seeks to Address Trauma Crisis Among Baltimore Children

More than 56 percent of city children have experienced one or more major traumatic events.

Health & Wellness

Serum Savior

We discuss the latest skincare trend with Dr. Faith Esterson and esthetician Tiffany Eller.

Health & Wellness

What to Expect from a Personal Training Program

E.A. Fit Club owner Eric Atherton shares tips for beginners.

Doctor Finder

Connect With Us

Most Read


City Council President Brandon Scott Announces Mayoral Bid: Election for Baltimore’s top office expected to shape up as a generational battle.

Baltimore Clayworks and City Youth Create Tile-Mosaic Mural in Park Heights: Ceramic arts center partners with community organizations to bring the project to life.

Greedy Reads Plans Remington Expansion for Late Fall: The Fells Point bookstore will open its second location in a space across from R. House.

The Mare Projects Connects Communities in the African Diaspora: Works from their first-ever residency program will be on display at Gallery CA.

Male/Female Statue: Should It Stay or Go in Penn Station Overhaul?: The future of the long-controversial 52-foot sculpture could be in question with train station redesign.