Should ‘Budtenders’ Be Standing In As Pharmacists?

Do the people on the front lines of the medical cannabis industry have the training they need to make accurate — and safe — recommendations to patients? According to a paper published in the Journal of General Internal Medicine last week, there is reason to be concerned about the expertise of and reliance on “budtenders” behind the counters at America’s marijuana dispensaries.

The three physicians who authored the report, titled “The Void in Clinician Counseling of Cannabis Use,” highlight what they describe as a concerning phenomena wherein “cannabis dispensary workers have become proxy clinicians, recommending products for medical use.”

The paper doesn’t put the onus solely on dispensary workers or physicians, however, and neither did the doctors, nurses, and budtenders The Cannigma spoke to for this article. Almost all of them admitted that there is a problem, but most traced it to the lack of education, training, and research that doctors have access to — not budtenders.

by Ben Hartman The Cannigma

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