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State seeks applications for medical marijuana training program

Under state rules, doctors planning to recommend medical marijuana to patients in Pennsylvania and medical professionals planning to work for state-approved dispensaries must take four-hour training courses.

But someone has to train them.

The state Department of Health said this week that it will begin accepting applications June 5 from instructors hoping to provide those training courses.

Dispensaries could employ doctors, pharmacists, certified registered nurse practitioners or physician assistants.

Program instructors must have their training courses approved by the respective state board representing the professionals being trained. That could be the State Board of Medicine and the State Board of Osteopathic Medicine, the State Board of Pharmacy or the State Board of Nursing.

The courses also will be eligible for continuing education credits. 

According to the Department of Health, prospective instructors must detail what four-hour course will cover. Courses must include several state-approved topics, such as general information about medical marijuana under state and federal law; the latest scientific research on the risks and benefits of medical marijuana; and best practices for recommending the form and dosage of medical marijuana.

The full list of training-course requirements can be found here.

The state is planning to award the first grower/processor and dispensary permits for the medical marijuana program at the end of June.

More than 500 businesses have applied to grow, process and dispense medical marijuana in Pennsylvania. Only a few permits — 12 for grower/processors and 27 for dispensaries — will be awarded.

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