(HealthDay News) — Baseline cannabis knowledge is uneven among cannabis dispensary personnel, and workplace training in cannabis therapeutics is unstandardized and weak, according to a study published online Aug. 15 in JCO Oncology Practice.

Ilana M. Braun, M.D., from Harvard Medical School in Boston, and colleagues conducted semistructured interviews across 13 states with cannabis dispensary personnel in managerial or client-facing positions. Twenty-six participants completed the interview.

Study participants demonstrated passionate commitment to their profession and were frequently motivated by personal experience with medicinal cannabis therapeutics. When hiring, cannabis dispensaries often favored sales skills over cannabis therapeutics knowledge, resulting in inconsistent baseline levels of cannabis therapeutics expertise among staff.


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Workplace cannabis therapeutics training was reported to be unstandardized and weak by most participants. In terms of pursuing cannabis knowledge, dispensary personnel were described as resourceful, self-financing learning in off-hours, sampling dispensary products, and exchanging knowledge. Quality, standardized cannabis therapeutics training for dispensary personnel was called for by nearly half of the participants.

“Our study opens the door to discussing that we as clinicians may not be able to completely defer responsibility for advising patients to the dispensaries,” Braun said in a statement. “We need to figure out ways to address this issue.”

Several authors disclosed financial ties to the medical cannabis industry.

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