Cannabis, Summer 2019

Additional College-Approved Cannabis Education Programs for Pharmacists Are Now Available

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An approved cannabis education program must be completed by March 10, 2020

Additional cannabis education courses that meet the mandatory education requirements set by the College for Part A pharmacists have been approved.

Details of these courses are found on the Continuing Education for Pharmacists page of the College website (under Cannabis).

All programs must be accredited by the Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy and meet the required competencies for Cannabis and Patient Care identified by the College’s Cannabis Education Advisory Group. Additional cannabis education programs are in development and the College expects them to become available within the next few months.

During the 2020 pharmacist annual renewal process, Part A pharmacists must declare that they have completed a College-approved cannabis course. The deadline to declare is March 10, 2020 (when annual renewal ends).

The College’s Cannabis Strategy for Pharmacy was approved by Council on June 17, 2018. The strategy recognizes that the legalization of recreational cannabis is an extraordinary public policy shift that has a significant impact on the health and safety of Canadians and increases the potential for more open use among the public and pharmacy patients. As medication experts, pharmacists are in a unique position to support quality and effective patient care for those who are using cannabis, for recreational or medical purposes, along with monitoring other medications that they may be taking. Recognizing the important role pharmacy professionals play in safe medication practices, and in consideration of the legalization of recreational cannabis, Council adopted the College’s Cannabis Task Force recommendation in March 2018. It requires all pharmacists to complete cannabis education to support and promote quality and safe patient care for cannabis users.

The College’s regulatory approach focuses on patient safety as society adapts to the new realities associated with legal cannabis use. It is not the College’s role to advocate for distribution of cannabis for any purpose within pharmacies and OCP continues to remind all pharmacies and pharmacy professionals of the legal frameworks currently in place related to how cannabis for recreational or for medical purposes can be legally distributed.

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