Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program appears to be right on schedule for an early 2018 launch.
The question is — will any actually want to?
The Department of Health didn’t return The Incline’s request for information on how many physicians have registered since late July. But according to the CEO of one of the companies that will teach Pennsylvania’s doctors the ABCs of medical cannabis, “the phone is ringing off the hook.”
“Doctors, nurses and pharmacists are hungry for this education,” said Cheryl McDaniel, owner of Extra Step Assurance. Her company’s Cannabis Expertise is one of just two training courses the state has approved, per a July 26 email. The other is from The Answer Page, which has also designed online certification courses for New York state, Ohio and Florida.
Physicians who want to participate in Pennsylvania’s medical marijuana program are required to register online, at which point DOH checks to make sure they’re licensed to practice. Before these professionals can get final approval, they have to go through a four-hour course.
The Answer Page’s course is completely online with quizzes, while Cannabis Expertise offers live webinars and in-person seminars. Both will cover how marijuana can be used to treat various illnesses, how cannabis interacts with the body and the current state of regulations in Pennsylvania.
And they have just four hours to do that.
McDaniel and Dr. Stephen B. Corn of The Answer Page both said it’s challenging to do that. Corn’s company approached the task by offering 12-month access to a medical cannabis reference library along with online training that can be printed or saved.
“We want to make sure all the clinicians would have a library