Survey of Pharmacists' Knowledge of Connecticut's Medical Cannabis Program.

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Introduction: Over the last few years, a growth in research and interest in medical cannabis (most often referred to as medical marijuana) use have occurred nationally. Medical cannabis has become a treatment option for disease conditions, such as epilepsy, wasting syndrome associated with AIDs, and post-traumatic stress disorder, when traditional medication is ineffective. Objectives: The objectives were to identify knowledge deficits of the medical cannabis program (MCP) in Connecticut among Connecticut pharmacists and the impact of MCP on Connecticut pharmacy practice and concerns Connecticut pharmacists have regarding medical cannabis use. Methods: A cross-sectional survey through an online platform, Google forms, was administered for 2 months (October 15, 2017-December 15, 2017). An e-mail containing the link to the survey was e-mailed to all pharmacists whose e-mail addresses were available from the State of Connecticut's Commission of Pharmacy database (n = 6182). Of those with available e-mail addresses, only 5653 pharmacists received the e-mail; the others were rejected upon receipt of our e-mail. Our survey consists of 16 items related to pharmacist demo- graphic information, knowledge assessment, impact on pharmacists' practice, and concerns stemming from medical cannabis. Results: Only 51 (15.2%) respondents believed that Connecticut MCP would impact their practice. Only 39 (11.6%) respondents selected the two correct requirements for patient registration and correctly identified the wrong choices. Only 81 (24.2%) respondents identified the correct approved dose (maximum allowable monthly amount of 2.5 ounces) of medical cannabis. Sixty-eight (20.2%) respondents correctly identified all three approved conditions and all other incorrect conditions. Sixty-five (19.40%) respondents correctly identified all roles of dispensary pharmacists. Majority of respondents, 243 (72.5%), expressed their concern about federal laws regarding cannabis. A total of 98 (29.3%) respondents thought that they were knowledgeable enough about the side effects of medical cannabis to provide appropriate counseling to patients. Conclusion: Overall, the results of our survey found that Connecticut licensed pharmacists had lack of complete and accurate knowledge regarding the state's MCP. As more states legalize medical cannabis, it will be imperative that education of pharmacists and other health care professionals about the MCP and the clinical use of cannabis occur.

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Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research





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This article was published in Cannabis and Cannabinoid Research, Volume 6, Issue 1, pages 66-73.

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Copyright © 2021 Mary Ann Liebert, Inc..

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