On Thursday, June 22nd, the Patient Focused Certification (PFC) Training Program will unveil its new training platform on the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s online learning platform. The partnership between PFC and the School of Pharmacy’s Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions (CIPS) is directed toward medical cannabis businesses to help expand their access to certified training courses and signifies a commitment to quality education and an expanding curriculum that meets the needs of the burgeoning medical cannabis industry, which includes cannabis growers, manufacturers, dispensaries and labs. Founded in 1841, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy has a 175 year history of leading pharmacy education, scientific discovery, patient care, and community engagement in Maryland and beyond, while ASA brings 15 years of hands-on expertise in developing state medical cannabis laws and regulations.
PFC is a project of Americans for Safe Access (ASA), the largest medical cannabis patients’ advocacy organization in the country that has been educating the medical cannabis industry since 2002. Targeted toward regulators, operators, and industry workers, the PFC training program ensures regulatory compliance and promotes safety for patients and providers. CIPS is extending the reach of the PFC training program through its online platform (www.pfctraining.org), making PFC available to more professionals working in the medical cannabis industry.
Each state with a medical cannabis program in the U.S. requires that all personnel who work in the cannabis industry receive adequate training; The PFC training program was designed to meet training requirements for these 30 states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico and Guam. Unlike many other programs offered in the medical cannabis industry, PFC is based on standards issued by the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) and the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia (AHP) Cannabis monograph.
The PFC training program curriculum was designed by ASA to help industry personnel implement procedures and practices to ensure safety, quality and professionalism and to set national standards for policies, operating procedures, and products and facility safety for the medical cannabis industry. Training materials include information to educate all sectors of the medical cannabis industry, including cultivation, manufacturing, distribution, and laboratory.
The content of the PFC training program will continually respond to the growth and evolvement of the medical cannabis industry, and its curriculum will continue to incorporate scientific and health research findings as they emerge.
“The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy is responding to the urgent need for a knowledgeable and well-prepared medical cannabis workforce,” said Magaly Rodriguez de Bittner, PharmD, executive director of CIPS, associate dean for clinical services and practice transformation, and a professor of pharmacy practice and science at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. “The School of Pharmacy’s partnership with ASA uses our online educational technology to meet the training needs of medical cannabis industry employees and advocates in 30 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico. Through this partnership, we seek to promote medication safety through training and ultimately educate healthcare providers on the consideration of medical cannabis in treatment decisions.
“From private cannabis operations to government public health laboratories, the PFC training program addresses an urgent need for training and education from a reliable source; it also meets the regulatory requirements to work with or handle cannabis across the United States,” said Jahan Marcu, Chief Scientific Officer and Chief Auditor at Americans for Safe Access. “PFC addresses educational requirements for anyone who works at dispensaries, manufacturing centers, cultivation operations, and both private or government public health laboratories to ensure safe products for patients. We are excited that the training is available to more users now than ever before thanks to the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy and look forward to furthering industry professionals’ knowledge of medical cannabis as the training program progresses.”