More marijuana education
From growing the perfect crop to marketing within restrictive rules, Canadian colleges and universities are cultivating courses for those wanting to work in the booming marijuana industry. Kwantlen Polytechnic University started offering online courses in cannabis production, marketing and financing about three years ago after officials at the British Columbia school realized there was a need for training and education around medicinal marijuana, said David Purcell, the university’s director of emerging business. About 1,200 people have taken the classes, most of whom are between 25 and 40 years old and were working full-time in another industry, he said. The university isn’t alone in offering marijuana-related courses. Niagara College is working on a certificate in marijuana production and the New Brunswick Community College is already teaching cultivation.
There’s been a void in the educational marketplace when it comes to training specifically for the burgeoning marijuana market, said Debbie Johnston, dean of the school of continuing education at Durham College in Oshawa, Ont. Durham College recently began offering a two-day course that provides an introduction to all things marijuana. Marijuana companies are looking for professionals, like accountants or business managers, who have industry-specific knowledge, from the terminology and history of the industry to the regulatory framework and basics of cannabis plants, Johnston added. Alison McMahon runs Cannabis at Work, a recruiting agency for marijuana companies, and said completing cannabis courses can help candidates stand out from the crowd. There aren’t a lot of job seekers with cannabis education on their resumes, McMahon noted, but that’s likely to change as both the industry and educational offerings grow.
Kwantlen and Durham College are both planning to expand the variety of marijuana classes on offer. A course teaching responsible retail sales, safe handling and strain identification will soon be offered through Kwantlen, and the school is also working on a cultivation course that will see students go out and work with cannabis plants at licensed production facilities, Purcell said.
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Studies Link Legal Marijuana With Fewer Opioid Prescriptions « CBS Dallas / Fort Worth
Pot can relieve chronic pain in adults, so advocates for liberalizing marijuana laws have proposed it as a lower-risk alternative to opioids. Some research suggests marijuana may encourage opioid use, and so might make the epidemic worse. The new studies don’t directly assess the effect of legalizing marijuana on opioid addiction and overdose deaths. Over-prescribing is considered a key factor in the opioid epidemic. One looked at trends in opioid prescribing under Medicaid, which covers low-income adults, between 2011 and 2016.
Results showed that laws that let people use marijuana to treat specific medical conditions were associated with about a 6 percent lower rate of opioid prescribing for pain. That suggest the medical marijuana laws didn’t reach some people who could benefit from using marijuana instead of opioids, said Hefei Wen of the University of Kentucky in Lexington, one of the study authors. Every year from 2010 through 2015, researchers compared states with a medical marijuana law in effect to those without one. Researchers found that Medicare patients in states with marijuana dispensaries filled prescriptions for about 14 percent fewer daily doses of opioids than those in other states. W.
David Bradford, an economist at the University of Georgia in Athens who’s an author of the second study, said the results add to other findings that suggest to experts that marijuana is a viable alternative to opioids. For one thing, they don’t reveal whether individual patients actually reduced or avoided using opioids because of the increased access to marijuana. They called for states and the federal government to pay for more studies to clarify the effect of marijuana use on opioid use, saying such research is needed for science to guide policy-making.