There is a lot of things Washington is currently changing in its medical marijuana policy. The requirements for medical marijuana consultants are also on the list of these changes.
Since Washington medical weed market is now less regulated than the recreational cannabis market, local officials decided to find a balance between the two systems. As a result, all the budtenders that are going to serve medical marijuana patients within the state will soon need a special certificate proving their qualification. This particular change is one of the many brought forth by the Cannabis Patient Protection Act (SB 5052).
Among the other changes required by the Cannabis Patient Protection Act, there is one requirement that is going to change lives of many medical marijuana patients in Washington forever. Starting July 1, 2016, there will be no medical marijuana dispensaries within the state. All the medical weed dispensaries will be banned from operating unless their owners get a retailer license under the state's current recreational regulations. Curiously, according to Washington's I-502 legalization law, budtenders at recreational cannabis stores are not allowed to discuss any of marijuana's potential medical benefits with their customers.
There is an even bigger problem that former medical marijuana dispensaries (or recreational stores that are willing to offer medical weed as well) will be forced to deal with. The retailers will need to have at least one budtender certified as a medical cannabis consultant in order to legally offer their customers any medical weed.
Currently, Washington regulators have already approved two educational courses for aspiring medical marijuana consultants. The first course is provided by NRG Enterprises. It is a 3-day, in-person course that will give the participants all the basic information they are going to need as a medical weed consultants. The first learning session starts on May 27, 2016.
The second course provided by the Seattle Central College and The Academy of Cannabis Science Division of Extended Learning is a two-week online course with a new learning session starting every Monday. In contrast to NRG Enterprises' course, you do not have to go to Seattle in order to visit your classes. Moreover, you can go through the course at your own pace. For those who have further questions or problems with the course, there will be Q&A sessions with the expert instructors.
Both courses are meant to give the participants the most valuable information they are going to need as medical cannabis consultants: from various qualifying medical conditions to pros and cons of certain marijuana products to state laws regarding medical cannabis. In order to maintain their qualification, Washington medical weed consultants will also need to continue their education further.