- Because of the numerous physical and mental benefits that cannabis can offer, it is helpful to have a pharmacist on your team who can answer any questions.
- Figuring out dosages can be tricky — unless you are a pharmacist and have had the proper training.
- Pharmacists can also talk to customers about minimizing their risks in general for a safer experience.
by Aaron Smith
The cannabis industry is growing and thriving with no signs of slowing down. If you are looking to open your own cannabusiness, there are a number of elements you need in order for it to be a success, and one helpful aspect you can have is a pharmacist.
There has been an exponential rise in the number of people who use cannabis for medical reasons. Because of the numerous physical and mental benefits that cannabis can offer, it is helpful to have a pharmacist on your team who can answer any questions customers have about your products.
Consulting With a Pharmacist
If a customer is interested in talking with a pharmacist about cannabis, one of their first questions is often about the dosage they need. Figuring out dosages can be tricky — unless you are a pharmacist and have had the proper training. Using too little may not get the results they want, and taking too much can lead to unwanted side effects. With a pharmacist’s help, customers can tailor their dosage to their unique biology and get their desired results.
Taking Marijuana Alongside Other Medications
Shoppers can also ask about any interactions between cannabis and the medications they are taking. Similarly to vitamins or other drugs, cannabis may affect certain medications. Many consumers may be too afraid to try cannabis without talking to a pharmacist about the possible interactions, but if they get a green light from the professional, they will have more confidence in choosing marijuana to help with their needs.
Pharmacists can also talk to customers about minimizing their risks in general for a safer experience. Harm reduction and safety is the goal of pharmacists, and they can play a big role in a cannabusiness that wants to ensure safety.
If the cannabis has been prescribed by a doctor, it may be an adjunctive therapy that is to be taken alongside other medications and processes. Just as with any medication, having access to a pharmacist for safety is critical. When customers start a new medication, the pharmacist will inform them of how to correctly take the medicine and what to expect or avoid while they are on it. The same can be applied to those using cannabis for the first time.
For some customers, they may have already tried cannabis and not have enjoyed the experience. Whether it was because of a poor quality product or the wrong strain or potency, these consumers will benefit from extra help from an expert. The pharmacist can help with suggesting certain strains as well as dosages and delivery methods so that they get the desired effects. This can take a lot of the guesswork out of selecting the best cannabis for them.
Pharmacists undergo years of schooling and training to be able to give advice to curious customers. They get PhDs in pharmacy so that they know an enormous amount about medications, medical issues, and how different substances work together. They can give anyone advice on using cannabis, and your customers will feel better knowing they are speaking with an expert.
Without a pharmacist, those without special training may not be giving out accurate advice. For better precision, expertise, better peace of mind for customers, and a better feeling of safety, it is highly beneficial to have a pharmacist as part of your cannabusiness.
The National Shortage of Pharmacists
While hiring a pharmacist for your cannabusiness may sound enticing, dispensaries should keep in mind the national shortage of these essential workers. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, pharmacists were pushed to provide consumers and patients with additional services, ultimately leading to the shortage. According to a report from Fox News, 80 percent of independent pharmacies report having trouble filling positions. To combat this problem, pharmacies are offering huge bonuses — as much as $50,000 — to recruit new pharmacists.
If you are a small dispensary or cannabusiness who cannot afford the luxury of offering pharmacists huge sign-on bonuses, then a pharmacist may not be the best investment at this time. To combat this, business owners can ensure that all of their employees are educated enough about the products you sell to be able to answer specific questions, or you can recommend customers to speak with the local pharmacist about any questions that you cannot answer.
No matter whether you can afford to hire a pharmacist or not, it is always still important to ensure your employees are educated enough on cannabis in general, as well as the products you sell. Hiring workers who are just there to check out shoppers is not a good look, especially in a saturated industry where customers can easily go to another dispensary who will be able to answer all of their questions.
Aaron Smith is an LA-based content strategist and is a consultant for CEAS Collective, medical practices and other cannabis businesses. He specializes in developing strategies to keep companies competitive and original. In his free time, he enjoys reading sci-fi and swimming.