The legalization of recreational cannabis in 2018 represented a public policy shift that increased the potential for more open cannabis consumption among the public. Recognizing the important role pharmacy professionals play in promoting safe medication practices, in March 2018, the Board (Council) approved the College’s Cannabis Task Force recommendation requiring all pharmacists in Part A of the register to complete mandatory cannabis education to support quality patient care. This decision was firmly grounded in patient safety and a commitment to protect and serve the public interest.
A Cannabis Education Advisory Group was formed to identify core competencies for cannabis education that would meet goals of the Cannabis Strategy and ensure consistency across course providers.
For more information, please see the additional resources below.
The Canadian Council on Continuing Education in Pharmacy (CCCEP) accredits cannabis education programs that meet the competencies identified by the Advisory Group and approved by the Board.
The expectation of practice is that Ontario pharmacists in Part A of the register possess these cannabis competencies. To satisfy this requirement, a pharmacist in Part A of the register must either:
- Successfully complete an OCP approved (CCCEP-accredited) certificate program in Cannabis and Patient Care in Pharmacy OR
- Successfully complete an entry to practice or bridging pharmacy program whose curriculum addressed all of the cannabis-related competencies as outlined in Appendix A and on the CCCEP website.
The OCP-approved courses are listed on the Continuing Education for Pharmacists page, under “Cannabis.”
It is NOT necessary for registrants to submit any documentation to the College. However, as with other professional development activities, a record of course/program completion should be kept in the registrant’s Learning Portfolio for quality assurance purposes and auditability to demonstrate that this education requirement has been met.
- APPENDIX A: CANNABIS AND PATIENT CARE IN PHARMACY COMPETENCIES
- Article – Preparing pharmacy professionals to play an active, and appropriate, role in the rapidly evolving world of cannabis (Summer 2018)
- Article – Enhancing Knowledge, Protecting Patients: An Update On Cannabis Education Fall 2018)
- March 2018 Board (Council) meeting agenda and materials: 10.2 Briefing Note – Educating pharmacists to provide therapeutic support for patients using cannabis