The dispensing of medical marijuana varies significantly by state, with some states allowing risker environments than others, said Monica Bopha Taing, a clinical cannabis consultant, a board director of Doctors for Cannabis Regulation and a registered pharmacist who worked in a cannabis dispensary in New Jersey, directing its patient counseling program.
“All I could think about every day when I walked into the dispensary was that there’s just so much liability and so much risk” for the practitioners and the patients, she said.
In adjacent New York and some other states, dispensaries are staffed by pharmacists to comply with state law, but under New Jersey regulations patients can interact with so-called budtenders who may only have a high school diploma, Ms. Taing said.
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Monica Taing, PharmD, RPh graduated from Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts with a Doctor of Pharmacy degree and a Bachelor of Science degree in Pharmacy Studies where she completed Endocannabinoid Receptor System research. Since becoming the first Patient Experience Manager at a licensed alternative treatment center in New Jersey, today Dr. Taing is a clinical cannabis consultant for licensed dispensaries, hospital systems, and academic medical institutions in multiple states. Dr. Taing is the first Medical Science Liaison for 4Front Ventures, the National Director of Research & Clinical Education for Minorities for Medical Marijuana (M4MM), a clinical consultant specialist for Columbia University’s Northeast/Caribbean AIDS Education Training Center (NEC-AETC), and sits on the Editorial Board of the American Journal of Endocannabinoid Medicine (AJEM). Dr. Taing is passionate about clinical research, patient counseling, public health education, multidisciplinary clinical outreach, and harm reduction advocacy for under-served patient populations.