As the number of people using medical marijuana continues to grow, nursing has emerged as a new professional field with an emphasis on treating patients with cannabis
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June 10, 2021 3 minutes to read
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The term “cannabis nurse” recently emerged to describe a new and growing profession in the cannabis industry. Typically, it refers to registered nurses who have become experts in the use of medical marijuana to treat a wide variety of diseases.
Customers may find a cannabis nurse on staff at their local pharmacy. Other cannabis nurses have set up their own consulting firms to help patients who may not be able to find authoritative information about cannabis use anywhere else.
The popularity of the nursing field has led to the creation of the American Cannabis Nurses Association (ACNA), which works to “promote excellence in cannabis nursing practice through advocacy, collaboration, education, research and policy development.”
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About the ACNA
ACNA was founded in Oregon in 2010. It received tax exemption status in 2015 and elected its first board of directors in 2016. Its growth follows the expansion of federal medical marijuana legalization over the past decade. According to the association, there are now medical cannabis programs in 49 states.
ACNA works to help cannabis nurses better understand the laws in their state and “positively influence the importance of medicinal cannabis and promote its acceptance in conventional medicine.” This includes clearing up misinformation and cannabis myths that can confuse patients.
DeDee Culley, a Missouri nurse, provides an example of how quickly the cannabis nurse profession has grown. Culley, a registered nurse, told Greenway, a magazine for the Missouri cannabis industry, that she became interested in cannabis after researching its use to treat her chronic pain and anxiety problems and her husband’s fight against cancer.
“We weren’t looking for cannabis. Cannabis found us, ”said Culley. Her company, 2LeafNurses, is consulting with pharmacies to provide customers with accurate information about the medicinal uses of cannabis. Culley also said she switched to telemedicine to provide direct advice to patients and is working on a four-part program for the Missouri Nurses Association to educate clinicians about medical marijuana.
Greenway also featured a cannabis nurse who runs her own CBD stores and another who owns a consultancy that works directly with patients and trains pharmacy staff to provide advice on medical marijuana.
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Another example comes from Michigan, where the recently opened Hayat Provisioning pharmacy in Oakland County, north of Detroit, has hired a nurse to work on staff, according to the Daily Detroit News. Cathleen S. Graham runs a company called Cannabis Nurse that provides medical marijuana counseling and wellness plans.
Graham will offer wellness plans that include diet, lifestyle, and cannabinoid support. She told Daily News, “It is especially important to me and all of our staff that we provide patients with a welcoming, confidential, and unbiased space to share the journey that has led them to seek cannabis as an option.”
This attitude, supported by extensive nursing experience and training, has made cannabis nurses popular with cannabis users across the country. It also offers entrepreneurial nurses interested in cannabis an opportunity to get into the growing industry.
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