Group claims pharmacists could lose licenses for being at medical marijuana dispensary – KOCO Oklahoma City


Although Gov. Mary Fallin signed the emergency rules of Oklahoma’s new medical marijuana law, advocates for State Question 788 said they’re not done fighting.

They said they’re not happy about two of the new rule changes. One bans dispensaries from selling smokable medical marijuana. The second requires pharmacists to be present at dispensaries.

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“If you’re putting a pharmacist in a position where he has to prescribe or recommend a Schedule I drug, that violates their character,” said Chip Paul, with Oklahomans for Health.

Paul said he sees problems with the new medical marijuana rules. He argues that pharmacists can potentially lose their licenses just for being at a dispensary.

To see if Paul’s claims are accurate, KOCO 5 spoke with Chelsea Church, executive director of the Oklahoma State Board of Pharmacy.

Bret Buganski: Could pharmacists potentially lose their license if they get involved with medical marijuana?

Church: Just as they do now with the pharmacy, if there happens to be several deficiencies, diversions, fraud, yes, potentially, from that standpoint.

Church said she doesn’t see this as a problem even if marijuana is still against federal law. Other states protect pharmacists who might oversee medical marijuana dispensaries.

“So, as long as we’re treating — a pharmacist — is there treating it like a pharmacy and regulating as we need to, I don’t think there’s going to be a problem,” she said.

Church also said she wasn’t familiar with any current Oklahoma laws that would protect pharmacists from prosecution. Because medical marijuana is a new law in Oklahoma, that could be one of the changes made at the state Capitol.

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