Medical marijuana patients often rely on dispensary staff for advice on choosing cannabis strains and products. But training for these workers can be spotty, and education requirements vary from state to state. Many budtenders have no medical or science degrees or training, according to an article on Politico.
More than half of the 33 states with medical cannabis laws allow budtenders to advise patients, but other states require dispensaries to have pharmacists, doctors, or a nurse practitioner on site or on call.
For example, only licensed pharmacists can suggest cannabis products in Minnesota. In Pennsylvania, only a pharmacist or other licensed medical professional can provide advice to medical marijuana patients. Maryland lets budtenders give general information, but only physicians, pharmacists, or nurse practitioners can provide more specific advice.
Some doctors are educating themselves about strains to inform patients better. Medical professionals and patients can also check out MarijuanaDoctors.com for information on the therapeutic effects of different strains.