Markita Wilburn says cannabis got her through pharmacy school.
“I was away at school, no family, no friends, in a doctoral program … It was a trying experience. There were times where I would just wake up just vomiting because I was so anxious and nervous and just stressed,” Wilburn said. “[Marijuana] really did help me. It allowed me to focus, it allowed me to be present, it allowed me to get through it all.”
Wilburn is the pharmacy manager at Maitri Medicinals, a cannabis dispensary in East Liberty. From the beginning, Wilburn knew she wanted to be a cannabis pharmacist, even though the field barely existed when she graduated in 2011.
Connecticut was the first state to require pharmacists in medical cannabis dispensaries, when it passed its law back in 2012. In Louisiana, the dispensaries are actually licensed as pharmacies. Minnesota and Arkansas also require pharmacists to be involved in some way, and five other states, including Pennsylvania, require either a pharmacist or physician to be on staff. Locally, many dispensaries opt for pharmacists over physicians, including Maitri.
“We were interested in bringing pharmacists on because of their knowledge of the pharmacology of marijuana in the body,” said Maitri CEO and co-founder Corinne Ogrodnik. [Read more at WESA]