Am I A Cannabis Nurse?

By Barbara Blaser, RN-Retired
October 24, 2017

Nurses once again, ranked number 1 for ethics and honesty since 2001, and remain there after the latest survey conducted in December 2016.

I have been thinking about this about being a nurse at Magnolia Wellness in Oakland, California. Magnolia is a medical marijuana dispensary who serve patients in the East Bay.

The article made me wonder, am I a Cannabis Nurse?

When Debby Goldsberry, my daughter, asked me to work in the dispensary, I thought, “I will take the Oaksterdam classes, read everything I can, shadow the budtenders, listen to patients and memorize the products and poof- – be a Cannabis Nurse!
It is a now over a year later. An amazing year later. I attended the Oaksterdam classes that I highly recommend; I have visited cannabis conferences, I read everything I can. I shadow our outstanding budtenders. I did all I planned, and yet I am light years behind where I thought I would be in knowledge!

Two things, ok three, stick out to me.

First, at 71, there is not the space in my brain to store and retrieve information. My hard drive is full, and I can’t increase the storage capacity.
Second, I walk a fine line between my license and medical marijuana. I cannot prescribe or dispense. Therefore, I am careful with getting even close to recommending. I do discuss the potential value of different modes of delivery. I do share information I have read or heard from other patients; I know some about interaction with pharmaceuticals based on personal experience. I work closely with the budtenders who have extensive product knowledge. I try to be there for vendor demos.

Third- what was third?!! Give me a minute, I am running through my brain, opening file drawers to find what was the third thing!!

Oh! The ethics and honesty piece. Most important. This, for me, has been the cornerstone of my 50-year nursing career. At Magnolia, I am there basically to help improve the health and wellness of our patients. To listen to their concerns. I can sit, hold a hand, give a hug if needed. Talk about the difference between Sativa and indica; we can focus on their goals. I try and keep track of who just lost a child, who had stopped eating but has now gained five needed pounds. I have regular office hours, and I facilitate medical groups. I coordinate a food pantry and a compassion Med program that provides free meds to patients living with HIV/AIDS, Crohn’s Disease and cancer.
Does this make me a Cannabis Nurse? Hell yes! Nurses rock.
We can make a real difference. I am.




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