Pharmacists Increasingly Want Piece of MMJ Pie

Just Released! Get realistic market forecasts, state-by-state insights and benchmarks with the new 2024 MJBiz Factbook member program, now with quarterly updates. Make informed decisions.

Pharmacists could take a more prominent role in the medical cannabis industry down the road as new MMJ states consider the best way to dispense the drug to patients.

On Tuesday, several leading pharmacists in Illinois expressed interest in trying to tap the state’s new medical marijuana industry after a colleague pitched the idea to the state’s pharmacy board. It’s possible the board will seek to influence the rule-making process to carve out a role specifically for pharmacists in the business.

One other state has already gone this route: In Connecticut, only pharmacists can dispense medical marijuana. And in Michigan, the state’s governor recently signed a bill that would allow pharmacies to sell medical cannabis – if the federal government ever recognizes marijuana as a drug with health benefits.

The proposal to get pharmacists involved in Illinois is a long shot, given that it’s already somewhat late in the game. There would also likely be strong opposition from the medical marijuana industry, which fears allowing pharmacists to dispense the drug would open the door to a takeover by Big Pharma.