The budtender will see you now

Doctors greenlight patients for medical weed, but it’s often “budtenders” and “marijuana consultants” who guide them through the lotions, gummies and smokable strains at dispensaries, creating a whole new wave of gaps in health records and patient-physician communications.

In many states, dispensary staff, often called budtenders, don’t have medical degrees. States vary in how much training they mandate — not that there’s much peer-reviewed science or prescribing guidelines anyway, largely because of long-standing federal barriers to research.

The result: a messy landscape of spotty patient-physician communication, inaccurate medical records and unknowns about health benefits even as medical marijuana becomes widely accepted by the public. It’s another outgrowth of the dissonance between the states’ rush to legalize medicinal weed, and the federal government’s persistent classification of marijuana as a drug as dangerous as heroin or ecstasy with no medical benefit whatsoever.

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