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Utah in the Weeds Episode #14 – Mindy Madeo, a Medical Cannabis Pharmacist

Episode Audio

What You Will Learn in This Podcast

Who is Mindy Madeo? [00:07]
Is Mindy connected with other pharmacists in the area? [9:00]
Mindy’s thoughts on having a pharmacist in a dispensary [12:39]
Does Mindy believe pharmacists should have personal experience with cannabis? [17:08]
What is the Wholesome Co. pharmacy like? [18:18]
How do consultations with pharmacists work? [20:00]
Mindy’s thoughts about dosing [29:18]
Mindy’s cannabis education [31:40]
When will the Wholesome Co. pharmacy open? [41:56]
How Mindy sees cannabis as part of a whole health plan [42:41]

Resources in This Episode

Utah in the Weeds Podcast

@utahintheweeds on Instagram

Wholesome Co

Podcast Summary

Who is Mindy Madeo? [00:07]

Mindy is the pharmacist for Wholesome Co. After her education at the University of Utah, she worked as a retail pharmacist. 

As a retail pharmacist, she became disillusioned with pharmacy practice in general. She felt that a lot of patients were over prescribed medications. The healthcare industry was only focused on treating symptoms and diseases with medication, and not looking at the whole patient.

She witnessed the progression of the current opioid epidemic and found it heartening to see patients prescribed massive doses of pain medications and watch their quality of life go down.

Mindy actually considered retirement about three years ago. However, in 2018 when Proposition 2 passed, she saw an opportunity to be involved with plant and herbal medicines.

She did everything she could to educate herself, including reading books, listening to podcasts, etc. 

Wholesome Co. then reached out to her on LinkedIn to join their team. They connected early in the process, before they got their cultivation or their pharmacy license. Mindy felt they both have similar ideals about health and treatment.

Is Mindy connected with other pharmacists in the area? [9:00]

Mindy is forming a group of pharmacists called Utah Cannabis Pharmacist Association. This group will be under the umbrella of the Utah Cannabis Association.

Pharmacists in the area have visited each other’s pharmacies and sat in on consultations. Also, because cannabis pharmacists are a new role, it is important for everyone in this role to work together and define what the role means.

Mindy’s thoughts on having a pharmacist in a dispensary [12:39]

Mindy believes there is definitely a need for a pharmacist. Pharmacists have a background in pharmacokinetics, diseases, state management, etc. For every medication that exists, pharmacists are educated on the disease that it treats, the mechanism of the disease, and how it is diagnosed. As a result, pharmacists have a large, broad knowledge base that can be valuable for patients. 

Most pharmacists aren’t educated with cannabis. However, Mindy believes they can get educated on cannabis fairly quickly. 

Does Mindy believe pharmacists should have personal experience with cannabis? [17:08]

Mindy does not believe you need to have personal experience. It could be helpful, especially if you understand different strains. However, just as pharmacists do not need to have personal experience with blood pressure medication to properly prescribe it, a pharmacist does not have to consume cannabis.

What is the Wholesome Co. pharmacy like? [18:18]

It is next to Costco in Bountiful. They are still building the location. The location will have a large pharmacy and waiting area. Also, there will be consultation rooms for patients to talk to Mindy. 

How do consultations with pharmacists work? [20:00]

After patients receive their card, they will come to the Wholesome Co. pharmacy and have a consultation with Mindy. 

Mindy has a list of questions she asks clients to better understand their conditions, experience with cannabis, and recommendations from their QMP. She also asks questions to learn more about their pain, including how severe the pain is, times of the day when pain is worse, and if any treatments have made the pain better. 

To help prevent negative drug interactions with cannabis, Mindy will also review current medications the patient is using.

Mindy’s thoughts about dosing [29:18]

Mindy believes that a pharmacist shouldn’t dose a patient. The patient is dosing themselves. As pharmacists and medical providers, they are helping a patient determine the lowest dose needed to create an effect. The patient is the one who is in control of this, with the pharmacists and medical providers giving them the tools they need to learn to dose themselves.

Mindy’s cannabis education [31:40]

When Mindy decided to get involved with the Medical Marijuana industry, she began looking for a good online education. She settled on a master’s degree program in Cannabis, Science, and Therapeutics at the University of Maryland in Baltimore.

When will the Wholesome Co. pharmacy open? [41:56]

Mindy is hoping to be able to open on July 17th.

How Mindy sees cannabis as part of a whole health plan [42:41]

Mindy believes that, along with using cannabis to treat medical conditions, health professionals should also encourage a healthy lifestyle. She tells patients that it is wise to use cannabis, but to also exercise, practice meditation or journaling, and socialize with friends. 

She also says that there isn’t a distinction between a recreational user and a medical user — both are using cannabis to be a healthier person. Even if you are that recreational user consuming cannabis to loosen up at a party, you are using it to relieve anxiety instead of a traditional anxiety medication.

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Published July 20, 2020
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