Medical marijuana program to be offered in St. Marys

DUBOIS, Pa. — If you own or manage a business or manufacturing center with a zero-tolerance drug policy, or just have concerns about what impact Pennsylvania’s new medicinal marijuana law will have on your workplace, join Penn State DuBois for an educational program to learn the facts.

“Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana Law and its Impact on the Workplace” will be held from 1-3:30 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 16, at the Community Education Center, located at 4 Erie Ave. in St. Marys. The cost of the program is $149 per person. Companies wishing to send four or more employees can contact the Penn State DuBois Continuing and Community Education Department for a discount code. There is a limited number of seats available for this training, so don’t wait to register. Registration can be completed at

This course blends both medical insight and legal/human resources knowledge from two local instructors who specialize in the field.

Dr. Michael M. Hall has been a family medicine practitioner in the region since 1988 and has recently been added to the Pennsylvania Department of Health’s Medical Marijuana Approved Practitioners list. He currently works for Penn Highlands Healthcare as an addiction specialist at the hospital’s Integrated Recovery Care office. He is board certified in family medicine by the American Board of Family Medicine and in addiction medicine by the American Board of Preventive Medicine. He also is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Society of Addiction Medicine.

Joining Hall as an instructor for this course is attorney Christopher J. Shaw. A lifelong resident of DuBois, Shaw graduated with honors from law school at George Washington University n 1986 and has been practicing law in the region ever since. He is currently the full-time corporate counsel for Paris Companies in DuBois, a position that he has held since 2002. He works extensively with Paris’ human resources department on issues ranging from policies and procedures, Equal Opportunity Employment, and other HR policies mandated by the federal government. He recently has been involved in research into the new medical marijuana law and its impact on the workplace.

Included in the class will be information for human resource professionals, business owners, and those responsible for policymaking in all types of business and industry. Hall will focus his materials on the current products and conditions that are approved under the law and what impact this medication will have on the physiology of workers. He also will discuss the benefits of medical cannabis on these conditions and the contrasts between this medication and other opioids normally prescribed for these conditions.

Shaw will provide information on the legal implications on the workplace and an in-depth review of the law. He will discuss what protections are provided for under the law for the employer and the employee and provide sample policies for companies to use as a starting point when addressing the impact of the new law for companies who have specific drug use policies. He also will discuss hiring practices companies should consider and future expectations of hiring and beyond.