Marijuana Prevention Training & Technical Assistance Services


New England has seen rapid and numerous changes in marijuana policy.  All six states have medical marijuana laws.  Maine, Vermont, and Massachusetts have passed laws legalizing adult-use marijuana while New Hampshire, Connecticut, and Rhode Island see many policy proposals to join them.  This ever evolving policy landscape can create challenges for prevention professionals.  How do we create and implement effective prevention strategies in this policy climate?

The New England PTTC has a full array of training and technical assistance services and products in this area of marijuana science, policy, and prevention.  This includes live and recorded webinars, technical assistance tools, and expert trainers available for face-to-face trainings in your community.  Here is what we have available to bring to your state, organization, or community:


Available In Person Trainings to bring to your state or community


If you are interested in bringing any of these trainings to your state, community, or prevention coalition, please contact Erin Burnett at


Prevention Skills in the Era of Legal Cannabis

Presenter: Scott M. Gagnon, MPP, PS-C - Director, New England PTTC

This training provides an opportunity for prevention professionals, coalition members, and stakeholders to learn the latest on marijuana with a focus on the latest data, scientific research, and evolving policies.  This training will provide an overview and analysis of the latest marijuana policy trends in New England and the implications for prevention and public health.  This training will cover multiple areas of marijuana science including: marijuana and pregnancy, impact on youth development and behavioral health, impacts on physical health, impaired driving, and many others.  The training provides an overview of the many different forms and routes of consumption of marijuana and the public health implications of rising strengths and potencies.

The training includes some group work and discussion on prevention approaches to marijuana in an era of rapidly evolving marijuana policies.  Participants will use the Strategic Prevention Framework to identify marijuana use issues in their communities, and develop some initial steps and strategies to craft a prevention approach to these issues.  


Intended Audience: The ideal audience for this training are state and community prevention organizations and the prevention professionals responsible for implementing prevention programs and strategies in their communities. This can include coalition members, sector representatives and partners, volunteer staff, and other key partners, stakeholders, and collaborators.  


The Evolution of Marijuana Policies and Where Prevention Fits In

Presenter: Scott M. Gagnon, MPP, PS-C - Director, New England PTTC

This half-day, 3 hour training provides more of a focus on policy and how it impacts public health and prevention.  The training provides an overview of the evolution of marijuana policies in the New England states.  The training discusses the importance of policy and the different layers of policy that need to be considered: federal, state, municipal, and organizational.  Participants will learn about unintended consequences that can arise from policy not informed by the science of marijuana, addiction, and public health.  Participants will learn the importance of educating the public and influencers with the science of marijuana.  Finally, participants will be introduced to how to use the prevention tools we already have at our disposal as commercial marijuana sales begin in some of our states and communities.  

Learning Objectives:

  • Participants will learn about the current state of marijuana policies across the six New England States
  • Participants will learn about the importance of public policy that is data driven and informed by public health and prevention science.
  • Participants will learn about the importance of training community sectors in marijuana science and how it can be a powerful environmental strategy for prevention.  


Intended Audience: The ideal audience for this training are state and community prevention organizations and the prevention professionals responsible for implementing prevention programs and strategies in their communities. This can include coalition members, sector representatives and partners, volunteer staff, and other key partners, stakeholders, and collaborators.  This training can also be appropriate for the broader public, with interest in the role of marijuana policies in impacting and shaping conditions in their communities.


Presenter Bio: Scott M. Gagnon, MPP, PS-C: Scott is a Certified Prevention Specialist and the Director of AdCare Educational Institute of Maine, Inc., and Director of the New England Prevention Technology Transfer Center.  Scott has a Master’s Degree in Public Policy from the Edmund S. Muskie School of Public Service.  Appointed by the Maine Speaker of the House, Scott serves as the public health representative on Maine’s Marijuana Advisory Commission.  Scott chairs the marijuana prevention advocacy & education group, Smart Approaches to Marijuana, Maine and has also served as Co Chair of the Prevention Task Force for the Maine Opiate Collaborative.  Scott recently served on the U.S. Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) National Advisory Council. In addition to his role as Director for the New England PTTC, Scott has been a marijuana science trainer for the New England Addiction Technology Transfer Center.


Scott was the 2017 recipient of the Patrick J. Kennedy Outstanding Advocate Award from Smart Approaches to Marijuana. In 2015, Scott was awarded the Maine Public Health Association's Ruth S. Shaper Memorial Award and Healthy Androscoggin's Will Bartlett Award and is also the 2013 recipient of the Maine Alliance to Prevent Substance Abuse Prevention Award. Scott trains and presents both in New England and nationally on marijuana science and policy, as well as on opioid prevention and prevention workforce development. 


Recorded Webinars on Marijuana


Today’s Marijuana: Stronger, More Edibles, Confusing Information about Driving


Presenter: Dr. Karen Simone, Director Northern New England Poison Center

Course Summary:  Dr. Karen Simone will provide an overview of factual information about today’s marijuana products. They are stronger, often times contain no or less CBD in relationship to THC, and are vastly available in edible and other forms. Information is plentiful, while facts are difficult to extract with confidence. People using marijuana are confused regarding the safety of driving. CBD is promoted as a cure for everything and anything. Learn what is known and unknown.


Continuing Education Credits Available: 1.0 Hour Certificate of Completion Available

IC & RC Prevention Domains: Domain 6 - Professional Growth & Responsibility


Link to Register and Begin Course:


Presenter Bio: Dr. Karen Simone is the director of the NNEPC. She is a doctor of pharmacy, a Diplomate of the American Board of Applied Toxicology and a Fellow of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology. Dr. Simone oversees the day-to-day operations of the poison center, including management of calls, emergency preparedness activities, staff education, educational outreach, research and funding.


Technical Assistance Tools and Resources


Marijuana Prevention Education Toolkit


The New England PTTC's Director, Scott Gagnon, chairs the nationwide PTTC Network Marijuana Risk Work Group. The mission of the PTTC Network Marijuana Risk Work Group is to develop training and technical assistance tools, products, and service, related specifically to marijuana risk education and prevention, that can be deployed across the nation. This fall, the work group developed and released a new toolkit to provide the prevention workforce with researched tools to use in community marijuana prevention and education efforts. 


Recorded Webinar: PTTC Marijuana Education Toolkit Launch & Listening Session:

In this recorded webinar, participants will receive a detailed overview of each of the four products in the toolkit. The following will be covered in the webinar:

  • Description of each of the four tools,
  • Goals and intended uses for each product,
  • Tips and pointers for implementation,  
  • Questions or comments from webinar participants.

Link to view the recorded webinar (recorded on January 6, 2020). No continuing education is available. 


Facts Vs Myths Information Sheet:

This information sheet covers 7 common myths or misunderstandings as related to marijuana. These include myths on addiction, impairment, and other health effects. Each of the 7 myths is countered with the current evidence, including citations. The goal is to provide a tool for prevention providers to help respond to and educate the public around these common myths. 

Use: Tool for use in prevention messaging and education to help dispel misconceptions that may persist in the community around marijuana. This tool may be also useful as a handout at prevention education events.

Link to download


Cannabis Glossary – Terms by Topic

There are many terms, slang words, and other nomenclatures related to marijuana. This glossary will help prevention professionals be more familiar with these terms, to aid in competency when discussing these topics. Categories include plant anatomy, slang terms, terms related to marijuana products, cannabinoids, and other terms.

Use: Reference guide for prevention providers to familiarize themselves with the many terms related to marijuana.

Link to download


Marijuana Science Education Slide Banks

Two PowerPoint slide banks for prevention professionals to use in marijuana prevention and education work in their communities. The purpose of these slide banks is to provide prevention providers with researched and vetted tools they can feel confident in using in their marijuana prevention presentations.


  • “Marijuana and the Brain” focuses on the pharmacology of marijuana and how it effects the brain. Link to download

  • “The Varied Forms, Potency, and Health Effects of Today’s Cannabis” covers the many forms of marijuana products, as well as trends in potency, and known health impacts. Link to download


Use: You can provide one or both of these slide banks as a stand-alone presentations or integrate them into a presentation including local data, trends, and strategies for marijuana prevention. Each slide bank includes presenter notes to guide the speaker on presenting the information contained in the slides.  The slide banks also include the references to all of the literature used to source the information presented.


NOTE: Please do not alter any of the slides. If you need additional information, please contact the New England PTTC:  or (207) 626-3615



Do you have a specific training or t/a need for marijuana prevention in your state or community?  We want to know!  E-mail us at