Higher Learning: University of Maryland To Offer Nation’s First Masters In Cannabis Program

For those of you have always dreamt of turning your love for cannabis into a full-time career, you’re in luck. Although the flower’s federal illegality has forced training for medical-cannabis related jobs into the hands of sometimes seldom known, unaccredited sources, The University of Maryland has just legitimized “higher” education. 

Back in 2017, UMD’s School of Pharmacy had attempted to offer courses on cultivation, manufacturing, dispensing, and laboratory standards, but they, unfortunately, canceled such plans after consulting with the Maryland attorney general’s office. Fast forward to 2019, though, and things have changed. The School of Pharmacy has just announced plans to offer the nation’s first graduate degree in medical cannabis, reversing the decision they made two years ago to shield themselves from the still federally illegal field. 

Created for healthcare practitioners, dispensary owners and other cannabis industry professionals, the two year Master of Science in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics program will allow students the opportunity to work on field research and learn aspects of medical marijuana treatment. Allowing for potential shaping of the medical cannabis policy, the degree will combine online and capstone courses addressing clinical uses, adverse effects, policies and basic science. 

“Medical cannabis has been legalized in 33 states. This number is only expected to increase in the future, fueling a demand for an educated workforce that is well-trained in both the science and therapeutic effects associated with this medicinal plant,” explained Natalie D. Edington, Ph.D., FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor at UMSOP. “Our MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics has been critically designed to prepare students to meet this demand. Innovations in instructional design throughout the curriculum will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to make a positive impact on communities across the United States,” she continued, according to WJLA. 

The program, held online to accommodate students with busy schedules, is open to applicants with any bachelor’s degree who wish to work in the medical cannabis industry. With approximately 2,132,777 million people making use of medical cannabis programs across the U.S. as of 2018 (according to ProCon.Org), UMD’s program provides a giant push towards a future of cannabis normalization. And with new top-notch training offering potential for highly educated professionals to enter the field… well, we’ll let your imagination decide how high that’s gonna get you. 

If you’re interested in learning more about UMD’s program, click here to visit their site.

Emerald contributor since June 2019

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