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University Offers First Medical Cannabis Master’s Program

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The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy is offering the first master’s degree in medical cannabis. The two-year program will offer training on medical cannabis-related topics like science and current laws. 

The Master of Science (MS) in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics will be based at Rockville, Maryland’s Universities at Shady Grove. It will “provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to support patients in the medical cannabis industry, add to existing research in the field, and develop well-informed medical cannabis policy,” according to the university’s release. The program is geared toward dispensary owners, healthcare practitioners, regulators, scientists and other industry professionals. 

A wide range of cannabis-related information will be covered in the program. It will address adverse effects and public health, basic science, clinical use and both federal and state laws. The classes will be offered online with an in-person symposium each semester. Applications for the program will be accepted through Aug. 15 with classes starting on Aug. 26. 

While medical cannabis has been studied at institutions of higher learning for many years, this is the first program of its kind in the nation to offer a master’s degree specifically in medical cannabis. 

“Medical cannabis has been legalized in 33 states, including Maryland, as well as in Washington, D.C., Guam and Puerto Rico,” stated Natalie D. Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the School of Pharmacy. “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. 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.”

The state of Maryland first legalized medical cannabis back in 2012, but the program did not become fully operational until 2017. The state has decriminalized cannabis, but it is not one of the 11 states in the United States with legalized recreational cannabis. 

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