A Master’s Degree In Marijuana?
UM School of Pharmacy Launches Nation’s First Master’s in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics
It’s always good to be in on the ground floor of a growth industry. The University of Maryland is doing just that.
The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy has launched a new Master of Science (MS) in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics to provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to support patients and the medical cannabis industry, add to existing research in the field, and develop well-informed medical cannabis policy.
“Medical cannabis has been legalized in 33 states, including Maryland, as well as in Washington, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico,” says 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.”
Based at the Universities at Shady Grove (USG) in Rockville, Md., the two-year program blends online learning with face-to-face experiences, and is designed for any individuals who has completed his or her undergraduate degree and is interested in pursuing a career in the medical cannabis industry.
To better meet the needs of working professionals, the MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics does not require the completion of a thesis. Instead, students complete a capstone course that features a selection of expert seminars, case studies, and discussions. Graduates of the program will be able to help identify patients appropriate for medical cannabis therapy and determine appropriate dosing and administration for those patients; ensure the safe and effective design, development, and manufacture of medical cannabis products; identify potential research opportunities related to the science and health effects of the cannabinoids found in medical cannabis; and participate in health policy decision-making processes related to medical cannabis.
“Students who complete our program will have an unparalleled competitive advantage when it comes to pursuing or advancing a career in the medical cannabis industry,” says Leah Sera, PharmD, MA, BCPS assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at UMSOP, director of the MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics program, and a clinical pharmacist who practices in the field of palliative care. “These individuals will be well-prepared to support patients and the medical cannabis industry with the knowledge and skills gained from their coursework. They will also be able to add to existing clinical and scientific research on medical cannabis, and will be able to contribute to well-informed policies related to medical cannabis.”
She adds, “There is truly no other educational program that offers the in-depth instruction on the science, policy, and therapeutics of medical cannabis that students who are accepted into our program will receive.”