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UM School of Pharmacy to offer medical cannabis master's degree

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Posted at 3:26 PM, Jun 24, 2019
and last updated 2019-06-24 15:26:08-04

BALTIMORE — In a further sign of cannabis being recognized as a legitimate medical alternative and a thriving industry to be reckoned with, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy launched a new Master of Science degree in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics, the school announced Monday.

The program is designed “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,” the school said in a release. The two-year degree tract will be based at the university’s campus in Rockville, operating as a blend of online learning and face-to-face experiences. It will be the first graduate program in the country dedicated to medical cannabis, offering a comprehensive understanding of the industry to healthcare professionals, physicians, nurses, pharmacists, regulators, scientists, growers, policy experts, industry professionals, and dispensary owners.

The application deadline for the upcoming fall semester of the program is Aug. 15. Classes beginning on Aug. 26. The program will not require students to complete a thesis; instead they must tackle a capstone course featuring a mix of discussions, case studies, and expert seminars. Applicants must have a bachelors’ degree from an accredited college or university, currently work in the cannabis industry, and be able to travel at least once per semester to attend required symposia at the Universities at Shady Grove campus in Maryland. Those interested in the program can learn more online.

“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, Pharma, MA, BCPS assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacy Practice and Science at the school. “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.”