Medical cannabis is the subject of a new master’s degree program at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy. The medical marijuana program is thought to be the first of its kind in the United States.
The new program, dedicated to medical cannabis, seeks to transfer the knowledge and skills necessary to support patients and contribute to research in the area, the university reports. The program was created for healthcare professionals, including pharmacists, physicians, and nurses; scientists and regulators, growers and dispensary owners and policy and industry professionals.
Natalie Eddington, PhD, FCP, FAAPS, dean and professor of the University of Maryland's School of Pharmacy, adds, “Medical cannabis has been legalized in 33 states, including Maryland, as well as in Washington, D.C., Guam, and Puerto Rico. 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.”
The program will address clinical uses, adverse effects, policies, and basic science. It combines online education in addition to a capstone course featuring a selection of expert seminars, case studies, and discussions, the university says.
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Around the country, other U.S. universities are ramping up educational efforts to train this emerging industry. Here are some programs identified:
• UCLA's Cannabis Research Initiative
• The University of Vermont offers a continuing medical education program on cannabis
• Northern Michigan University launched a medicinal plant chemistry degree
• Stockton University offers a minor in cannabis studies
• The University of Washington hosts a program on medicinal cannabis and chronic pain
• The University of California Davis offers graduate and undergraduate courses on the subject