Medical Marijuana Master’s Program in Maryland: What You Should Be Aware of

Last week, UMSOP (University of Maryland School of Pharmacy) revealed the first-ever master’s program in Maryland. Its official name is “The Master of Science in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics”, and the medicinal properties of marijuana will be at the focal point. The location of the two-year program will be at the University of Shady Grove campus, located in Rockville.

Read on to find out the 3 main things you need to know about the first-ever medical marijuana program, which will start this August.

Students Won’t Have Contact with the Plant

Students not coming in contact with the plant in such a program might seem weird at first, but the United States’ federal marijuana laws call for a “hands-off” approach, meaning that even the professionals in the industry are not allowed to touch the plant.

Natalie Eddington, the dean of UMSOP said that they had meetings with the authorities in order to make sure that the program follows an appropriate way of education. She also confirmed that students will not have an access to plant, neither in the laboratory nor in other activities.

Marijuana growing is allowed only for medical purposes in Maryland, but cultivation is actually limited to only 15 companies who own a license. Distribution and possession, however, is penalized by law.

Students will instead use photographs to study the exterior of the marijuana plant, and won’t come in direct contact with terpenes, the aromatic oils that give cannabis its distinctive smell.

The Program Is Not for Scientists Only

Even though it takes place in the School of Pharmacy, the master’s degree is planned to educate the entire cannabis community on the subject of the beneficial effects of medical marijuana.

The courses will center around three main topics:

  • Medical cannabis science
  • Therapeutics
  • Policy

The dean herself will teach one of the courses about the culture and the history behind medical cannabis. Other courses will cover topics such as marijuana use for disease treatment and the possible negative effects of cannabis.

Besides the mandatory classes, students can also choose four optional classes in order to modify the curriculum according to their work field.

Most of the Courses Will Be Online

Eddington added that they aim for the program to be user-friendly and accessible to any student at any place.

On top of the online courses, the campus will also host a yearly symposium where industry leaders from the cannabis field will meet the students, discuss industry-related questions and recruit the most knowledgeable students.

UMSOP expects this program to cost $20,785 in total for in-state students, and $25,621 for students from another state.


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