Maryland pharmacy school becomes first to offer certificate in cannabis studies


Logan Lowrey-Rasmussen

The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy will begin offering courses to students that will groom them for the medical cannabis industry.

The courses will be offered online counting toward certifications required under Maryland’s medical cannabis legislation. They will also offer instruction on regulations, the latest uses for medical cannabis, product consistency, inventory control, and relevant information to running your business successfully. Certification will cater to every member of the industry, from growing and processing, to retail and laboratory testing.

While any form of cannabis is still federally illegal, the school looks to to partner with Americans for Safe Access, an advocacy group that will help them abide by the current medical cannabis legislation passed in 2014. Safe Access will be in charge of the curriculum, as well as providing instructors for the program.

The courses will cost students between $450 to $750.

The University of Maryland will avoid making any endorsement while the plant is federally illegal in order to avoid jeopardizing its research funding.

The school’s decision to add these courses was preceded by the University of Vermont College of Medicine, which began offering a course covering the history of cannabis, the legal status of the plant, and medical applications in Spring of 2016.

Medical cannabis legislation for Maryland was passed in 2014, with dispensaries and cannabis-related services still unavailable for patients until this year. Dispensaries are projected to open in the remainder of 2017, while the governor of Maryland appointed ten individuals to the Maryland Medical Cannabis Commission.

Cannabis in Maryland has been decriminalized, with the penalty for possession being reduced to a civil offense and distribution of any amount being a felony.