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Wisconsin University Offering State’s First Cannabis Certificate Program

The University of Wisconsin-Platteville Continuing Education Institute is offering the state’s first cannabis industry certificate programs, including Business of Cannabis, Cannabis Law and Policy, and Cannabis Healthcare and Medicine.

The program – a partnership with cannabis education company Green Flower – is set to launch next month.

Kerie Wedige, executive director of the Continuing Education Institute of UW-Platteville, told the Shepard Express that she expects the cannabis industry to “grow very quickly” over the next decade.

“One of the nice parts about the cannabis industry, there’s so many different areas that somebody can be involved with. There is the agricultural aspect from seed to sale, the medical and health care, the business, law and policy… There are so many different places where you can insert yourself into the industry, and these programs give a broad instruction that helps you build your knowledge and see how you’d be a good fit in the industry.” – Wedige to the Express

Max Simon, CEO and founder of Green Flower, said the demand for cannabis education programming “is off the charts.”

“As the industry continues to grow, we are extremely confident that this partnership will be beneficial to the university and to those seeking a way to enter a new career or enhance what they currently do,” he said in a statement.

Each certificate program is non-credit – which means enrollees don’t have to be UW-Platteville students – and contain three eight-week courses. Tuition for each program is $2,500.

According to a Leafly report, the legal cannabis industry supports 243,700 jobs nationwide, which represents a 15 percent growth rate.

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Delaware State University Receives Federal Grant for Hemp Research

Delaware State University has received a $591,628 grant from the National Science Foundation for hemp research. The endowment will allow undergraduates to participate in the university’s College of Agriculture, Science and Technology hemp research program.

The project, called the “Course-based Undergraduate Research Experiences (CUREs) Hemp Initiative Project,” will be interdisciplinary, involving university science disciplines.

According to the university, chemistry students participating in the program will investigate extraction techniques for the desired end-use of hemp products and biofuel feedstock. Biological sciences students will be engaged in cancer research, investigating the conditions under which CBD induces cell death versus when cells are protected against cell-damaging stressors.

Food science students will research different methods of extraction of food protein from hemp seed protein powder and hemp seed oil and test the methods’ effectiveness. Animal science students will look at the effects of hemp extract on parasitic larvae in light of the increased drug resistance of parasites.

Dr. Kimberly Milligan, visiting assistant professor of chemistry and principal investigator of the grant, said that students “have a greater connection to their discoveries and learning when they can visualize the link between what they are learning in lab and real-world applications.”

“Research has shown that students who engage in research benefit from a wide range of outcomes, including more confidence in their abilities to do science, a greater connection with the scientific community, and increased persistence in science.” – Milligan, in a statement

DSU was tabbed by the state to be the lead research entity in its Hemp Research Pilot Project, which was included in the state’s hemp legalization bill. DSU has partnered with Kentucky State University on the project.

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Cannabis for Relaxation – Cannabis Magazine

Stress is more than just an inconvenience. It can cause serious mental and physical health problems. That includes things like heart disease, lung issues, and even certain types of cancer. In the current state of the world, it’s undeniable that stress and worry are more prevalent than ever. 

So, it’s no surprise that people are looking for ways to relax, unwind, and destress as much as possible. Research has already shown that the mental health effects of the COVID-19 pandemic could be overwhelming in the coming months and years. But, not everyone wants to take prescription medications for issues like anxiety or depression. 

While you should always follow your doctor’s orders, there are other ways to de-stress and find some peace in the comfort of your own home. Using cannabis for relaxation is a great place to start, and it can be included in your “de-stress” routine. 

Let’s look at how cannabis can be used for relaxation, why it’s so effective, and ways you can use it in your daily life to unwind. 

Why is Cannabis Effective at Reducing Stress?

Cannabis is well-known for helping with many health issues, including anxiety. Many people use it for simple daily wellness, and women can use it for things like: 

  • Menstrual health
  • Vaginal health
  • Breast health

But, why is it so effective at reducing your stress levels and helping you to relax? First, it’s important to note that plants, in general, have been shown to reduce stress. According to the US National Library of Medicine, interaction with plants can help to lower blood pressure and reduce the body’s natural responses to stress. Additionally, many plants can help to boost your mood and even improve your sleep quality, including lavender and chamomile. 

Cannabis, despite its growing popularity, is still relatively new to many people. That’s especially true when it comes to healthcare settings. While more research needs to be done, studies have already shown that small doses of THC are incredibly effective at reducing stress. The effects of cannabis help to subdue feelings of stress and anxiety for a period of time. That can help with everything from lowering blood pressure to improving focus and productivity. While those effects aren’t permanent, they can be used as a part of your daily routine to promote more peace and tranquility. 

Less Stress Starts With Better Sleep 

So many people deal with “racing minds” at night. It’s when all of your stressful thoughts from the day might start to creep in, preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep. 

If you can’t relax when you’re trying to go to bed, cannabis can help. Small doses of CBD before bed can help to reduce levels of anxiety, calm any negative thoughts, and lull you off to sleep peacefully. The best way to use it is to include it in your nightly sleep routine. Set yourself up for sleep success by trying the following: 

  • Turn off your phone a few hours before bed
  • Take a relaxing bath and use a cannabis-infused bath bomb or essential oils for more of a spa-like experience. Just be careful with that the bath bombs don’t clog your pipes!
  • Create a calming space in your bedroom, free of clutter and distractions
  • Investing in bedding that makes you comfortable and cozy

Additionally, you can follow a wellness routine before you go to bed each night. Try a few minutes of meditation or mindfulness to get yourself into a more relaxed state. Again, CBD or cannabis-infused products can help you to clear your head and relax enough to focus on your breathing while letting other thoughts come and go freely. 

Cannabis As Part of Your Relaxation Routine

There are still so many stereotypes about cannabis, THC, and marijuana use when it comes to relaxation. Don’t let the images of a typical “stoner” keep you from confirming what research has already shown; cannabis can, indeed, help to reduce stress levels. The best part? Smaller doses of it seem to be more effective than larger amounts. So, a little will go a long way as part of your relaxation routine. 

Other studies have started to show that different strains of cannabis can be more impactful than others. The more research that is done on those particular strains, the easier it will eventually be to find the best possible cannabis and CBD products for relaxation. 

For now, don’t be afraid to try different products to find what works for you when it comes to your relaxation routine. Even if you’re new to the world of cannabis, experimenting with different products is a safe and effective way to lower your stress naturally. If you’re really struggling with anxiety, one of the best things you can do is to talk to a mental health professional. But, if you’re just looking for more ways to relax at home or unwind after a long day, cannabis should absolutely be a part of your routine. 

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Maryland University of Integrative Health Launches Cannabis Science Program

The Maryland University of Integrative Health has launched its Cannabis Science program becoming the second university in the state to offer a graduate-level cannabis program, the Baltimore Business Journal reports. The 15-credit certificate program is approved by the Maryland Higher Education Commission and will focus on the plant’s holistic uses.

James Snow, dean of academic affairs at MUIH, said the program fits into a broader spectrum of the university’s herbal and alternative medicine programs. He added that it would be a good fit for individuals interested in a job in the industry or those with clinical or industry backgrounds who want to expand their knowledge on the potential medical uses of cannabis.

“We want our students to leave this program understanding cannabis, in itself, is not a fix-all product. We want them to have critical thinking about the use of this plant, and a balanced perspective of what we currently know about cannabis, what we don’t know, what it’s limitations are and how we can have informed conversations about it with the general public.” – Snow to the Business Journal

The first class includes 20 students who can complete the coursework entirely online in about one year. Program tuition is about $13,000. Snow said in addition to learning about medicinal cannabis uses, the program will also feature classes on quality control. He expects a second class to begin the program in the spring semester.

Last year, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy launched the nation’s first master’s degree program in medical cannabis.

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These Six Women Are Cannabis Pioneers In Nebraska

They are physicians, researchers, scientists, senators, professors, directors, vice presidents, deans, cultivators, entrepreneurs, and business owners from Nebraska — their backgrounds and training are varied. They are six inspired and mission-driven women who are leading the way and pushing the innovative frontiers of cannabis-related industry and education, not only in Nebraska but worldwide. Coincidentally, they also all have first names that start with the letter A!

Let’s take a closer look at the careers of these half-dozen cannabis entrepreneurs, educators, and innovators that are helping pioneer the Nebraska cannabis industry.


Dr. Andrea Holmes, Professor of Chemistry and the Director of Cannabis Studies at Doane University, is one of the co-founders and the Chief Growth Officer of Precision Plant Molecules (PPM) in Denver Colorado. PPM is a premier hemp extraction company that is focused on minor cannabinoids that are now being rapidly embraced by CBD companies in the emerging cannabis health-related market. Dr. Holmes is a national and international expert in cannabis chemistry, testing, processing, and in the cannabis industry in general. She has given local, national and international lectures, and appeared on radio and television broadcasts, podcasts, and webinars on these subjects. She has published articles on cannabis education, terpenes, the endocannabinoid system, major and minor cannabinoids, extraction methods, niche markets (including using CBD for the pet industry), personalized and bespoke cannabis-based applications, and other unique topics involving the rapidly emerging cannabis industry. In collaboration with Dr. Amanda McKinney, Dr. Holmes has developed and signed worldwide contracts with hemp companies interested in merging cannabis-related science with medicine.

Andrea has had an extremely distinguished overall career as an organic chemist. Besides her two positions at Doane, she holds courtesy associate professor appointments at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) and the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC). Her pre-cannabis work with a variety of multi-application chemical detection methods won her millions of dollars in grants, contracts from (amongst other organizations) the United States Department of Defense (specifically the United States Army), and prestigious awards and recognitions from the Nebraska American Chemical Society, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Science Foundation.


Dr. Amanda McKinney is the Associate Dean of the School of Integrative Learning and the Division of Health Sciences at Doane University. Amanda is a triple board-certified physician in Obstetrics and Gynecology, Female Pelvic Medicine and Reconstructive Surgery, and Lifestyle Medicine. She also holds certifications in Herbal and Cannabis Medicine. Amanda teaches courses and gives lectures on medicinal cannabis as well as on Lifestyle Medicine– which concentrates, in large part, on promoting plant-based diets for prevention and reversal of the chronic disease. She was one of the main developers of Doane University’s online Prerequisites for the Health Professions (PHP) program that was the foundation of the university’s current keystone multi-million dollar OLA (Open Learning Academy) programs.

Amanda also founded and is the Executive Director of the innovative and highly interdisciplinary Institute for Human and Planetary Health (IHPH). IHPH’s research and educational mission is very broad and ranges from sustainable agribusiness planning and practices to Lifestyle Medicine certifications. IHPH also studies existential threats to humanity and our planet from disease, global warming, and other sources (ranging from historical to modern times). But the central confluence of the Institute’s mission is to present the evidence that the dietary pattern that best preserves both human and planetary health (particularly in relation to chronic disease, climate change, and resource depletion) is based on minimally-processed whole plant foods grown using sustainable and restorative agricultural practices. Amanda also co-owns the company A&A Apothecary where she and Dr. Andrea Holmes currently utilize their expertise in medicine and chemistry to create herbal and cannabis-based products that promote health and wellness. The company also provides sound, evidence-based lifestyle, and health information on which individuals can base their personal health and wellness decisions.


Dr. Arin Sutlief, Director of Cannabis Testing Laboratories (CTL), is an expert in cannabis testing methods. Arin built the testing laboratory for cannabinoid analysis and pushed the first hemp-testing lab in Nebraska through the rigorous ISO certification process in a short period of time with the help of a consultant, Kimberly Ross, and colleague and newly appointed quality manager Jennifer Lytle. Arin is also the course builder and teaching professor of the new online course Cannabis Testing & Instrumentation In Doane’s School of Integrated Learning (SIL). She is a public speaker traveling throughout Nebraska to help with cannabis education, understanding applicable laws and regulations, and cannabinoid analysis. Together with her colleagues, her research and peer-reviewed publications work towards advancing testing methods and the cannabis industry more broadly.


Andrea Butler is Associate Vice President of Academic Affairs (Online Operations) and Dean of the School of Integrated Learning. Andrea has a proven track record of success with program development and explosive enrollment growth. Andrea is spearheading Doane’s advancement in digital learning and has achieved stellar results as the guiding force behind online programs such as Doane University’s multi-million dollar and highly regarded Open Learning Academy (OLA). With programs such as DoaneX and the Cannabis Studies program, Andrea is continuing to create a digital learning ecosystem that is culturally responsive and equity-based.

Andrea, in a relatively short time and in response to the growing need in Nebraska, has successfully established and implemented a cannabis curricular architecture (in partnership with Dr. Andrea Holmes) for multi-modality, credit, and non-credit bearing cannabis courses, certificates, future minors, and degrees. Through the university’s School of Integrative Learning (SIL) Doane is creating partnerships to address the needs of learners across Nebraska, throughout the nation, and around the world, interested in understanding more about cannabis and hemp.


Senator Anna Wishart, is one of the leaders, in the Nebraska Unicameral, of the movement for the legalization of medical marijuana in Nebraska. She is also co-chair of the organization Nebraskans for Medical Marijuana. It submitted over 180K signatures in July to get the issue of medical marijuana on the state’s ballot. Anna has always attested that medical marijuana legalization is critical for many sick Nebraskans. She believes that along with child welfare and other important issues that she passionately believes in and works on, medical marijuana “just makes sense.” She has collected thousands of signatures, recruited hundreds of volunteers, and solicited millions of dollars in funding to run a campaign to put medical marijuana on the ballot for Nebraskans to vote on in November. The Senator states that “What we’ve seen with polling is resoundingly over 70 percent of Nebraskans across the state, across demographics, across age groups, rural and urban, support legalizing access to medical marijuana.”


Annette Wiles is the owner of Midwest Hop Producers. She was one of 10 growers in 2019 who were randomly selected by the Nebraska Department Of Agriculture to participate in the first year of the state’s Hemp Cultivation/Processing Research Program. Annette and her husband had been growing corn, beans, and hops, but there’s not a lot of money in those crops currently. That’s why they looked into alternative, specialty crops, such as hemp.

Federally-funded research in collaboration with UNL allowed Annette to conduct experiments on the family’s farm. These have included trials on the optimal spacing of plants, pruning techniques, ideal lighting and temperature conditions, and cannabinoid profiling during the growing cycle. Annette is spearheading educational efforts in cannabis, collaborating with universities, and was an instrumental partner in achieving enough signatures for the Nebraska for Medical Marijuana Initiative to qualify for this Fall’s ballot in the state.


These female cannabis pioneers haven’t built these foundations in the state alone but have received help, support, and guidance from a number of colleagues. President Jacque Carter at Doane University has been instrumental in creating the School of Integrative Learning, where many innovations like Cannabis Studies were created and where faculty and staff get encouraged to think outside the box to be relevant and modern. President Carter is also the main reason why Cannabis Testing Laboratories was created, an unprecedented move for a small, private, and rural University like Doane University. Julie Schmidt, Vice-President of Finance and Administration at Doane University and Dr. Allan Jenkins, former Professor of Economics at the University Of Nebraska-Kearney (UNK) also played key roles in the establishment of Doane’s CTL.

These half-dozen “As” have all been drawn to this emerging, if still stigmatized, field by their willingness to take risks and their strong shared belief in the multifaceted usefulness and beneficial versatility of the cannabis plant. They are succeeding in a seemingly unlikely socially-conservative Red State environment — in part due to their ability to work collaboratively and build bridges. Mutually, they have also seen and seized opportunities to apply science, as well as brought professionalism, rationality, and understanding to a still mysterious, controversial, and confusing subject. The newness/rebirth of cannabis in this exciting era of legalization has created opportunities for scientific discovery, pioneering education, further legalization, commercial success, and for the promotion and dissemination of broader social and health benefits from cannabis. These women have just started to scratch the surface of what is possible for the cannabis movement in Nebraska. Their skills and energy are great examples of what this emerging industry and educational field needs!

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Cannabis Taxes Help Fund $5.7M In Grants for Colorado School District

Colorado’s Thompson School District has received $5.7 million in state grants funded, in part, by cannabis taxes for improvements at schools throughout the district, according to the Loveland Reporter-Herald. The cannabis-derived funds will be added to $12.2 million in grant money from a 2018 voter-approved bond for the projects.

The Build Excellent Schools Today is a statewide competitive grant program funded by cannabis taxes, the Colorado Lottery, and the Colorado State Land Board. The district will use the funds to repair roofs at four schools, secure entryways at four schools, and conduct mechanical work at seven schools, the report says.

In all, 36 projects totaling nearly $235 million will be funded by the BEST program; there were 67 total applications. Thompson was the only district to have three projects approved, Todd Piccone, the district’s chief operations officer, told the Reporter-Herald. He added that without the BEST funding, the district would have been unable to complete the entryway work at the middle schools, which cost $262,680.

In June 2019, Colorado surpassed $1 billion in revenue from cannabis-derived taxes and fees. Under the state’s adult-use law, 90 percent or $40 million – whichever is greater – of the 15 percent excise tax on wholesale retail cannabis is used for the BEST program. According to the state Department of Education, the state has dispersed $40 million each year since 2016. In the 2015-2016 year, voters approved an additional $40 million, bringing that year’s total to $80 million.

Of the 15 percent special tax on retail sales, 12.59 percent is diverted to the Public School Fund which is distributed to all of the state’s districts.

Additionally, cannabis taxes in the state have contributed $14.2 million to the Early Literacy Grant Program since 2016; $28.4 million to the School Health Professional Grant Program since 2016; and $6.9 million each to the School Bullying Prevention and Education Grant, and Drop-Out Prevention programs since 2015.

Since 2015, cannabis-derived taxes have contributed $230.8 million to Colorado Department of Education funding.

 

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CBD Nation: A Documentary for Cannabis Rookies & Experts Alike

The newly released documentary CBD Nation takes an objective, scientific look at cannabidiol, the molecule known colloquially as CBD. Much like this film, CBD is challenging how the world sees weed. Film director David Jakubovic of Mad Machine Films explained that when setting out on this project, even he didn’t yet understand the value of cannabis medicine. While filming the documentary, he said his own perspective shifted and he hopes the film can inspire that same change in others.

“If you can watch this as someone stigma-minded and have their mind changed as I did, I will have done something,” said CBD Nation director David Jakubovic.

While traveling to meet with medical specialists and researchers, Jakubovic was introduced to patients whose lives had been forever changed by the properties of the cannabis plant. Their stories aren’t necessarily the research-backed data that doctors need, but each patient’s testimony is integral to the progress of cannabis science. Jakubovic agreed and this shaped the direction for the documentary: ultimately, CBD Nation offers a balanced selection of patient testimony alongside the great minds of cannabis science and research. Though the film is packaged for someone who has not yet realized the medicinal potential of cannabis, it is thought-provoking even for those of us who have been advocates for some time.

Activist and industry pioneer Andrew DeAngelo shared his hopes for the film:

“I hope people will get motivated to create change by seeing the movie. Once enough people are motivated then change can be created, and access follows from that. We are still in the moment of creating enough change to allow legal models that allow for safe access for the people.” — Andrew DeAngelo, in a statement

The crew traveled the United States and to Israel, the hub of cannabis research, collecting information and interviews. Conversations with activists like Andrew and Steven DeAngelo, research icons like Dr. Raphael Mechoulam, PhD., Dr. June Chin, and more than 20 other physicians, specialists, and health practitioners are featured in the film. Each participant is a thread in the film’s goal of providing a real educational view of the Endocannabinoid System. Dense molecular talk is balanced by the stories of real patients whose lives have been changed for the better by cannabis medicine. These heartwarming stories were essential to telling this story, but Jakubovic wanted to center a sincere analytical explanation of CBD in the film.

“There’s so much out there in the culture where cannabis is a punchline. I realized that this should just be fully serious. The fact needs to be what’s fascinating here,” explained Director David Jakubovic.

Each interview or personal account builds an argument for cannabidiol as an essential molecule in the human system. As it says in the documentary, “Our bodies are built to consume cannabis,” but our medical community has not been trained for it. This ineptitude is the result of a government that is unwilling to recognize multiple studies showing the therapeutic benefit of cannabis medicine. CBD Nation displays just the facts in the hopes that a concise, objective delivery of information can shift the societal stigma around cannabis and CBD.

I can recommend this documentary for everyone, from the staunch anti-marijuana club to the loud cannabis activists. Many cannabis books and films have fallen short of providing keen insight into this fascinating field of scientific study — in the case of CBD Nation, however, I found myself learning about concepts that are familiar to me in a digestible way and which allowed me to sharpen my understanding, even after almost a decade in the cannabis industry.

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Dr. Leah Sera: The Nation’s First Masters Program In Medical Cannabis Science

Cannabis education has become a cornerstone of the modern industry, which now looks to the many schools, colleges, and universities that offer training for current and future cannabis professionals. From medical science to business analysis and more, educators are laying a foundation of highly qualified workers for the cannabis industry.

In this interview Q&A, we catch up with Dr. Sera to ask about the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics program. Launched last year, it was the nation’s first graduate program in medical cannabis science. Our interview covers the program’s goals and requirements, the likely career trajectories of students who complete the program, and more!


Ganjapreneur: What is the main goal of the Masters of Science in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics program? How will this program serve graduates and their future patients?

Dr. Leah Sera: Our primary goal in developing this program, as with all our programs at the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy, is to improve care for patients. Our students come to us with many different academic and professional backgrounds, including science, healthcare, law, and public health, among others. The comprehensive education we provide in this program will prepare them to improve patient care both directly (for those working in clinical environments) and indirectly (for those interested in research or policy development).

What are the main requirements to be accepted into the program, and who is encouraged to apply?

We wanted to bring in as diverse a student body as possible, because we know that individuals with many different backgrounds play important roles in the medical cannabis industry. That’s why our only requirement is a Bachelor’s degree (or higher) from a regionally accredited institution, and why we don’t require incoming students to have a particular field of study or take prerequisite coursework. We teach all the basic science and clinical information as part of our program. Though most of the coursework is online, we do require students to travel to the Universities at Shady Grove in Rockville, MD once each semester for a day-long symposium that includes expert speakers as well as opportunities to network with industry professionals and connect with peers.

What types of career paths will this program prepare students for?

We anticipate that our graduates will be able to leapfrog over entry-level positions in the industry, and we also expect that our students will be trailblazers in creating new positions in the medical cannabis field, including in clinical practice, research and development, regulatory affairs, and patient advocacy. Graduates of our program will be equipped to educate patients, healthcare providers, policymakers, and the public on the science and clinical uses of medical cannabis. Depending on their academic and professional backgrounds, they may choose to work with patients directly or improve patient care through research, policy development, and advocacy.

How did the Pharmacology department formulate the curriculum for the program? What cornerstone textbooks, studies, and thought leaders are referenced in the material covered?

Our curriculum was developed with input from faculty in multiple departments in the School of Pharmacy, including pharmacologists, chemists, pharmaceutical scientists, and clinicians. Our content is based on evidence in the scientific and medical literature, and students are asked to critically evaluate clinical trials during their coursework.

Has the University experienced any pushback on the program, internally or externally, due to the federal prohibition of the plant?

We faced surprisingly few obstacles in getting the program approved and launching it last August. For the most part, everyone who played a part in reviewing, approving, and implementing the program was curious, interested, and invested in making it successful. We’ve had an incredibly positive and robust response from people in the medical cannabis field and from prospective students.

Will students in the program be conducting medical research?

Our institution is not currently doing cannabis research. We expect that as federal regulations on cannabis change, we will be able to expand our program in many different ways, including research.

How do you anticipate the program evolving and growing over time? As federal restrictions are lifted, do you believe more educational institutions will begin adding cannabis pharmacology into their offerings?

I think that we are already seeing more and more colleges and universities incorporate medical cannabis into their curricula, either by developing full programs or individual courses. We certainly plan to continue to innovate, evaluate, and expand our program. The field of medical cannabis is rapidly evolving, and the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics is ready to meet the challenge of evolving with it!


Thanks again, Dr. Sera, for answering our questions! Click here to learn more about the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics.

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Why Is a Small Liberal Arts University Becoming a Leader In Cannabis Education?

Doane University, a small liberal arts school located in rural Nebraska, has taken a leap forward to become an international innovator in cannabis education through its School of Integrative Learning. Last year, Doane University, under the leadership of its Director of Cannabis Studies Dr. Andrea Holmes, launched a Cannabis Certificate Program. The program, titled “The Cannabis Industry – Seeds to Needs,” offers three online certificate courses that cover all aspects of this fast-growing new field of opportunity — from cultivation, processing, testing, law, and regulations, to how to get a job or build a business in the emerging cannabis industry.

Dr. Holmes, Professor of Chemistry and Chief Growth Officer of Precision Plant Molecules (a premier hemp production facility focused on minor cannabinoids based in Colorado) and her colleagues created the courses because of the need for a qualified cannabis-industry workforce. To date, the courses have enrolled more than 13,000 registrants from 166 countries on DoaneX. The high volume of students demonstrates strong international interest and a pressing need for education by highly-qualified and credentialed experts in the cannabis field.

Now, Doane University has built on its pioneering role yet again, offering seven brand-new college courses — each worth three credits — that can be potentially transferred to any post-secondary institution in the world. These courses cover the history, biology, agronomy, medicinal aspects, testing, and processing methods of marijuana and hemp. Experienced Doane faculty, with PhDs in chemistry, biology, agricultural education, and history, along with physicians who are certified in cannabis medicine, have built these eight-week courses to provide a cutting-edge education in the field that is currently unparalleled in the U.S. and the world. Doane University is also seeking partnerships with other colleges and universities who are interested in the cannabis curriculum. The courses are built to be flexible in such a way that students from other universities can easily take them as part of their degree requirements or as electives.

Doane University won’t stop there, however, and is moving directly into cannabis-industry entrepreneurship! Doane University just opened the first commercial ISO-certified cannabis testing facility in Nebraska to support the state’s inaugural harvest by farmers and processors that are newly licensed under the 2020 Nebraska Hemp Bill. Doane University’s infrastructure and faculty are ideally suited for cannabis research, development, and testing. In fact, Doane University’s outside-the-box thinking has opened up new revenue-generating streams by providing rental space for start-up companies working in both the herbal supplement and cannabis industry. Doane’s students are benefiting from increased research and internship opportunities.

The question then arises, why has Doane University taken the initiative to attract students worldwide who want to study cannabis in its many varied, intriguing, and useful applications — from industrial products to medicine? While Nebraska has had a state-regulated hemp program since last year, medical marijuana is likely to appear on the ballot this November. Given the relatively conservative socio-political nature of the state, it is surprising that Doane’s program is in the vanguard of cannabis education. Dr. Holmes, however, is an internationally-recognized scholar and entrepreneur in the field.

The bottom line is that small liberal arts colleges and universities (even larger universities) in the U.S. and abroad are struggling with decreased student enrollment and retention. COVID-19 is negatively impacting the landscape of higher education. New innovative measures, changes in rigid traditional thinking, and a reset of higher education’s culture simply must occur in this era of survival of the fittest.

Doane University’s leadership has thus, out of both necessity and conviction, taken the road less traveled by investing in innovation and entrepreneurship in relation to cannabis education and the rapidly growing cannabis industry. This is an opportunity and investment that Doane University wholeheartedly believes will help the university maintain viability, support innovation, and increase its future relevance.

For more information about getting certified or take college courses in Cannabis Studies, click here: https://www.doane.edu/academics/division/cannabis-studies

For more information about confidential cannabis testing, click here: https://www.ctlcrete.com/

Note: This article was co-written by Dr. Mark Orsag, Professor of History at Doane University’s College of Professional Studies and College of Arts and Sciences.

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Kentucky’s Sullivan University Launches Cannabis Studies Course

Louisville, Kentucky-based Sullivan University announced on Tuesday that it will offer an Introduction to Cannabis Studies course online for the coming semester. Dr. Tonnie L. Renfro, chair of Social and Behavioral Science at Sullivan described the course as “broad coverage” of the psychological, social, economic, and legal issues related to the plant and the burgeoning industry.

“While the social implications of the industry and the interest in the topic is becoming very important in academic research and as a field of study, the course is intended to be academic and objectively focused without attempting to be involved in any social movement. The course can be important for many students in various programs, as a general education elective, giving an additional choice for students.” – Renfro in a statement

The Kentucky House approved a medical cannabis legalization bill in February. The proposal was assigned to the state Senate Judiciary Committee in March; however, committee chairman Sen. Whitney Westerfield indicated that the measure wouldn’t get a hearing until he was “OK with it.”

Kentucky does allow hemp cultivation and manufacturing and Sen. Mitch McConnell (R) was one of the key lawmakers behind the push for federal hemp legalization in 2018.

The Sullivan University cannabis course’s learning outcomes include the culture of cannabis use, ethical social, and legal impacts of cannabis, media depictions of cannabis, sociological and psychological theories associated with cannabis culture, social perceptions of cannabis normalization, social controls relative to cannabis use, and the emergence of the modern cannabis industry in the U.S.

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