Majoring in marijuana: Maryland school offers first medical marijuana masters

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ELLICOTT CITY, MD (CBS) Some students study engineering or business in grad school, now some universities around the country are starting to offer courses in medical marijuana.

Brandon Coleman works at a dispensary, but his interest in medical cannabis is also personal as he uses it to treat his epilepsy. “That’s a unique perspective because I can take what I use on a daily basis and apply it to other people’s conditions,” said Coleman.

He oversees the inventory, but now wants to take his career to a new “high." He’s among 150 students taking part in the country’s first master’s program in medical cannabis.

Dean Natalie Eddington says the two-year program at the University of Maryland’s School of Pharmacy is for novices and professionals.

It covers everything from drug policy to clinical care and the science behind two compounds found in marijuana.

“How CBD or THC or both are used in the treatment of certain disease states. And to know the drug-drug interactions that might take place,” said Dr. Eddington.

Thirty-three states and the District of Columbia have legalized some form of marijuana.

And business is “budding”…the number of full-time cannabis jobs is projected to surpass the 200,000 mark this year.

Reporter Nikole Killion: How much of a knowledge gap do you feel is in this industry?
Brandon Coleman: It’s huge, it’s huge. And that’s why this program is so monumental.

Students will not work with the marijuana plant because it is illegal to do so under federal law. The program meets once meet once a semester and the majority of the coursework is done online.