On the 16th of July, the University of Sciences (“USciences” for short), in Philadelphia, announced the launch of its Master of Business Administration degree program that is geared toward the legal cannabis industry. The premise of the program is to better prepare students who wish to pursue careers in the industry. Executive director of the USciences Substance Use Disorders Institute, Andrew Peterson, said it best, “We’ve seen rapid growth in an industry that needs business leaders.” Going into further detail, Peterson explained, “Our MBA is concentrated on the pharmaceutical and health care industries, where medical cannabis fits very nicely.”
There are quite a few institutions across the country that offer courses which touch upon aspects of the up-and-coming cannabis market in the states. However, the program at USciences is thought to be the first to provide a focus on cannabis, hemp, and dispensary operations. Currently, the University is partnered with Franklin Biosciences, a large-scale grower which is based in Colorado, and runs a couple dispensaries in Pennsylvania as well. They are working with the school to develop a cannabis education program for pharmacists, physicians, and students who are planning to enter the industry. The University will also be working with industry experts from Agronomed Pharmaceuticals, who will be teaching and educating interested students.
Four courses will be offered for this MBA. These courses will be worked into the existing Pharmaceutical and Healthcare Business Curriculum, should the students choose to take them. They will be offered online, with each one costing about $2,000, and contributing 2 credits to students. Classes include: Introduction to the Medical Cannabis Industry, Finance and Regulation of the Cannabis Industry, Cannabis Marketing and Sales, and a team project designed around making a business plan or preparing a product for launch.
Speaking about the expected enrollment in the class, Peterson said “I don’t think we’ll get hundreds enrolling at the start, but we’ll get a good class. We usually enroll about 15 to 20 people in these classes. I think we’ll hit that target.” what cannabis-related higher education can do for the industry is a new and evolving question. USciences is at the forefront of this modern brand of education.