As of last month, there were more than 200 medical cannabis dispensaries in Missouri, according to a list maintained by the state Department of Health and Senior Services. The increase in the industry is fueling demand for programs that educate and prepare physicians, educators, pharmacists, law enforcement officials, nurses and those in social service professions with the skills needed to understand the medical use and distribution of cannabis. Saint Louis University is responding with a new program to help meet the need.
In 2020, the university launched an online undergraduate certificate program in cannabis science and operations through the School for Professional Studies. Since then, more than 300 students from 35 states and Puerto Rico have enrolled to learn about the cultivation, growth and production of cannabis, as well as the pharmacological properties of the drug.
“This program prepares students to play a leadership role in managing a dispensary, manufacturing or cultivation facility, along with the legal knowledge of compliance issues and the logistics of shipping and manufacturing products,” says Stacy Godlewski, cannabis science program director.
In January, the SPS introduced a second certificate program in the medical cannabis field. The graduate certificate in medical cannabis science and therapeutic management “prepares health care professionals to accurately inform their patients about the benefits of medical cannabis,” Godlewski says. “This program also helps professionals who regularly come in contact with people who use medical cannabis to understand its therapeutic benefits.”
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