Philadelphia institution to offer graduate-level marijuana therapy programs
- To fill a void in the number of professionals who understand the use of medical marijuana, Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia will offer graduate-level certificate programs in handling the therapy, according to the Associated Press.
- This fall, the university, which a year ago merged with Philadelphia University, will offer courses toward two certificates in cannabis medicine and cannabinoid pharmacology at its Lambert Center for the Study of Medicinal Cannabis and Hemp. A program in the chemistry and toxicology of cannabis will be started in 2019.
- Thomas Jefferson pointed out that the evidence-based graduate-level program, which it says is the first in the nation, will give students an option to learn details about the benefits and risks of medical marijuana, which is now legal in 30 states.
Last fall, Northern Michigan University began what is says is the country’s first program to train undergraduate students in medical marijuana therapy. The university is offering courses toward degrees in medicinal plant chemistry, which it says will combine coursework in chemistry and biology as well as research and analysis of the effects of the drug. A Norther Michigan official said the institution was meeting a “huge need for these analytical chemists” who will be able to pursue careers in herbal supplements, fermentation science, food chemistry and environmental analysis.
In April, the American Academy of Pain Medicine canceled a program to train doctors about using marijuana for pain relief at the request of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration that provided the funding. The administration now is headed by Elinore McCance-Katz, who has opposed the idea of using marijuana for pain relief. And last September, the University of Maryland canceled plans to train medical marijuana workers after the state attorney general suggested it might conflict with federal law.
Meanwhile, the medical community has begun to consider how the drug will be used and how it can prepare. The Cincinnati Enquirer found many large hospital systems were moving slowly to develop training of their staff or facilities for a new system in Ohio that could draw 200,000 residents who have qualifying conditions. Ohio legislators approved the use of medical marijuana but the roll out of the system, scheduled this fall, has been delayed.