Summer Kriegshauser is one of 150 students in the inaugural class of the University of Maryland, Baltimore’s Master of Science in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics, the first graduate program of its type in the country.
This will be Kriegshauser’s second master’s degree and she hopes it will offer her a chance to change careers.
“I didn’t want to quit my really great job and work at a dispensary making $12 to $14 an hour,” says Kriegshauser, who is 40. “I really wanted a scientific basis for learning the properties of cannabis — all the cannabinoids and how they interact with the body. I wanted to learn about dosing. I wanted to learn about all the ailments and how cannabis is used within a medical treatment plan, and I just wasn’t finding that anywhere,” she adds.
The program stands largely alone: Some universities offer one-off classes on marijuana and two have created undergraduate degrees in medicinal plant chemistry, but none have yet gone as far as Maryland.
Stretched over two years and conducted almost exclusively online, the program launched as an increasing number of jurisdictions across the country legalize pot — primarily for medical uses, but in some places recreational, as well. [Read more at NPR]