Now you can graduate with a B.A. in Medical Cannabis from Israel’s Emek Yezreel College.
A new update for those watching years of progress toward cannabis legalization in jurisdictions around the world – cannabis school! Here’s a new way to get a post-secondary education in medical cannabis.
Northern Israel’s Max Stern Yezreel Valley College plans to start offering a bachelor’s degree in medical cannabis in their upcoming school year, according to Hebrew magazine Cannabis.
Max Stern Yezreel Valley College, known in Hebrew as Emek Yezreel College, is home to 5000 students. The college has already set up a promotional page for their cannabis school which will launch in the 2019-2020 school year. The course will add to the college’s roster of academic programs. They already offer courses, such as social and behavioral sciences, nursing, criminology, poly sci, communications, and economics.
What Cannabis School Looks Like
Dr. Efrat Barel, lecturer and researcher at the college’s Department of Psychology will head the new bachelor’s program. On the promotional page of the course, she writes, “The goal of the program is to prepare our graduates for these new professions in the field of medical cannabis, while academizing the field.”
“The extensive learning base will enable our graduates to understand the entire process chain [of medical cannabis] and their integration into the field will have a unique added value to the industry.”
Dr. Barel also spoke to Cannabis magazine about the upcoming course. She recognizes that medical cannabis has been “gaining momentum in Israel and around the world, garnering interest among researchers in the fields of medicine, industry, technology and business entrepreneurship.” In addition to exploring these fields, she hopes that the program will explore a number of “social, legal, and ethical questions surrounding the use of medical cannabis.”
“The industry requires professionals and experts such as farmers, production engineers, chemists, and public relations specialists, but it is also creating opportunities for new roles such as project managers, treatment coordinators and research coordinators,” Dr. Barel says.
Cannabis in Israel
Israel is already a pioneer in medical cannabis research and development. That’s mostly thanks to the work of University of Jerusalem Professor Raphael Mechoulam. The renowned organic chemist was the first to discover cannabis’ psychoactive compound THC in 1964.
Since then, Israel has been one of few nations with government-sponsored medical cannabis research programs. This allows scientists to conduct advanced studies on cannabis.
Israel also passed a much-anticipated medical cannabis export law earlier this year. The law will open the door for the small nation to become one of the world’s leading medical cannabis exporters. The global medical cannabis market will be worth $33 billion by 2022. Some predict Israel’s move will bring them $1 billion in annual revenue.
Professor Yitzhak Harpaz is the president of Emek Yezreel College. He told Cannabis magazine, “The cannabis industry today is what the cybersecurity industry was 10 years ago. Israel needs this industry as well and can lead in it. This industry is already characterized by quite a few new ventures and technologies, and it is already clear that its economic potential can reach tens of billions of dollars.”
Harpaz continues, “We are proud to be the first [academic institution] to develop an academic specialization in medical cannabis. In light of the significant impact that this industry will have on the Israeli economy in the coming years, there is a great need for skilled professionals to enter the field of medical cannabis and take it forward.”
You Can Now Go To Cannabis School in the U.S. Too
The U.S. is also moving forward with offering accredited cannabis school degrees. Specialized schools such as Oaksterdam University in California offer unaccredited training programs in cannabis; and have for over a decade. However, due to the U.S. federal prohibition of cannabis, accredited universities hesitate to offer cannabis courses.
This is about to change, however, because the University of Maryland (UMD) is launching a graduate program in medical cannabis. The 2-year master’s program will be the first in the country to focus completely on medical cannabis, which is currently legal in 33 US states at the time of publication.
Director of the UMD’s MA program in medical cannabis is Leah Sera. Sera works in palliative care as a clinical pharmacist, and as an assistant professor at UMD’s Department of Pharmacy Practice.
She says of the new master’s program, “Faculty from the School of Pharmacy who lead courses for the program are experts in both basic and clinical sciences related to the study of medications, and are dedicated to making coursework both interesting and accessible to all students.”
Continuing, Sera says “There is truly no other educational program that offers the in-depth instruction on the science, policy, and therapeutics of medical cannabis that students who are accepted into our program will receive.”
With these accredited programs in medical cannabis just getting started, we’re sure to see more cannabis school classes before long. With the developments currently underway in the medical cannabis field, the market will need trained professionals, and cannabis school to train them. We will surely see more education options open up soon. Especially for the growing number of people with aspirations of getting into the cannabis industry.