PHILADELPHIA (KYW Newsradio) — The University of the Sciences is offering a one-of-a-kind program focused on the business side of pot as it looks to create leaders in the medical marijuana industry.
Medical marijuana is now legal in 33 states, and as demand for it continues to grow, so do the job opportunities, which is why the school is offering an MBA program focused on the industry.
“It’s an introduction to medical cannabis. It’s finance and regulation, it’s the marketing of it and it’s the development of some of the business planning and product development ideas in medical cannabis,” said Andrew Peterson, the executive director of the Substance Use Disorders Institute at the university.
Peterson said this program is a first of its kind in the country.
“The business side of it seemed like a natural for us, particularly with the pharmaceutical and health care business program,” he explained.
“It is a first of its kind in the sense that, there are no programs that focus on the industry and the business,” added Erica Waldorf, assistant director of the school’s MBA program.
As more states legalize medical marijuana, the school thought it made sense to help prepare students for that field.
“These two industries are going to become aligned. We wanted to create something that appealed to our current students and really gave them an advantage in the market when they go out looking for jobs,” Waldorf said.
University professors will teach the courses, but they’re bringing in industry experts to help lecture the students “Within the supply chain management, within the dispensary area, within the legal side,” Peterson said.
Courses will focus on marijuana law, finance, marketing and industry trends.
“They really learn a lot about the business side, but also the research and development and regulatory side of the pharmaceutical industry,” said Waldorf.
The program will also put a focus on cannabis law across the country.
“What is Pennsylvania doing, how does that compare to somebody else, and really, the insight is how do they differ and why,” Peterson added.
Advisors with the program say most importantly, they want this program to open doors for their students when they hit the job market.