Ole Miss: Pioneering Medical Cannabis Education
The University of Mississippi, popularly known as Ole Miss, has announced a groundbreaking initiative in cannabis education. Starting in late 2024, the university will offer a master's degree program focusing on medical cannabis and dietary supplements. This move positions Ole Miss as a leader in this rapidly evolving field, reflecting the growing interest and market demand for medical cannabis and related products both in Mississippi and nationwide.
Program Overview: Bridging Industry and Academia
The program, delivered exclusively online through the Ole Miss School of Pharmacy, is designed to provide advanced training for individuals seeking to enter or progress within the dietary supplement and medical cannabis industries. David Colby, Director of Online Graduate Programs in the Biomedical Sciences Department, emphasizes the program's focus on equipping students with industry-relevant skills, particularly in product design and development.
Ole Miss's history with cannabis research dates back to the 1960s, making it one of America's foremost institutions in this field. This new program is a natural extension of its long-standing expertise and commitment to cannabis research.
The Curriculum: A Comprehensive Approach
The master's program is divided into two parts, each encompassing one year of study. The first year focuses on dietary supplements, while the second year is dedicated to medical cannabis. In total, the program consists of 30 credit hours, covering various aspects like the history, pharmacology, and toxicology of these substances. The medical cannabis segment further explores policy, law, formulation, manufacturing, chemistry, standardization, and plant genomics.
Ole Miss's approach aims not only to educate future industry professionals but also to cultivate a more informed consumer base. Instructional Assistant Professor Hayley Prescot, who will be teaching part of the dietary supplements section, highlights the program's potential to enhance understanding and transparency around these products.
Industry Impact: Setting New Standards
The introduction of this program coincides with the burgeoning medical cannabis market in Mississippi. Since the state launched its medical cannabis program in early 2023, sales have steadily increased, underscoring the need for educated professionals in this field.
Given its online format, the program is expected to attract a diverse range of students, from those already employed in the industry to newcomers seeking to gain a competitive edge or acquire specific technical skills.
With its comprehensive curriculum and forward-looking approach, Ole Miss's new program is set to redefine standards in medical cannabis and dietary supplement education, benefiting not just students and professionals but also the broader consumer community.