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The University of Maryland School of Pharmacy will begin offering medical cannabis training for prospective industry operators in an effort to bring educational standards to the sector amid uncertain legal standing and ever-changing science, the Washington Post reports.

The school joins the University of Vermont College of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology in offering a medical cannabis course. The City College of San Francisco in California is also developing a course on the legal cannabis industry, while the Cleveland Cannabis College in Ohio began offering classes pertaining to the medical cannabis industry in the state earlier this year. In 2007, Oaksterdam University was founded in Oakland, California as the nation’s first cannabis college. Some higher education institutions in Canada – where medical cannabis is federally legal and lawmakers are currently considering nationwide legalization – are already offering, or considering offering, their own courses.

Maglaly Rodriguez de Bittner, a pharmacy professor and executive director for Maryland School of Pharmacy’s Center for Innovative Pharmacy Solutions, said the school “wanted to be a resource” and began signing up potential industry employees last month for the online certification program. The certifications are required for cannabis industry employees under the state’s medical cannabis law. The school is partnering with Americans for Safe Access on the program.

“If you’re going to be dispensing let’s make sure your staff is trained in best practices to do it safely and effectively,” Rodriguez de Bittner said in the report.

Courses will include instruction about laws and regulations; pesticides; sanitation; evidence for medical cannabis therapies; plant and product consistencies; labeling, inventory control and record keeping; and operating procedures.

The 30-hour certification course costs between $450 and $750.

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