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Worcester’s Clark University first in the nation to offer graduate certificate in marijuana regulation

Worcester’s Clark University first in the nation to offer graduate certificate in marijuana regulation

The medical and recreational marijuana industries continue to thrive in Massachusetts, with adult-use gross sales totaling $163 million since retailers first opened in November 2018, according to the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission.

To accompany the fast-moving legalization of medical and adult-use cannabis in the state and across the country, Clark University announced it is launching a “first-in-the-nation” graduate certificate in regulatory affairs for cannabis control.

The private research university in Worcester will begin offering the program in the fall.

Regulatory models, health and public safety concerns and stakeholder education and enforcement are the three online, seven-week courses to be offered for the certificate that will take two semesters to complete.

With the introduction of this program, the school is looking to fill “education and training gaps for public policy officials,” according to the statement.

“There is much confusion when it comes to differentiating between medical cannabis use, adult use, de-criminalization and legislation,” Harvard Police Chief Edward Denmark said in the statement. “The cannabis certification will greatly aid policy makers and enforcement officials in developing strategies to address these new challenges that will reflect these changing attitudes, yet still enable us to provide for the safety of the public.”

Each of the three courses will cost $2,835, said Clark University’s Director of Communications and Media Relations Angela Bazydlo.

While Clark may be the first to create a graduate certificate in cannabis regulation, other universities in the U.S. offer courses and programs focused on cannabis, including the University of Vermont’s professional certificate in cannabis plant biology and Cornell University’s hemp program, according to Bazydlo.