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Cannabis Optimized Ep. 2 – UMD Cannabis Science Program


Wise Up with Dr Dix as he visits the University of Maryland’s Cannabis Science Masters Program

November 17, 2022

It’s something that many people never thought they’d see in their lifetimes – myself included – and yet, here we are.

Those who love cannabis can now earn a degree in the science of cannabis through University of Maryland’s Masters in Medical Cannabis Science & Therapeutics program. On this month’s episode of Cannabis Optimized, Dr Alexander Dix, KIP Dispensary’s Clinical Director, chatted with the Cannabis Science & Therapeutic’s co-directors, Dr Leah Sera, and Dr Chad Johnson, during their biannual symposium in September.

The Masters in Science program is the first of its kind in the United States, but it likely will not be the last as marijuana legalization crops up around the country.

Not limited to science, the program trains students on a number of cannabis-related topics including the history of cannabis, the politics around marijuana and the War on Drugs, clinical topics, and how the endocannabinoid system and cannabinoids interact. In fact, program director Dr Leah Sera says those looking to apply don’t necessarily need a science degree – any bachelor’s degree will do.

“This program is special because we embrace holistic medicine and many of us, we’re looking for a change in the way we practice medicine in this country,” Dr Sera said. “Our program is unique and it is meeting the needs of not only providers but also patients and it’s professionally rewarding to be part of it.”

“The students who are part of the [The Cannabis & Therapeutics] program are unique and special because they’re trailblazers. There’s never been a curriculum focused on cannabis before,” said co-program director, Dr. Chad Johnson.

Dr. Johnson said he believes University of Maryland’s masters program benefits not only its students, but it also helps knock down some walls that were erected after the 1937 Marihana Stamp Act into the War on Drugs of today.

“Cannabis policies in the 20th century were not based on science or fact, they were based on social stigmas and racism. I think this program is a nice way to breakthrough that barrier. Cannabis isn’t about race and ethnicity. People need to get past the stigmas – this is about medicine.”

For more information about the University of Maryland’s MS in Medical Cannabis Science & Therapeutics program, visit