World's first: An MBA programme with a focus on cannabis

The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia has launched a new MBA with a focus on the cannabis industry. The USciences’ Cannabis Industry Option is the first of its kind, offering education in the business of cannabis, hemp, and dispensary operations.


The University of the Sciences (USciences), a college of pharmacy in North America, is the first one to offer a “Cannabis MBA”. The option, which includes four elective courses specific to medical cannabis regulations and industry, were created in partnership with USciences’ Substance Use Disorders Institute and through feedback from individuals in the industry. The courses include Introduction to the Medical Cannabis Industry; Finance and Regulation in the Medical Cannabis Industry; Cannabis Marketing and Sales, and a project-based course where students will work to write a business plan or bring a product to market.

“There are many unique aspects to the medical cannabis and hemp industries, and those in this new industry have been testing the waters for the last few years. This new program will help to formalize those teachings for those currently in the cannabis industry, entering the field, or interested in other fields associated with the industry,” said Andrew Peterson, executive director of the Substance Use Disorders Institute, which was integral in the creation of the courses.

The coursework is an option of USciences’ specialised MBA in pharmaceutical and healthcare business, which is a hybrid curriculum with students taking courses online paired with occasional visits to campus.

“As the industry grows, and the potential for medical cannabis to converge with the pharmaceutical industry, a specialization in pharmaceutical and healthcare business will be an asset to those in the cannabis industry,” said Dr. Peterson. “A combination of healthcare, pharmaceutical, and cannabis business knowledge and expertise will be incredibly valuable as graduates move forward in their career.