Cannabis Science and Commerce

MS Cannabis Science and Commerce

The Master of Science in Cannabis Science and Commerce at American International College is designed for students interested in a career in the cannabis industry, providing them with an understanding of the basic science, business, and legal issues of the cannabis industry. The program provides education in the following areas:

  • Basic science (chemistry, horticulture, cultivation, uses, and delivery systems)
  • Business (management, marketing, and operations)
  • Federal and state laws and policies

Future Studies – Coursework is designed to accommodate students of any academic background, and faculty are dedicated to teaching interesting courses accessible to all students, regardless of academic background.

Career Opportunities – A study into current and projected employment in the cannabis field by Leafly in March 2019 shows more than 211,000 fulltime jobs in the legal American cannabis industry, more than 64,000 of which were added in 2018. This number increases to almost 300,000 when jobs that depend on the cannabis industry are included. Finally, there is a projected increase of 317% from 2019 to 2020 in employment opportunities related to cannabis in Massachusetts.

Learning Outcomes for the Master of Science in Cannabis Science and Commerce
The following are learning outcomes for successful completion of the Master of Science in Cannabis Science and Commerce. Students will be able to:

  • Analyze the effects of social, political, and cultural influences on the cannabis industry.
  • Have the knowledge of the current Cannabis industry regulations and possess the ability to use ethical decision making to navigate a changing legal landscape.
  • Demonstrate the ability to integrate and apply business knowledge to the cannabis industry.
  • Effectively communicate culturally competent cannabis information both orally and in writing.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the uses and scientific aspects of Cannabis.

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The Curriculum for the Master of Science in Cannabis Science and Commerce includes the following 10 courses:

  • MEM5100 History and Culture of Cannabis and Commerce
  • MEM5200 Cannabis Law and Policies
  • MEM5400 Essential Business Concepts and Applications
  • MEM5300 The Chemistry of Cannabis
  • MEM5310 Cannabis Use and the Endocannabinoid System
  • MEM5420 Tactical Communications and Marketing
  • MEM5320 Cannabis Seed to Sale
  • MEM5410 Cannabis Industry Operations Management
  • MEM6100 Strategic Research and Planning
  • MEM6200 Cannabis Capstone

All Courses

This course provides an in-depth understanding about cannabis history from 2900 BC to modern day, recreational and medical uses, historical agricultural and cultural importance, and economic impact. A general introduction to the laws and policies governing cannabis production and use is provided in a historical and ethical context. Cannabis specific terminology is embedded throughout the course.

Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to:

  • Understand the history and culture of cannabis.
  • Use terminology appropriately in discussion and assignments.
  • Distinguish the differences between recreational/adult use and medicinal cannabis use.
  • Gain a general understanding of the laws and policies related to cannabis.
  • Interpret and apply ethical principles to various cannabis scenarios.

This course provides an overview of the current legal principles that provide the framework of cannabis policies, regulations, and legislation. An analysis of cases and statutes, pertinent to cannabis use and the cannabis industry, are emphasized with instruction in fundamental aspects of legal research. Pre-Requisite: MEM5100

Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to:

  • Analyze, evaluate and apply cannabis laws, regulations and policies to various situations.
  • Be able to construct an informed position about cannabis in the legal context.
  • Assess and critique legal status of cases and statutes based upon research.

This course provides a basic understanding of the chemistry and pharmacology of cannabis, including psychoactive and non-psychoactive constituents, the most prevalent minor cannabinoids that are produced by the plant, and terpenes. It also delves into the similarities and differences between cannabidiol (CBD) and tetrahydrocannabinol (THC), two natural compounds found in the plants of the Cannabis genus. Pre-requisite: MEM5100

Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to:

  • Know the basic chemical and pharmacological principles of cannabis including psychoactive and non-psychoactive constituents.
  • Have a basic understanding of the most prevalent minor cannabinoids and terpenes.
  • Differentiate between CBD and THC.

An introduction to the Human Endocannabinoid System (ECS) provides students with a fundamental understanding of this system and its functions. The impact and consequences of the use of cannabis and related products will be studied. Current research on the use and best treatment strategies for select conditions, such as pain and anxiety, will be reviewed collectively and independently. It is recommended that students without a science background complete MEM5300 prior to enrolling in this course. Pre-requisite: MEM5100

Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to:

  • Describe the Endocannabinoid System as it relates to cannabis.
  • Review current literature and research studies to understand best uses of cannabis and related products.
  • Describe the effects of cannabis use on the human body.

The purpose of this course is to develop an understanding cannabis from seed to its final product. A basic understanding of cannabis horticulture, cultivation, and production is presented. Topics include botany of cannabis, genetics and breeding, agronomics and horticultural aspects of production, and post-harvest and processing technologies. Finally, this course presents the options that adults have to partake of cannabis, including smoking, vaporization, sublingual, edibles and topicals, and the tools that deliver them. Pre-requisite: MEM5100

Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to:

  • Develop a thorough understanding of the uses, botany, and horticultural aspects of Cannabis.
  • Study the economic value of growing, producing and processing cannabis species and commercializing their products.
  • Be able to effectively communicate relevant scientific knowledge to others.

Knowing the fundamentals of business concepts and terms are important to being successful in cannabis commerce. This course presents an in-depth examination of the four tenants of management – planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. Emphasis is on students developing practical, basic business budgeting and resource planning skills for working in a managerial role in a cannabis business. Students learn and develop leadership techniques and understand what is involved in workforce development. Pre-requisite: MEM5200

Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to:

  • Apply each of the management principles to business situations.
  • Create a basic budget consisting of income and expenses.
  • Apply concepts of customer service, quality, and inventory control to business situations.
  • Identify and apply various leadership techniques.
  • Comprehend the principles of workforce development.

The efficient and effective operations of a business are imperative to its success. In this course, supply chain, logistics, forecasting, inventory management, and quality improvement is discussed with a focus on application to dispensary and commercial cultivation operations. Students are taught project management and gain skills through practice in overseeing complex projects in the classroom. It is recommended that students without a background in business complete MEM5400 before enrolling in this course. Pre-requisite: MEM5100

Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to:

  • Knowledgeable and able to apply operations management concepts to cannabis businesses.
  • Able to develop forecasts of supply and demand in a cannabis business
  • Able to determine the logistics, distribution and transportation of products.
  • Able to manage a project related to the cannabis industry.

This course is designed to teach students about marketing, public relations, social media, and other means of promoting a cannabis business. Critical analysis of data in decision making is emphasized. Students will create a communication plan, undertake project management, and create materials to market and promote a cannabis business. It is recommended that students without a background in business complete MEM5400 prior to enrolling in this course. Pre-requisite: MEM5100

Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to:

  • Apply public relations and marketing principles to the operation of a cannabis business.
  • Critically analyze and develop solutions to marketing challenges utilizing marketing models and data analytics.
  • Create marketing materials relevant to a cannabis business.

This course is in preparation for the final capstone course. Students interpret research and experimental data and learn research methods. Literature review, research design, and critical evaluation of evidence will be undertaken. A capstone project idea is chosen, and students begin to work collaboratively to develop the proposal for completion in the Capstone course. Pre-requisites: MEM5310, MEM5320, MEM5410, MEM5420

Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to:

  • Review literature databases of interdisciplinary research findings for research proposal.
  • Evaluate research related to legal and ethical principles and significance to research proposal.
  • Design plan to integrate research findings into research proposal.

Based upon the formalized, approved proposal completed in MEM6100, students will apply the wide array of knowledge gained during the academic program through a professional and comprehensive project on an area of interest about cannabis. Pre-requisite: MEM6100

Learning Outcomes:
Students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate written and oral proficiency of synthesized knowledge of cannabis research project.
  • Collaborate intra-professionally to develop and present a multidimensional research project.
  • Utilize research findings to develop a comprehensive research project.
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