College in Israel Will Provide a Degree in Medical Marijuana

College in Israel Will Provide a Degree in Medical Marijuana

Israel has discreetly become a powerhouse in the medical marijuana business over the last few decades.

Although there has been much information on the use of medical marijuana in the U.S., other Nations have also made major contributions and development in this sector. Israel has discreetly become a powerhouse in the medical marijuana business over the last few decades. Its interest in the herb began with the research work of Prof. Emeritus Raphael Mechoulam.

The results of his work, helped to not only promote the adoption of medical marijuana in Israel, but educational programs targeting the industry have successfully benefitted as well. This includes a recently announced Bachelor of Arts degree in behavioral sciences, with a specialization in medical marijuana, now offered by the Max Stern Yezreel Valley College.

Israel’s First Forays into Medical Marijuana Research

Mechoulam began his studies on medical marijuana in the 1960’s at the Weizmann Institute in Rehovot. He sought to isolate the active compounds of cannabis and had to seek out contacts within the police headquarters that could assist in providing research material at a time when marijuana was illegal in the country. Even after moving to the Hebrew University in 1966, he continued his research while being supplied plant material by the Israel Ministry of Health.

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Alongside other colleagues, Mechoulam managed to isolate CBD, the therapeutic component, and THC, the mind-altering property, in marijuana. This achievement encouraged further government-funded research into how the compounds could affect the psychology and physiology of humans. Mechoulam's research helped provide cannabis-based treatments for those suffering from conditions such as epilepsy, obesity, osteoporosis and various pain ailments.

By the 1990s, medical marijuana use was legalized in the country. Currently, over 46,000 Israeli patients are permitted to use medical cannabis, while thousands more are on waiting lists. Although not allowed for recreational use, it has been partially decriminalized this year, with fines designed to discourage use in public spaces and repeat offenders. Part of what made the drug more acceptable for medical use was the avoidance of the term ‘marijuana’ with its illegal connotations.

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The Future of the Cannabis Industry for Israel

This sector continues to show great promise for the economy, with 26 related companies listed on the Tel Aviv Stock Exchange valued at about $952 million. The Israeli government also approved exports of medical cannabis valued at an estimated $28 billion over the next five years. There are already thousands of acres of land and millions invested in growing cannabis under climate and light-controlled conditions.

The Hebrew University continues to dig deeper into medical marijuana exploitation by founding the Multidisciplinary Center for Cannabinoid Research. Here the team of researchers continue to build on Mechoulam's legacy by focusing on specific medical conditions that could benefit from marijuana treatment including, cancers, inflammation, pain, metabolism, pharmaceutical chemistry, neuroscience, drug delivery, and nanotechnology.

The Max Stern Yezreel Valley College hosts around 5,200 students on its campus and primarily offers Bachelor of Arts degrees, including their new specialization in medical marijuana whose enrollment begins in the next academic year. According to the program’s head, Dr. Efrat Barel, the goal is to help academize the field, and train graduates to take up new professions in the emerging industry. The courses will focus on the growth and production of cannabis, medical use, pharmacology, law, and economics.

During the 3rd year of study, a more practical approach will be applied with students required to work in cannabis farms and production plants. They will also attend seminars and talks hosted by the research departments of several pharmaceutical firms and university research labs. The extensive and intensive training offered will help equip the graduates with knowledge and skills that will add value to the industry.

Alternative Academia Routes

This program offers an excellent opportunity to gain academic qualifications in a growth industry but is not the only place worth considering. The University of Maryland has launched a master’s degree program to train students in the science and regulation of medical cannabis. This Master of Science in Medical Cannabis Science & Therapeutics is a two-year program that will be partially undertaken online.

North Michigan University’s Bachelor’s in Medicinal Plant Chemistry is considered one of the best undergraduate degrees that focuses on biology, chemistry and other research work that is valuable to the cannabis industry. As more states and countries review their attitudes towards marijuana use for medicinal and personal use, there will likely be more programs developed to help supply this industry with a suitably qualified workforce.

Other Universities across the U.S. are also planning and preparing their cannabis programs for higher education. Many can be found in Community College Cannabis Programs and can save you a lot of money compared to the more prestigious Universities. Take advantage of this new rapid pace industry either through ancillary means or non-ancillary. Harbor Collective highlights this topic in one of their previous articles on "How you can start a cannabis business with $1,000”.

Comment below and share with us your cannabis business idea and how it went after your initial launch?