An Online MBA For Cannabis Entrepreneurs

If you’re in or want to get into the booming business of weed, you now have the option of doing a $39,000 online MBA program with a focus on the cannabis industry. 

The University of the Sciences in Philadelphia has created a new option for students interested in learning about the business of cannabis industry with the launch of a specialized Cannabis Industry Masters of Business Administration option, which is currently enrolling students to begin online courses in September.

USciences’ says its Cannabis Industry Option is the first of its kind in the U.S., offering education in the business of cannabis, hemp, and dispensary operations. Other business schools, of course, are getting into the weed education business as well (see The Weed Wave Hitting Business Schools), though none have offered a specialization in the field.


Three years ago, a group of students from the University of California-Berkeley’s Haas School of Business published one of the first case studies focusing on the weed industry and diversity. Two years ago, Paul Seaborn, a professor at the University of Denver Daniels College of Business piloted the first “Business of Marijuana” course. And last year, the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School launched a “seed to sale” accounting case study that was used to teach in a class. MBA interest has further manifested in the rise of several campus clubs.

The UScience online MBA option, which includes four elective courses specific to medical cannabis regulations and industry, was 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. UScience online options are not ranked among U.S. News’ best online MBA programs. nor did the school’s existing program make the latest Poets&Quants’ ranking of the top online MBA options in the U.S.

“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,” says Andrew Peterson, executive director of the Substance Use Disorders Institute, in a statement. The institute was integral in the creation of the courses. “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.” 


The coursework is an option of USciences’ specialized MBA in pharmaceutical and healthcare business, which is a hybrid curriculum with students taking courses online with occasional visits to campus. This format ensures this specialized education is available to all those interested in the program, no matter where they live and work.

“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,” adds Dr. Peterson. “A combination of healthcare, pharmaceutical, and cannabis business knowledge and expertise will be incredibly valuable as graduates move forward in their career.

The school’s online MBA program features small, private online courses with real-time webinars that closely replicate the classroom experience. Students can complete their degree in 27 months following the recommended curriculum of fourteen classes delivered in eight-week modules, four semester-long applied courses delivered over 15 weeks, two courses conducted as a five-day intensive learning experience and a one-day on-campus presentation of the Capstone project.


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