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American International College (AIC) will offer a Master of Science in Cannabis Science and Commerce beginning fall semester 2020, the first of its kind in this region.

The 30-credit, hybrid graduate program is designed for individuals interested in a career in the cannabis industry and will provide students with an understanding of the science, business, and legal issues associated with the cannabis industry. The program offers education in the areas of basic science including chemistry, horticulture, cultivation, uses, and delivery systems; business management, marketing, and operations; and federal and state laws and policies.

According to a March 2020 jobs report issued by Leafly, the world’s largest cannabis website, over the past four years, legal cannabis supports nearly a quarter of a million jobs. That equates to a 15% annual uptick in employment. The multi-billion dollar cannabis industry continues to be the single greatest job creation engine nationally, growing at a faster rate than any other industry in the same timeframe.

In the Northeast, Massachusetts is among the top ten states across the county where cannabis jobs exist. Moreover, reported retail sales to the Cannabis Control Commission were $420 million in 2019. Smaller markets like Maine and Vermont, that previously legalized recreational marijuana without allowing sales, may finally see regulated stores open in the coming year. Nonetheless, in Vermont, the medical marijuana industry realized $14 million in sales with nearly 300 jobs last year. Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Rhode Island all have medical marijuana dispensaries. With fourteen dispensaries statewide, Connecticut served nearly forty thousand patients with estimated sales approaching $60 million, supporting nearly 1,400 jobs. New Hampshire also realized growth, albeit on a smaller scale, with a $22.5 million market and more than 400 jobs. Rhode Island has posted a nearly 50% year-over-year growth topping $50 million with more than 1,000 jobs.

With medical marijuana legal in thirty-three states and Washington DC, and recreational marijuana now legal in eleven states and the nation’s capital, The U.S. Cannabis Report 2019 Industry Outlook, projects annual sales of medical and recreational cannabis will continue to rise over the next several years, reaching nearly $30 billion by 2025. Both nationally and regionally, this rapidly emerging market offers burgeoning employment and entrepreneurial opportunities for the future.

For more information regarding the AIC’s Master of Science in Cannabis Science and Commerce, please visit www.aic.edu/cannabis.

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