The first college-level cannabis certificate in the nation by an accredited institution.
The United States is at an important point on its path to legalizing medical and recreational cannabis. Thirty three states have legalized medicinal use, among which 11 also have legalized adult, recreational use*. Currently, 55 million US citizens report using cannabis and CBD for improving health and wellness. The legal market is expected to grow from $3 billion to $143 billion by 2025, with jobs in the industry exploding from 70 thousand to 700 thousand in the same period. This unprecedented societal shift presents opportunities – especially for those with a medical cannabis certification – as well as challenges.
Stand out as a highly educated pioneer
in your profession!
Do you have the skills to consult on the safe and effective use of cannabis?
Are you prepared to help and guide your patients / clients?
Do you know how to answer their questions?
Medical Cannabis Certificate Program
Coach patients on the therapeutic effects of the medicine, dosing, self-titration approaches and ingestion methods, while promoting overall health and well-being naturally.
Medical Cannabis Certificate Overview
/ 8 college credits
Financial aid for
those who qualify
Can be completed in
as little as 6 months
optional, recorded live classes and
Pacific College is accredited
by WASC, and is the largest
college of acupuncture and
Chinese medicine in the U.S.
One certificate: 2 TRACKS!
– Healthcare professionals
– Other professionals
Why a Medical Cannabis Certificate at Pacific College
1 . For Healthcare Professionals
In healthcare, too many front-line workers are under-prepared to consult with and coach patients on the safe and effective use of cannabis. Access to college-level medical cannabis education is essential. Nurses and other healthcare professionals may struggle with how to incorporate cannabis into patient care and understanding how it works in the body, the pharmacological issues, potential adverse effects, and more. It is crucial that healthcare providers are confident enough to educate and coach patients on the safe, effective use of medical cannabis.
In July of 2018, The National Council of State Boards of Nursing (NCSBN) created guidelines for nurses that defined six essential areas of knowledge and skills that all nurses must have to work with medical cannabis patients.
Pacific College believes that these needs are universal and appropriate for all healthcare workers and has used these guidelines as the basis for its certificate.
2. For Other Professionals
Fortunately, the above guidelines are just as useful to any serious student of medical cannabis. Those wishing to apply this knowledge as health coaches, consultants, or entrepreneurs will be as well-informed as our front-line healthcare workers.
The Medical Cannabis certificate program courses are offered online, using a combination of synchronous and self-paced formats. For each seven-week course, two to three weeks are comprised of live classes, while the rest is asynchronous coursework with defined outcomes. A full-time student may
complete the program in as few as six months.
Live classes are delivered in real time, with audio and video connection to faculty and fellow students. The connection among participants is comparable to that of on-site classes with the added benefit of attending from the comfort and convenience of your home.
Distance education extends students’ network of opportunities internationally, while Pacific College’s synchronous instructional design fosters camaraderie often exceeding that of on-site models.
Medical Cannabis Certificate Competencies
The goal of Pacific College’s Medical Cannabis Certificate is to produce healthcare providers who can help coach patients on the therapeutic effects of the medicine, dosing and self-titration approaches, and ingestion methods, while promoting overall health and well being
Explain how cannabis works in the human system
Understand the physiology of the endocannabinoid system.
Describe the pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of medicinal cannabis in relationship to supporting homeostasis.
Define how holistic modalities upregulate the endocannabinoid system.
Explore the body of evidence related to cannabis effectiveness with specific disease processes.
Understand the social issues related to cannabis
Know the historical, legal, and ethical issues related to prohibition and legalization of cannabis.
Consider how one’s professional role and standards/scope of professional practice relate to supporting patients’ use of medicinal cannabis.
Consult with patients on safe and effective use of cannabis.
Provide coaching for patients regarding the general use of cannabis for pain, PTSD, and other health-related issues.
Identify indications of possible abuse and adverse side effects of cannabis.
Define how cannabis can fit into a healthy lifestyle.
Explore how the endocannabinoid system can be upregulated to enhance homeostasis.
Use a modern holistic approach to healthcare
Apply humanistic, culturally competent, patient-based care respecting family values.
Conduct evidence-based cannabis research.
Use reflective practice and critical thinking to evaluate outcomes.
Communicate effectively with the entire interprofessional healthcare team.
Define best business approaches and healthcare marketing practices related to cannabis.
Would you like to talk to a live
Endocannabinoid System and Pharmacology | 3 Credits
Physiology of the human endocannabinoid system; How cannabis interacts with that system;
Pharmacokinetics and pharmacodynamics of medicinal cannabis;
Evidence-based cannabis research;
Populations at risk for use of cannabis; Drug-drug interactions and adverse effects of cannabis;
Routes of cannabis administration;
Construct a holistic plan of care that incorporates cannabis.
Clinical Medical Cannabis Guidelines and Professional Practice | 3 Credits
Clinical applications of medical cannabis in the treatment of patients;
Promoting health and wellness;
How cannabis can be useful with a variety of conditions;
Coach people on how best to incorporate cannabis into their health management and self-care routines.
Select from one of these two options:
Cannabis Care Capstone | 2 Credits
Design a practical and/or professional project that align with your goals as a cannabis practitioner.
Cannabis Business Capstone | 2 Credits
Discover business concepts unique to the cannabis industry (size, trends, funding, banking, insurance, licensure, advocacy responsibilities and opportunities) and build a project that provides clarity around your area of interest within the cannabis space.
Meet Your Faculty
Eloise Theisen, Program Chair
RN, MSN, AGPCNP-BC
American Cannabis Nurses Association
Dr Carey Clark, Lead Faculty
PHD, RN, AHN-BC, RYT, FAAN
American Cannabis Nurses Association
Rachel Parmelee, Faculty
MSN, BSN, RN, CRRN
American Cannabis Nurses Association
Barbara Ochester, Faculty
MSN, RN, EdD
Timothy Byars, Faculty
Me Fuimaono-Poe, Faculty
ME, MSN, FNP
Watch faculty member Eloise Thiesen discuss
medical cannabis applications to prevent and address COVID-19
“I highly recommend the medical cannabis program at Pacific College. In my practice, I can now confidently consult with my patients on the safe and effective use of cannabis. I learned from the program how to provide coaching for patients around the general use of cannabis for various health issues as well as the use of additional holistic modalities. Pacific College’s program helped me bridge the gap between curiosity of cannabis to knowledge, to speaking openly about cannabis with my patients.”
Proud Sponsor of the American Cannabis Nurses Association
Watch the Medical Cannabis program
info session webinar
Medical Cannabis Certificate FAQ
Who is eligible for the certificate program?
Anyone with at least one of the following:
A license in a healthcare field
At least an associate degree in a healthcare field or bio science field from an accredited institution recognized by the US Department of Education or international equivalent.
Any PCOM student who has completed second year comps
Are there any pre-requisites?
Yes. The “Endocannabinoid System and Pharmacology” course has a pre-requisite of Pharmacology.
How long is this program?
The certificate is comprised of 3 total courses (8 credits total). Each course is 7 weeks long. Certificate completion could be achieved in as little as 6 months.
What is the schedule/classes like?
2-3 weeks out of the 7 will be live classes at a specific day/time. The remaining classes can be done self-paced with specific assignment due dates. Logins are required.
Are you accredited?
Yes. Pacific College is regionally accredited by WASC (see www.acswasc.org for more information).
Do you offer financial aid?
Yes. Students that take 2 courses in their first term would be eligible to apply for financial aid.
What is the tuition?
The program is $419 per credit which is $3,352 total.
How much time will I need for study each week?
Each course is offered in an accelerated, seven week format. While study time will differ from class to class, and student to student, the estimated time needed each week is between 12-15 hours.
What can I do with this certificate upon graduation?
As someone working in the field of healthcare, completion of this program would help you speak about medical cannabis as a treatment, understand drug interaction and contraindications, recommend dosage and application from a scientific standpoint, and educate your clients/patients as well as the public.
Can I take just 1 course?
Yes. The course available to take as a non-matriculated student is the Endocannabinoid System and Pharmacology.
Are the classes recorded?
Can I prescribe medical cannabis upon completion?
This program will prepare you for consultation regarding medical cannabis, however, requirements vary by state. We encourage you to check your specific state requirements.
Are there books for the classes?
Enter your information and start moving toward a career you love!