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Bridge the knowledge gap threatening an emergent multi-billion dollar industry.

Multifaceted policy challenges. Public health and safety concerns. Rampant misinformation.  States regulating adult-use sale of cannabis are reaping the economic benefits, but leaders in the public policy arena have been left reeling. As cannabis transitions quickly from a taboo illegal drug to legal substance, public officials struggle to balance the needs of diverse stakeholders. Issues such as local licensing of retail shops, quality control, host community agreements, taxation policies, and zoning restrictions are dominating the concerns of communities around the United States. The development and evaluation of clearly defined regulatory policies is paramount to the stabilization and efficient operation of the market.

Clark University offers the nation’s first certificate in regulatory affairs on cannabis control. As a national research university, we aim to set the standard for cannabis control education. It’s time to lay out a roadmap for understanding the legal, ethical, and social implications of legalization of cannabis and learn how to implement the rules of engagement in this budding industry.

Clark University’s Online Certificate in Regulatory Affairs for Cannabis Control will provide you the framework and foundation to move forward. We’ll prepare you with the skills and the knowledge base to understand the impacts of legalization of cannabis in our communities, states, and nation. Whether you choose to work in this new industry or serve the public at the municipal or state levels, this certificate will give you the tools necessary to advance your career goals.

Why Clark University

  • Build confidence and clarity as you develop the skills needed to implement solutions to the complex public health and safety challenges surrounding cannabis legalization.
  • Worcester is the future home of the Massachusetts Cannabis Control Commission — a hub for development of cannabis regulatory affairs in the Commonwealth.
  • Learn about real-world cannabis industry issues firsthand from leading experts including municipal officials, public health experts, and law enforcement leaders.
  • Apply 100% of your certificate course credits toward our Master of Public Administration.
  • Enjoy a flexible online format that can be completed in two semesters.

The Essentials

Program Overview

Students will explore public policy issues related to the cultivation, distribution, sales, and regulation of adult-use and medicinal cannabis. Coursework will examine implementation of educational and enforcement policies, the legal and regulatory framework developed by local and state officials, and best practices for mitigation of potential negative impacts on public health and safety.

Certificate in Regulatory Affairs for Cannabis Control has three enrollment start dates; students have flexibility in determining the sequence of courses and the pace of certificate completion. Each course is taught by a leading expert in the field.

The three required courses are stackable toward our Master of Public Administration program—you may apply all credits toward the full degree requirements. Successful completion of these courses with a 3.0 GPA or higher guarantees admission to our Master of Public Administration program with a limited application process.

The certificate consists of three, 7-week online graduate level courses:

  • Cannabis Education and Enforcement
  • Regulatory Frameworks for Cannabis Control
  • Health and Public Safety Implications of Cannabis Use

Learning Outcomes and Competencies – School of Professional Studies

The following sections talk about the specific programmatic outcomes for each credential.  For programs at the Masters level, a core of five core operational competencies informs our theoretical framework for all Clark University School of Professional Studies Master’s degrees. Graduate certificates are not held to the same holistic standard as they are considered to be narrower in focus and more applied in practice.  For the credentials at the Masters level, those competencies are:

Core Competencies for SPS Master’s Degrees
Organizational Systems OR Foundational Elements for STEM Programs Developing an appreciation and understanding of the interdependence of the parts of a system will result in effectively and efficiently assisting an organization by developing its strategy and delivering its intended mission.  For STEM credentials, a solid foundation in analytical and diagnostic competencies which will enable the student to succeed from a technological perspective.
Ethics and Social Responsibility


The SPS curriculum will stress the importance of ethics and corporate social responsibility, so all SPS students are aware of the advantages of ethical behavior in business and professional life, and can act from a moral point of view. The notions of ethics and social responsibility are extended to STEM programming through the lens of the issue of data and programming integrity that can inform systems and analytical architecture that is applied in a fair and equitable manner.
Applied Research As a professional, SPS graduates will have the ability to call upon research methodologies to solve practical problems organizations and individuals encounter.  Our professional focus demands that informed research is a core value to knowledgeable problem-solving.
Workplace Dynamics, Communication, and Career Management OR Core Technologies Necessary to Meet STEM Industry Standards Workplace dynamics involve the relationships among the members of an organization, including departmental and interpersonal relationships. The capacity to communicate effectively is an essential skill for the successful professional. Career is an integral component of a professional’s life, and career can be maximized by an awareness of opportunities available consistent with individual talents.  For STEM-based programs, core technological applications and industry standards will be presented to form a foundation of programming and problem-solving competencies for a successful workplace experience.
Theoretical Grounding Each SPS degree is part of a field of study based upon a collection of theories that have proven to be effective when applied to challenges. Students will develop an appreciation for how arguments are used to explain, predict, and understand phenomena.


Certificate: Regulatory Affairs for Cannabis Control
Learning Outcomes
  • Explain the historical dynamics and contemporary forces at work regarding cannabis use in the U.S.
  • Articulate in-depth understanding of the origins and impact of cannabis legalization from social, legal, health, and economic perspectives.
  • Demonstrate an understanding of the intersection and influences of social, medical, economic, and legal viewpoints on cannabis use monitoring and control.



  • 3 online courses

Note: This is a graduate certificate program. A bachelor’s degree is required to enroll in the program.

Course Catalog 

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