Presentation Title

Planting a Seed: Developing Florida's First University Program in Cannabis

Dr. Martha Rosenthal, Professor, Florida Gulf Coast University and Nicole Shadwick, Student, Florida Gulf Coast University


Florida Gulf Coast University is one of the first in the nation to offer a comprehensive educational program in cannabis. The Cannabis Research, Education, and Workforce initiative (CREW) at FGCU includes an undergraduate focus of study with 9 multidisciplinary courses about cannabis, a student-led cannabis education day on campus, a professional certificate program, ongoing cannabis research, and career opportunities. In this workshop, we will discuss the creation and growth of CREW, our challenges and successes, and discuss ways in which participants can share their knowledge and expertise about cannabis with others to further the cause of cannabis education. 


Dr. Martha Rosenthal

Dr. Martha Rosenthal, Professor, Florida Gulf Coast University 


Dr. Martha Rosenthal received her bachelor's degree in biology from the University of Virginia, her master's degree in neuropharmacology from Brown University, and her PhD in neuroscience from UCLA, and began her career teaching at the University of Florida's College of Pharmacy. She is the author of several textbooks, including Drugs: Mind, Body, and Society. Dr. Rosenthal has been a faculty member at Florida Gulf Coast University since they opened their doors in 1997. Over the past two decades, she has taught courses in drugs and society, neuroscience, human physiology, human sexuality, and Florida’s first undergraduate course about cannabis. Dr. Rosenthal has been honored to receive the Teacher of the Year award at both the University of Florida and FGCU and is excited to direct her passion for teaching towards cannabis education. Dr. Rosenthal is the Director of FGCU’s Cannabis Research, Education, and Workforce initiative, which supports high-quality research, produces and disseminates information-based educational programs, and provides workforce development for the cannabis industry.  


Nicole Shadwick

Nicole Shadwick, Student, Florida Gulf Coast University


Nicole Shadwick is a recent graduate of Florida Gulf Coast University. She has taken a number of courses in the university’s cannabis program of study and has been the historian for their Cannabis Careers Club. For her senior project, Nicole organized FGCU’s first ever Cannabis Education Day. She is currently working at an MMTC and wants to pursue a career in cannabis education.