March 2022

Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation Executive Director to Deliver Keynote Address to MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics Graduates

March 23, 2022    |  


Steve Winter, Brotman|Winter|Fried; swinter@aboutbwfcom; 202-468-8100

Mary T. Phelan, UMSOP;; 443-615-5810


Sarah A. Chase, executive director of the Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation (CFCR), has been selected as the keynote speaker for the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s Masters of Science in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics (MCST) Class of 2022 Graduation Ceremony on Wednesday, May 18, 5 p.m. at the Universities of Shady Grove (USG) in Rockville, Md. 

The focal point of Chase’s comments will underscore the burgeoning opportunities for “qualified graduates to advance the forward movement of this growing industry – both responsibly and for the betterment of society,” Chase says. A two-year graduate program based at USG, the School of Pharmacy’s program blends online instruction with face-to-face experiences to prepare graduates to respond to the increasing demand for medical cannabis with an understanding of the basic science and clinical uses of the plant. Launched in 2019, it is the first master of science degree program of its kind in the nation.

Chase will speak to the program’s 215 graduates, a diverse mix of health care professionals, researchers, entrepreneurs, cannabis industry experts, and advocates, all of whom share CFCR’s values and concerns about ensuring public health, safety, and good science.

“The inaugural class of 2021 celebrated their graduation virtually, so this is the first time this program has staged their graduation ceremony in person since the inception of the program,” Chase said. Furthermore, the Council’s executive director will find herself in good company, as Dr. Anthony Fauci, the chief medical advisor to the President of United States, will serve as the keynote speaker for the University of Maryland, Baltimore the next day.

In her role as CFCR’s executive director, Chase spearheads the agency’s overall mission to assist and encourage the government – and federal regulatory agencies in particular – to rethink, develop, and implement evidence-based common sense cannabis regulations. “Our overarching goal is the de-stigmatization, normalization, and legitimization of cannabis on behalf of the consumers, professionals, organizations, and businesses who support and serve them,” she said.

"We are thrilled to welcome Sarah Chase as our keynote speaker for the 2022 MCST graduation ceremony,” said Chad Johnson, PhD, co-director of the School of Pharmacy’s MS in MCST program and faculty in the department of pharmaceutical sciences. “CFCR’s mission to partner with universities, industry, and research organizations in advancing the scientific understanding of cannabis aligns with our program’s goal to provide our students with an understanding of the basic science and clinical uses of the cannabis plant. Our graduating students will benefit from her words of wisdom and encouragement."

For Chase, the honor of delivering the keynote to such a vital and trailblazing educational audience serves to profoundly substantiate the vision and mission of CFCR, key among which is to further the Council’s key objective to support both scientific research and political legislation. “I’m deeply honored for the opportunity to enrich this community and to speak enthusiastically with the dedicated students graduating from this program,” she said. “These graduates are both the foundation and the future of our industry.”

For additional information, please visit For additional information about the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy’s MS in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics Program, visit



About Sarah A. Chase, executive director, Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation

Chase has dedicated her professional career to working behind the scenes to champion both public and private projects that are mission-driven and have a clear focus on improving communication to advance social justice. She is honored to serve as the first executive drector for the Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation (CFCR).

For more than 15 years, Chase has worked primarily with start-up companies in the media, broadcast, and communication space. She has held various chief operating officer, chief financial officer, communication, and business development positions and worked closely with executive teams in the United States, Europe, and Asia to translate high-level visions into realized corporate entities.

From 2016 to 2020, she served as the chief operating officer for the Alda Communication Training Company (ACT), helping her mentor (legendary actor, writer, and director), Alan Alda, bring his proven improv and communication methods to the world. Working closely with Alda, Chase established the first-of-its-kind public-private partnership (PPP) with the State University of New York (SUNY). The company grew from $0 to more than $2.5M in net profit within the first two years. Because of this growth and success, Alda was able to realize his dream of donating the profits directly back to the Alan Alda Center for Communicating Science at Stony Brook University. This created a win-win scenario for the Alda Center, Stony Brook / SUNY, and Alda.

Chase also served as the executive producer, writer, and voice-over artist for Alda's podcast, Clear+Vivid, which has had more than15-million downloads. She produced more than 100 episodes with notable guests including Tom Hanks, Paul McCartney, Julie Andrews, Madeline Albright, Tina Fey, Michael J. Fox, Judge Judy, Isabella Rossellini, and many more.

Chase has led communication and media training workshops for corporate clients, as well as at the United Nations, NASA, the Nature Conservancy, and various "Shark Tank" events. She has served as an executive committee member of the National Small Business Association in Washington, DC, and as a featured panelist and consultant with the Global Coalition for Aging and the Council on Foreign Relations.

Before moving back to the United States in 2013, she worked from international office locations in London and Frankfurt, where she advised a diverse range of clients and companies. She enjoyed being a featured political commentator on Sky News and BBC Radio while living abroad.

About CFCR

The Council for Federal Cannabis Regulation (CFCR) is 501(c)(3) non-profit based in Washington, DC. The mission of CFCR is to assist the government, and specifically federal regulatory agencies, to rethink, develop, and implement evidence-based cannabis regulations. Our overarching goal is the de-stigmatization, normalization, and legitimization of cannabis on behalf of consumers, the professions, organizations, and businesses who support and serve them. it does this by serving as a conduit for informed scientific research, inclusive education, and by mainstreaming the best practices that enable the industry to maximize its potential. For additional information please visit and follow @USCFCR on social media.   

About the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy

Established in 1841, the University of Maryland School of Pharmacy is ranked 14th out of more than 140 schools of pharmacy by U.S. News & World Report. The School is a thriving center for professional and graduate education, pharmaceutical care, research, and community service. Its faculty create the future of pharmacy by pioneering new roles for pharmacists in advanced clinical practice and conducting cutting-edge research in drug discovery and development, comparative effectiveness and patient-centered outcomes, and disease management. A contemporary curriculum, innovative educational experiences, and strategic professional relationships help to inspire excellence in the School’s more than 1,200 students, residents, and postdoctoral fellows. The School offers 10 academic programs: Doctor of Pharmacy; PhD programs in Palliative Care, Pharmaceutical Health Services Research, and Pharmaceutical Sciences; and MS programs in Medical Cannabis Science and Therapeutics, Palliative Care, Pharmaceutical Health Services Research, Pharmaceutical Sciences, Pharmacometrics, and Regulatory Science. With a research portfolio of more than $32 million in grants and contracts, the School is ranked 16th by the American Association of Colleges of Pharmacy amongst schools of pharmacy. In 2017, the School launched its exclusive Pharmapreneurship™ program, which describes the School's commitment to supporting and best positioning both faculty and students to achieve their career aspirations and address our nation's health care challenges.