Michigan College Launches Four-Year Program in Cannabis Chemistry


Higher Education: Colleges Add Cannabis to the Program

Hundreds of students have given a new meaning to the term higher education by enrolling in a four-year program in medicinal plant chemistry, according to The Associated Press.

The newspaper AP reported that about 300 students specialize in this subject at Northern Michigan University. The field of study was introduced for the first time about two years ago, and other colleges have since launched similar programs.

In this 14 February 2019 photo, Colton Welch, a young student at the State University of New York in Morrisville, NY, is growing hydroponic tomato plants that will provide students with cannabis-related data.

Professor Brandon Canfield, who proposed most of the program, told the PA that:

Students in the program will not grow cannabis, but will instead learn to measure and extract medical compounds from plants such as millepertuis or ginseng and how to apply these skills on hemp.

"All of our graduates will be qualified to be analysts in a lab," Canfield told the AP, noting the benefit of jobs in the cannabis industry.

The AP reported that Minot State UniversityNorth Dakota will launch a similar offer this spring, and noted that Ohio State University, Harvard and Vanderbilt each offer courses focused on cannabis policy.

The college said students will learn the laboratory techniques applicable to the medical cannabis, hops, botanical supplements and food science industries.

Last year, Michigan voters approved a referendum to legalize marijuana for recreational purposes. The state has joined 10 other states and the District of Columbia that have passed such laws.

Review of a student

Grace DeNoya, one of the first students in the new chemistry program, specializes in cannabis and often laughs at it when people learn that she is going to graduate.

"My friends make good jokes about getting a degree in weed but No, it's a serious diploma, it's first and foremost
a chemistry degree. This is a difficult work. Organic chemistry is not so obvious. "

On this 14 February 2019 photo, Jennifer Gilbert Jenkins, left, assistant professor of agriculture at the State University of New York, Morrisville, and Kelly Hennigan, director of the horticulture department, hold a tray of cannabis plants on the SUNY campus in Morrisville, NY

"I came with the intention of taking the bioanalytical voice, maybe going to work in a laboratory," said G. DeNoya, 27, who was planning to do a nursing school when she heard about of the NMU program. "I have just moved to the path of entrepreneurship. I thought it would better position me, because the industry is always expanding and evolving. "

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Since the green gold rush, an increasing number of colleges have added cannabis to the curriculum to prepare graduates for careers in the cultivation, research, analysis and commercialization of this medicinal herb.

Research shows that there is plenty of time for us to develop all kinds of cannabis careers, ranging from greenhouse operators and dispensaries to edible product developers, marketers, lab directors, and more. quality assurance and to pharmaceutical researchers. Arcview Market Research, which focuses on trends in the cannabis industry, predicts that the industry will support 467000 Jobs by 2022.

And even in states where the plant remains illegal, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, some colleges have initiated cannabis education programs in anticipation of legalization or to prepare students to work in others. States.

A fast track to enter the industry

"We offer a fast track to enter the industry," said Brandon Canfield. Two years ago, he proposed a new specialization in medicinal plant chemistry after attending a conference where representatives of the cannabis industry spoke of the urgent need for analytical chemists to evaluate and ensure the quality of the products. .

This four-year degree from an accredited American university, has attracted nearly 300 students from 48 states, said Mr. Canfield.

Colton Welch, a young student from the State University of New York at Morrisville, checks the root development of hydroponic tomato plants

"All of our graduates will qualify to become analysts in a lab," said Canfield, noting that the experiment could lead to a paid position at 70000 $ at the end of the studies. Those wishing to start their own business can choose an entrepreneurial path that adds courses in accounting, legal and marketing.

The expected boom in cannabis-related jobs has prompted colleges to respond with a range of offers. Colorado State University offers a minor in cannabis studies focusing on social, legal, political and health impacts.

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Universities have so far done little research on the plant because of federal restrictions, but that is starting to change. UCLA's Cannabis Research Initiative, one of the world's first university-based cannabis research programs, has undertaken studies ranging from medical treatments to economic impacts.

The agricultural schools are also involved in the action. The University of Connecticut is launching a cannabis horticulture program this spring.

"We are following the market," said Jennifer Gilbert Jenkins, assistant professor at the State University of New York at Morrisville, a college in rural New York City that is launching a new minor in cannabis studies this year. horticultural department. Students work with hemp and other plants rather than with marijuana, but they can do internships at medical marijuana facilities, Jenkins said.

In New Jersey, Stockton University last fall launched an interdisciplinary program on cannabis and recently forged an academic partnership with Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia that gives students the opportunity to do internships and research assignments. research on medical marijuana and hemp.

"Most students are interested in new business opportunities"

Cannabis companies range from medical and recreational plants to foods, fabrics and a myriad of other industrial hemp products. The basis of everything is the sativa cannabis plant.

Karson Humiston, founder of Vangst, a job placement agency specializing in cannabis-related jobs, said the industry's prospects are good for students.

"More jobs are being created in this sector than in any other sector in North America, with wages sometimes more competitive than in other industries," said Humiston. "With every new state that legalizes, tons of jobs are opening up."

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