Higher Education: Colleges Add Cannabis to the Program
Hundreds of students have given new meaning to the term higher education by enrolling in a four-year program in herbal chemistry, according to The Associated Press.
The newspaper AP reported that nearly 300 students are majoring in this subject at Northern Michigan University. The field of study was first introduced about two years ago, and other colleges have since launched similar programs.
Professor Brandon Canfield, who proposed most of the program, told the AP 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, highlighting the advantage 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.
Michigan voters last year approved a referendum to legalize recreational marijuana. The state has joined 10 other states and the District of Columbia that have passed such laws.
Opinion of a student
Grace DeNoya, one of the first students in the new chemistry program, specialized in cannabis and often has a habit of laughing about it when people find out she is going to graduate.
"My friends make great jokes about getting a weed degree but No, it's a serious degree, it's first and foremost
a chemistry degree. This is a difficult work. Organic chemistry is not that obvious. "
"I came with the intention of taking the bioanalytical voice, maybe going to work in a lab," said G. DeNoya, 27, who was planning to go to nursing school when she heard about it. of the NMU program. “I have just taken the path of entrepreneurship. I told myself that this would allow me to better position myself, because the industry is always in full expansion and in full evolution. "
Since the Green Gold Rush, a growing 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 a lot of time ahead of us to develop all kinds of careers in the field of cannabis, ranging from greenhouse and dispensary operators to edibles developers, marketers, laboratory managers. quality assurance and pharmaceutical researchers. Arcview Market Research, which focuses on trends in the cannabis industry, predicts 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 started cannabis education programs in anticipation of legalization or to prepare students for work in others. States.
A fast track to enter the industry
“We provide a fast track to enter the industry,” said Brandon Canfield. Two years ago, he proposed a new specialization in herbal chemistry after attending a conference where representatives of the cannabis industry spoke of an urgent need for analytical chemists to assess and ensure product quality. .
This four-year degree from an accredited American university, has attracted nearly 300 students from 48 states, said Mr. Canfield.
"All of our graduates will be qualified to become analysts in a laboratory," said Canfield, noting that the experience 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 offerings. Colorado State University offers a minor in Cannabis Studies with a focus on social, legal, political, and health impacts.
Universities have so far done little research on the plant due to federal restrictions, but that is starting to change. UCLA's Cannabis Research Initiative, billed as one of the world's first university programs dedicated to the study of cannabis, has undertaken studies ranging from medical treatments to economic impacts.
Agricultural schools are also participating 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 State University of New York at Morrisville, a college in rural central New York City which is launching a new minor in cannabis studies this year in its. horticultural department. Students work with hemp and other plants rather than marijuana, but they can do internships at medical marijuana facilities, Jenkins said.
In New Jersey, Stockton University launched an interdisciplinary cannabis program last fall and recently forged an academic partnership with Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia that gives students the opportunity to do internships and work from research on medical marijuana and hemp.
"Most of the students are interested in new business opportunities"
Cannabis companies range from the medicinal and recreational plant to foods, fabrics and a myriad of other products derived from industrial hemp. The basis of everything is the cannabis sativa plant.
Karson Humiston, founder of Vangst, an employment agency specializing in cannabis-related jobs, said the outlook for the industry is good for students.
“More jobs are being created in this sector more than in any other sector in North America, with wages sometimes more competitive than in other industries,” said Mr. Humiston. “With every new state that legalizes, tons of jobs are opening up. "