University offering four-year degree in marijuana studies

(WHDH) – It’s an industry that’s quickly growing in demand. Now one university is looking to capitalize on cannabis by offering a four-year degree on marijuana.

Fox News reports that Northern Michigan University just launched a medicinal plant chemistry Bachelor of Science degree for the fall 2017 semester. But they stay stoners need not apply.

“When they hear what my major is, there are a lot of people who say, ‘Wow, cool dude. You’re going to get a degree growing marijuana,’” said sophomore Alex Roth, a student of the program. “But it’s not an easy degree at all.”

Associate chemistry professor Brandon Canfield agrees, saying the program will focus on the science and business of the marijuana industry.

“Obviously, the program is new and different and it might speak to a certain crowd. But for a student to succeed, they’re going to have to be very dedicated and motivated,” Canfield told the Detroit Free Press. “This is not an easy program. It’s a really intense, biology chemistry program.”

While students will not grow marijuana plants as part of their coursework, they will study similar plants with medicinal value, he said.

Along with courses in chemistry, biology, botany and horticulture, students in the program will also study marketing and finance as part of their degree dedicated to the science and business of marijuana.

“Many of the states are legalizing different substances and they’re really looking for quality people to do the chemistry and the science,” university trustee James Haveman told the paper. “And it’s the university’s responsibility to produce those kinds of students for those kinds of jobs.”

So far, 29 states have legalized medical marijuana, including eight states where marijuana is also permitted for recreational use.

Canfield says businesses in the cannabis industry are already contacting the university about their program.

“We’ve had an overwhelming response from growing operations, dispensaries and other businesses who want to take on our students as interns,” Canfield said.

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