As regulated medical marijuana programs continue to expand around the country, the next generation of cannabis professionals are eager to develop the skills necessary to succeed in the industry. Although a number of cannabis-focused training programs have emerged, there hasn’t been an undergraduate degree available in the medical cannabis field until now. Washington Post reports on the first-ever medical marijuana major, offered by Northern Michigan University:
The program, Medicinal Plant Chemistry, is the first program to offer a 4-year undergraduate degree focusing on marijuana, according to Brandon Canfield, the associate professor of chemistry who started the program.
“When my friends hear what my major is, there are a lot of people who laugh and say, ‘wow. Cool dude. You’re going to get a degree growing marijuana,’” Roth told The Washington Post. “But it’s not an easy degree at all.”
The former environmental studies major won’t be getting high in class or growing his own plants. Instead, his required courses include tough subjects such as organic chemistry, plant physiology, botany, accounting, genetics, physical geography and financial management.
Given the wide range of challenging tasks our team performs each day, we have no doubt that a well-designed curriculum in the cannabis field would be quite rigorous. Although interest in medical cannabis careers has increased dramatically in recent years, some may not realize the complexity of the skill sets necessary to operate a professional cannabis business. Advanced technology, high-level retail management, and sophisticated security protocols just scratch the surface of the multi-disciplinary expertise many positions in this field require.
As state-regulated programs around the country continue to redefine best practices for patient care in the cannabis industry, demand for quality academic programs focused on cannabis is likely to increase substantially. Public support for medical marijuana is at an all-time high and it would be wise for educational institutions to expect that some of their brightest students will be eager to explore this exciting field as part of their career planning.