Northern Michigan University is offering students the chance to major in a new program called medicinal plant chemistry — marijuana analysis, basically.
The program is the first of its kind at a four-year university in the U.S., according to CBS Detroit. Students will take classes in chemistry, plant biology and business entrepreneurship, and the program will also feature a capstone “research experience” involving “experimental horticulture and instrumental analysis of natural products.”
As far as hands-on experience?
“We’re not going to be actually growing anything on campus,” said Brandon Canfield, associate chemistry professor at Northern Michigan University, to CBS Detroit. “Maybe following the 2018 Michigan election, maybe we’ll revisit that depending on the outcome and what ballots are present on that election. But for now, we’re not going to be growing any cannabis. We’ll be practicing extraction and analysis techniques on other plant systems.”
Canfield said the school created the program in response to the growing medical marijuana industry.
“The need for this is so great. You go to some of these cannabis industry conferences and everyone is talking about how they need labs, they need labs,” he said. “Or the bigger operations are trying to set up their own labs in house and they need trained analysts. And the skill set required to perform these analysis is perfectly matched with an undergraduate level education.”
The program will prepare students for careers in either the medical or recreational marijuana industry.
“I predict that the graduates from our program are going to have among the highest immediate job placement of any of our programs,” Canfield said. “People are either going to go out and get jobs or they might go out and start their own business in the industry.”
The economic data seems to back