The medical marijuana industry is poised to explode with new state regulations and taxes on the dispensaries that will sell the weed. Kathleen Gray/Detroit Free Press
It’s more than pot; it includes classes in soils, biochemistry, biology, biostatistics
Alex Roth, 19, a sophomore at Northern Michigan University from Marquette, is working towards a medicinal plant chemistry degree with hopes of going into the medical marijuana business.(Photo: Alex Roth)
Alex Roth has gotten into the habit of pulling out his cell phone and showing skeptical friends a screen shot of the classes he’ll have to take to get his bachelor of science degree from Northern Michigan University.
“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 the 19-year-old sophomore at Northern Michigan in Marquette. “But it’s not an easy degree at all.”
His four-year medicinal plant chemistry degree — geared toward the burgeoning marijuana business that is about to explode in Michigan next year — includes classes such as organic chemistry, biochemistry, soils, biology, gas and liquid chromatography, biostatistics, genetics, accounting, financial management and perspectives on society.
Other colleges and universities — such as Harvard, University of Denver, Vanderbilt University and Ohio State University — that offer a variety of classes on marijuana policy and law.
And there are programs that offer marijuana certificates in a variety of disciplines at places such as Oaksterdam University, Cannabis College, and Humboldt Cannabis College, all in California; and THC University, the Grow School and Clover Leaf University in Denver.
But the NMU program is unique, mixing chemistry, biology, botany, horticulture, marketing and finance in a four-year program that began this