MARQUETTE, Mich. — A Michigan college is believed to be the first in the nation to offer a marijuana-based undergraduate degree.
If you’re ready for a joke about “Pot University” or class times at 4:20 p.m., you’re likely not the caliber of student cut out for the classes — as the professors linked to the program at Northern Michigan University explain: This is a tough course load.
“At the undergraduate level there has been a void in this area,” said Brandon Canfield, explaining that until recently only graduate students were doing research on marijuana.
“I expect in the next couple years we’ll see quite a few of these programs popping up.”
The legal marijuana business has been booming for years.
A report by the group Cannabis Benchmarks shows Colorado racked up nearly $250 million in total marijuana sales during the first two months of this year.
When you add in states that allow medical marijuana, and those who’ve recently legalized it’s use for recreation, and the numbers are hard to fathom.
As legalization spreads, schools are tasked with the challenge of deciding whether to become an opportunity for would-be pot growers to learn.
Canfield notes the class, aimed at medicinal plants, goes beyond marijuana.
However, the recent spike in interest is tied directly to the students who realize there is room for huge growth within the industry.
Northern Michigan’s classes will focus on both the business-side of the medicinal plant world, and the chemistry makeup of plants.
“What we hear from a lot of people is that they will send their products to 10 different labs and get 10 different results,” said Canfield, noting more science is needed within the marijuana business if it expects to keep up with the standards of business required by other government-regulated medicine.