Cannabis has been prevalent in the market ever since it was legalized. Some people even try to grow their own plants at home, so they can experience the benefits that the plant can give any time.
Marijuana has been legal in some form in several states, following the step of the first three states that legalized it. The primary reason for this is that marijuana holds a significant amount of health benefits. There are even manufacturers who make different marijuana-based products, or marijuana review sites like American Marijuana who are constantly seeking for talents in the industry.
Cannabis College Origins
California was the first state to legalize the medical use of marijuana in the year 1996. In the 1990s, Alaska, Washington, Maine, Oregon, as well as Washington, D.C. passed their own laws that legalized medical cannabis.
Around this time, there came an emergence if for-profit schools that offered education focused on the cannabis industry. These schools include Cannabis Training University, Clover Leaf University, and Oaksterdam University– a combination of the countries Oakland, and Amsterdam since the school is located on the latter.
Oaksterdam University offered courses like a 14-week Horticulture Semester and even a one-day Outdoor Horticulture Seminar. According to Dale Sky Jones, the executive chancellor, president, and CEO of the Oaksterdam University said that the school is unaccredited and for profit. The reason is that it is quite a challenge for schools who offer training for cannabis industries to receive accreditation on non-profit since they have to face legal matters.
Jones also mentioned that Oaksterdam aims to become the Harvard of Education for the marijuana industry. Oaksterdam claimed that they educated more than 40,000 students with their mission to provide the skills and knowledge needed to cope up with the evolving cannabis industry,
On the other hand, Northern Michigan University (NMU) began offering traditional four-year courses related to the cannabis industry in 2017. It was the first public university that offered a four-year degree in Medical Plant Chemistry. The program aims to prepare students to succeed in the emerging industries related to the production of medicinal plant, as well as its analysis and distribution.
Additionally, the Colorado State University now has what they call the Institute of Cannabis Research. Although it does not offer any cannabis-related courses yet, the institute aligns with the mission of the university to provide education, research, and service to the region. It also conducts studies related to cannabis. In its first year, the ICR funded research projects including the Pueblo County Cannabis Impact Study as well as several minor cannabis studies.
There is a stigma regarding the marijuana industries since it is allowed in some states but still illegal at the federal level. This is the primary reason why it is difficult for universities to embrace the study of cannabis completely.
What Schools are Offering Programs Related to Cannabis?
However, over the past few years, some institutes started to experiment and implement courses and degree programs related to cannabis. For instance, Stockton University began considering how they can include marijuana in their curriculum. The school is located in New Jersey where the plant is legal, so it is a little easier for them to implement cannabis-related courses.
A Biology professor in Stockton named Kathy Sedia said that at most times, colleges find a hard time to balance their mission of providing students with an education that will help them think critically and engage themselves with the things that could help them for jobs. The idea of an evolving cannabis industry offered Stockton University to create a program that would cover all the university’s mission. For this reason, the university developed and offered minor cannabis studies. It involves five courses such which includes an internship placement and two required classes about medical cannabis and cannabis law.
On the other hand, the University of California said that it would be a good idea to introduce their students to the effects, benefits, as well as risks of marijuana on the human body.
According to Yu-Fung Lin, University of California’s professor in physiology, membrane biology, and anaesthesiology, the upper-level courses require students to enroll in some physiology or neurobiology prerequisite courses. Lin also mentioned that some of the university’s students might be interested in the marijuana industry. However, they are still aware of the fact that this does not apply to all their students.
The universities mentioned all focus to enhance the knowledge of their students about cannabis, so they will be prepared in case they want to be in a job related to the controversial plant.
Public Universities are Aiming for Several Changes in the Regulations
The Association of Public and Land-Grant Universities (APLU), a membership group for public universities, wants to have some regulatory changes regarding marijuana education. The organization said that it could open up research opportunities which are the primary reason why they try to reduce the barriers to cannabis research.
With all these being said, it is safe to say that Academic Institutions for cannabis job is a real thing now. There is a vast opportunity for scientific research about marijuana and having universities to embrace this is one significant leap.