Colleges in the United States have began to include Cannabis Study in their curriculum to prepare graduates in various areas of use of the plant.
This is coming as more and more countries and states legalise the use and sale of marijuana, The graduates are being prepared for careers in cultivating, researching, analyzing and marketing the herb.
It is reported that research shows there are high times ahead for all kinds of careers in cannabis, ranging from greenhouse and dispensary operators to edible product developers, marketing specialists, quality assurance lab directors and pharmaceutical researchers.
Arcview Market Research, which focuses on cannabis industry trends, projects the industry will support 467,000 jobs by 2022. And even in states where recreational marijuana remains illegal, including New York, New Jersey and Connecticut, some colleges have launched cannabis studies programs in anticipation of legalization or to prepare students for jobs in other states.
A chemistry professor at Northern Michigan University in Marquette, Brandon Canfield said; “We’re providing a fast track to get into the industry”.
He had proposed two years ago, a new major in medicinal plant chemistry after attending a conference where cannabis industry representatives spoke of an urgent need for analytical chemists for product quality assessment and assurance.
The four-year degree, which is the closest thing to a marijuana major at an accredited U.S. university, has drawn nearly 300 students from 48 states, Canfield said. Students won’t be growing marijuana, which was recently legalized by Michigan voters for recreational use. But Canfield said students will learn to measure and extract medicinal compounds from plants such as St. John’s Wort and ginseng and transfer that knowledge to marijuana.
A similar program is being launched at Minot State University in North Dakota this spring. The college said students will learn lab skills applicable to medical marijuana, hops, botanical supplements and food science industries.
“All of our graduates are going to be qualified to be analysts in a lab setting,” Canfield said, noting that experience could lead to a position paying $70,000 right out of school. Those wishing to start their own businesses can choose an entrepreneurial track that adds courses in accounting, legal issues and marketing.