Northern Michigan University has created a degree to study cannabis
The course at the University of Northern Michigan (NMU) began last August. With no particularity at all except that a new degree was added to their educational offer. Degree in Medicinal Plant Chemistry sounds like biology or even pharmacy one, and it is not misguided, but what it really is the first degree focused on the study of cannabis.
The duties of the students are not to smoke joints, and the exams do not consist of evaluating their experience rolling them. Just the opposite. Stereotypes aside, the students of this degree will learn about marijuana cultivation, cannabis industry and the therapeutic effects of the plant.
Medicinal Plant Chemistry combines fields such as chemistry, botany, finance, biology and even horticulture, to make the graduate be an expert in all areas around the world of cannabis. This educational offer is due to the professionalization of the sector, with companies in the marijuana industry entering the stock market, and the continuous process of legalization of marijuana worldwide.
Mark Paulsen, head of the NMU’s chem department, hopes that “a program like this will help to increase the mainstream acceptance of marijuana therapy, but also will lead to greater rigor in medical applications”. “The United States has allowed, by prescription, the use of medical marijuana under doctor’s care, and patients need to be confident that marijuana or its supplements are safe, effective, and contain adequate doses”, he said.
The cannabis industry in the United States generated 6.7 billion dollars in 2016, and has produced an increasing demand for qualified personnel. Therefore, professors and students see a future business in the plant and prepare for a boom in the cannabis sector.