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A BA in MMJ? How American Universites are Attracting New Students with Marijuana Degrees


cannabis degrees at colleges in the US

Thousands of students across the United States of America are looking to study cannabis-related programs in top universities across the country. To some, graduating with a degree in cannabis may seem strange, but the truth is that cannabis job openings are opening up faster than ever. Recently, Leafly reported that cannabis jobs would increase by 161% in America by 2029.

With everything going on in the world, this development is not a surprise. The cannabis industry is one of the mature industries growing quickly. From 2019 till this moment, the sector has increased by 47%. It is also looking to be an economic driver in many emerging markets around the world today. In 2020, the total annual sales were about $18 billion. The US cannabis industry is worth over $60 billion now and is projected to be worth at least $100 billion by 2030.

Looking at the available stats on the industry right now, cannabis could be the new gold in a few years, so why not get on top of it and get an education in cannabis before then? 

The Legality of Cannabis Degrees

The absence of federal legislation for cannabis substances has cast doubt on the legitimacy of these programs. Not to mention the lack of federal accreditation agencies for cannabis degrees. The ANSI National Accreditation Board’s Cannabis Testing Lab Accreditation Program has accredited laboratories across the country to investigate important cannabinoid and terpene properties. Relevant tests on pesticides, microbial contaminants, heavy metals, and residual solvents can also be performed by these labs.

Cannabis degrees are not limited to only research; the space has prepared students for opportunities in engineering, math, technology, chemistry, and engineering. The industry still has a lot of expansion to do. Students passionate about the plants need to be equipped with knowledge of lucrative business opportunities in the industry, as well as how they can focus on medical cannabis innovations.

This means that colleges have rules and regulations guiding the degrees. As soon as federal legislation is quickly passed, proper accreditation agencies will be established and funded.


Cannabis in Major American Schools

No sector wants to miss out on the cannabis boom!

Colleges and universities in America now offer three to four years of cannabis education. Some cannabis companies are offering employees scholarships to study cannabis studies at any of the major schools in the country. At the forefront of this movement are Veriheal and Steadfast Labs. They have offered annual scholarships worth $1,200 to employees interested in pursuing a cannabis-related degree.

Not all of these accredited universities offer full degrees in cannabis. Some offer part-time and full-time classes, while others only provide a few lessons. This presents students to pick preferable courses that suit their interests and visions. Here is a list of accredited institutions investing money and time in equipping students with cannabis education.  The following are undergraduate degrees, whereas places like Thomas Jefferson University offer post-graduate degrees in cannabis as well.


Lake Superior State University (LSSU)

LSSU started offering cannabis studies in 2019. The degree focuses on cannabis chemistry. Recently, they added another degree in the cannabis business. Other courses offered in the university’s Cannabis Center of Excellence include cannabis law and policy, a survey of cannabis business, and cannabis economics.


University of Denver (UoD)

UoD focuses on cannabis law courses.

The Sturm College of Law offers classes on cannabis policies and regulations. A current course teaches us about the challenges faced when representing offenders with cannabis-related charges. The course features the frequently changing rules and regulations in legal states.


Northern Michigan University (NMU)

The program offered by NMU focuses on experimental horticultural practices and advanced analytical chemistry in cannabis. There’s also an additional option that focuses on the entrepreneurial track for students.

The degree, which debuted in 2017, takes four years to complete.

The school’s news director, Kristi Evans, announced that NMU now offers degrees in multidisciplinary indoor agriculture to students interested in medicinal plants or agricultural food production.


Western Illinois University (WIU)

WIU offers two cannabis-related courses. The first is a cannabis production minor focusing on plant physiology and horticulture practices. Classes like crop biotechnology are taught to the students.

The other course is a cannabis culture minor. It focuses on the various ways the prohibition of cannabis has negatively impacted the lives of colored residents in the country. Students take classes on popular cannabis cultures and contemporary moral problems.


Stockton University, New Jersey

Stockton University is one of the few schools that offer online cannabis certification courses. The curriculum is composed of six courses. These courses are an introduction to business, cannabis cultivation, and research in medical and recreational cannabis.

The school also offers students a minor in cannabis studies. Registered students take courses relating to medical marijuana and cannabis laws.


Ohio State University (OSU)

offers a seminar on marijuana law. The school’s Moritz College of Law also offers a course on marijuana laws and policies.

The students are taught about business-first approaches to legalizing the cannabis industry. The lectures also emphasized existing marijuana laws and policies. Cannabiz: Exploring the “legalized” cannabis industry from a corporate transactional standpoint is a popular course.


The University of California

It would have been a tragedy for this institution to be absent from this list, as it is one of the hottest locations for cannabis production and sales. The course offered focuses on medicinal cannabis and chronic pain. The course is only offered in the Davis section of the university.


Colorado State University, Pueblo

In 2016, the Institute of Cannabis Research was established in the Pueblo division of Colorado State University. It is the first multi-disciplinary cannabis research center in the United States, and it offers degrees in cannabis biology and chemistry. A minor course is also offered in cannabis studies.


Bottom Line

Universities have a vital role in preparing thousands for careers in the cannabis industry. There is an urgent need to train students to deal with legal, financial, marketing, product development, medical care, and technology issues relating to the cannabis industry.

At the current growth rates, the cannabis industry will support over 400,000 jobs this year, so it is best to fill these positions with competent individuals who have been appropriately trained.









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