According to the Detroit Free Press, this semester Northern Michigan University is offering the nation’s first four-year degree for pot (technically a “medicinal plant chemistry degree”) with students who major in it being schooled in “organic chemistry, biochemistry, soils, biology, gas and liquid chromatography, biostatistics, genetics, accounting, financial management and perspectives on society.”
Wow, that actually doesn’t sound easy at all.
As the Free Press notes, other schools, from Harvard to Vanderbilt, do offer classes on pot policy/law, while unaccredited schools that are real but sound fake as hell, like Cannabis College and THC University, shell out “marijuana certificates.” Still, the NMU program is unique in its mix of finance, marketing and chemistry to get a degree that should (hopefully) get undergrads a job soon after they walk across the stage to snag their diplomas.
“Many of the states are legalizing different substances and they’re really looking for quality people to do the chemistry and the science,” said NMU trustee James Haveman. “And it’s the university’s responsibility to produce those kinds of students for those kinds of jobs.”
Board member Steve Mitchell added to that by saying that the board had no problems approving the program after learning kids wouldn’t actually be growing their own plants. “No one is growing marijuana. No one is violating and state or federal laws,” he said. “But there are a lot of plants that can be studied.”
Instead the 12 students that are currently enrolled in the field will study medicinal plants like St. John’s Wort, ginseng and mint.
Students who graduate have the potential to become “master growers, budtenders and marijuana critics,” in an industry that is currently skyrocketing. As for NMU associate chemistry professor Brandon Canfield, he says the university has looked to recruit students and find businesses who will allow their currently enrolled ones to intern/work upon graduation at nationwide pot-related conferences.
“We’ve had an overwhelming response from growing operations, dispensaries and other businesses who want to take on our students as interns,” he said, adding that the program isn’t for your garden variety stereotype dipshit (that’s not word for word what he said, but it’s what he meant).
“Obviously, the program is new and different and it might speak to a certain crowd. But for a student to succeed, they’re going to have to be very dedicated and motivated. This is not an easy program. It’s a really intense, biology chemistry program.”