Do Cannabis College Courses Potentially Benefit Students?

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earning to do extracts in chemistry class

A few years ago, it wasn’t unusual for you to find the average cannabis worker who acknowledged their career path online listed that their education came from the School of Hard Knocks on social media. However, in the next few years, it is possible, if not likely, that you will start to see the rise of cannabis degrees on social media and online networking platforms like LinkedIn.

In a move that confirms both the mainstream rise in interest in cannabis and the unscrupulous nature of the modern American university system, colleges in some states have already begun offering degrees in cannabis-related industries. For example, Northern Michigan University is offering a four-year program in medical plant chemistry that would help those hoping to work in cannabis extracts in the future.

Using other plants with acknowledge active compounds and known medicinal properties, students in this program will learn how to establish dosage, extract active compounds, and deliver said compounds in a metabolically appropriate manner to patients. This could have a net benefit for everyone. More professional training for those creating cannabis extracts reduce the risk of issues such as an accurate dosage or chemical contamination impacting consumers. It could also help reduce the risk of explosions and fires related to poorly operated home extraction facilities.

However, at a time when cannabis companies have to pay a ludicrous amount of taxes and even the most established states are struggling with infrastructure and licensing, offering a four-year degree and a five- or six-figure student loan debt load to individuals on the idea that the federal government may eventually accept the cannabis industry is dangerously irresponsible. Although a college-level understanding is beneficial, there’s no doubt that hands-on apprenticeship could still be a (debt-free) options for learning cannabis trades.

There’s also the concern that if degrees become standard, it will lock out large portions of the population from pursuing cannabis careers. The segments locked out will likely be those from lower income families, as well as those with a previous drug conviction who can’t get federal student aid for the degree they need to work.

One can only hope that the tide of legalization will continue to flow as it has in recent years, changing policies and improving safe access for recreational users and medical patients alike. However, if any sort of backlash occurs, individuals with these new cannabis-related degrees could find themselves in a relatively precarious position where they have large amounts of student loan debt and an inability to use that degree for financial gain.

For previous Ladybud articles about education, click here.