Michigan university becomes first to offer degree in marijuana studies

More and more states are legalising marijuana

Clark Mindock
New York
Thursday 19 October 2017 15:32 BST
4/20 London - Should marijuana be legal?

An American university is taking a bold step into the future, and has begun offering the first-ever marijuana-focused degree.

The new degree will allow students at Northern Michigan University to get an professional edge as marijuana seems poised to become an explosive industry in the United States.

But, administrators there say the four-year medical plant chemistry degree isn’t for your stereotypical stoner.

“Obviously, the programme is new 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,” Brandon Canfield, an associate chemistry professor at the school, told the Detroit Free Press. “This is not an easy programme. It’s a really intense biology chemistry programme.”

Mr Canfield said that students won’t be growing marijuana as a part of their degree, but they would be studying similar plants with medicinal value. The programme includes studies in soils, biochemstiry, biology, and biostatistics.

More and more states are approving the use of recreational or medical marijuana in recent years, leading to millions of dollars in added tax income for states who have decided to implement more lenient laws. In the last election alone, eight states voted to legalise marijuana for one of those uses.

That included California, one of the largest states in the country with a massive economy the size of France’s, where recreational marijuana dispensaries are set to open up early next year. The roll-out of legal marijuana dispensaries could have national implications, with many eyes watching the implementation there to see if the process is smooth, and reduces deficits.

But, states that legalise marijuana could face a foe in the federal government. US Attorney General Jeff Sessions has been a harsh critic of legalising the plant, and it is technically illegal under federal law.

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