Marijuana Degree Combines Science And Business at Northern Michigan University

By Kathleen Gray
Detroit Free Press

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Several universities are answering the call to help educate students on the burgeoning business of marijuana. At Northern Michigan University in Marquette, a four-year medicinal plant chemistry degree includes classes in organic chemistry and biology as well as accounting and financial management.

Detroit Free Press

Alex Roth has gotten into the habit of pulling out his cell phone and showing skeptical friends a screen shot of the classes he’ll have to take to get his bachelor of science degree from Northern Michigan University.

“When they hear what my major is, there are a lot of people who say, ‘Wow, cool dude. You’re going to get a degree growing marijuana,'” said the 19-year-old sophomore at Northern Michigan in Marquette. “But it’s not an easy degree at all.”

His four-year medicinal plant chemistry degree — geared toward the burgeoning marijuana business that is about to explode in Michigan next year — includes classes such as organic chemistry, biochemistry, soils, biology, gas and liquid chromatography, biostatistics, genetics, accounting, financial management and perspectives on society.

Other colleges and universities — such as Harvard, University of Denver, Vanderbilt University and Ohio State University — that offer a variety of classes on marijuana policy and law.

And there are programs that offer marijuana certificates in a variety of disciplines at places such as Oaksterdam University, Cannabis College, and Humboldt Cannabis College, all in California; and THC University, the Grow School and Clover Leaf University in Denver.

But the NMU program is unique, mixing chemistry, biology, botany, horticulture, marketing and finance in a four-year program that began this semester.

The first class has a dozen students, but Dr. Mark Paulsen, director of the university’s chemistry department, expects that number to grow quickly.

“We’re gaining students every week,” he said. “With a full 12 months of recruitment, we expect that to grow.”

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