Campus, News

California colleges grow marijuana degrees

Possession of marijuana at Long Beach State remains illegal, but multiple universities across the U.S. have begun offering courses and degrees in marijuana sales and growth.

University of California, Los Angeles currently offers a research program in cannabis. According to its website, The UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative is one of the first academic programs in the world dedicated to the study of cannabis.

“A group of faculty and administrators at the UCLA Jane and Terry Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior started the program back in fall 2017,” said Jeff Chen , the executive director of the UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative, via email.

Chen added that UCLA is of a few universities to offer marijuana education along with University of California, San Diego, University of California Irvine, University of California, Berkeley, Jefferson University and Colorado State University-Pueblo.

Michael Solt, dean of the LBSU college of business, said there has been no discussion in  developing these courses on campus, and no students have expressed interest in these courses to his knowledge.

Medical marijuana dispensaries and the recreational legal markets have seen strong growth over the years, according to an article by Cannabis Training University.

Head growers for dispensaries can expect to earn between $80,000 and $120,000 per year, depending on state taxes.

“A growing industry means more jobs and I believe the weed business makes a lot of money after seeing some of my friends dropping money every week on weed,” said Tony Quiroz, a chemistry major at LBSU. “I’m pretty sure there would be lots of people on campus who would love to study how to grow cannabis, but it is about being patient with the laws.”

Medical marijuana dispensaries and the recreational legal markets have seen a strong growth over the years, according to an article by Cannabis Training University.

“I myself would not partake in that major, but there’s a few people who pop into mind,” Daniel Sosa, a consumer affairs major, said. “I think it’s a smart idea though as students can actually major in something they feel passionate about, while getting into the fastest growing industry in the U.S.”

According to Arcview Market Research, spending on legal cannabis worldwide is expected to hit $57 billion by 2027.

“Yes albeit for varying reasons —some are interested in the health harms, others interested in the therapeutic potential, others interested in the business opportunities, others interested in the policy…” said Chen, on the interest they receive from students, faculty and media.

Northern Michigan University is a college currently offering a degree in medicinal plant chemistry. According to its website, the program is designed to prepare students for success in the emerging industries relating to medicinal plant production, analysis and distribution.

“Taking a class in marijuana would actually interest me and I think my peers would agree,” said hospitality management major at LBSU, Leann Gelileo, “…but a degree in marijuana? I personally would pass, however I’m sure there are a few out there bold enough to pursue it.”  

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