Industry-Sponsored Research Week

Cannabis courses and research sprouting on campus, and industry is taking note

By David Schwartz
Published: October 14th, 2019

Both hemp and marijuana businesses are taking careful note as professional cannabis courses and programs spring up at universities across the country.

Examples include Northern Michigan University, Doane University in Nebraska, the University of Denver and University of California, Davis, which are offering a variety of cannabis-focused four-year undergraduate degree programs, certification classes, and even graduate degrees.

The booming Cannabis industry is looking to tap into these new offerings given a shortage of people highly knowledgeable about advanced cannabis business, technology and  legal/compliance topics, making graduates from the programs ideal candidates for recruitment.

The private Doane University in Nebraska is offering an online program this fall covering the science, cultivation, processing and regulation of both marijuana and hemp, and they’ve already enrolled 700 students. The program, called “Cannabis Science and Industries: Seeds to Needs,” is a certificate program designed to meet the demand for educated professionals across cannabis agriculture, processing, wellness and manufacturing sectors.

The program was conceived by organic chemistry professor Andrea Holmes who, after founding two Denver-based cannabis companies, decided she wanted to remain an entrepreneur and also teach about the industry. “There is such a need for a qualified workforce but many just don’t have the right credentials, and so there needs to be a practical training program for direct application,” Holmes said.

Hemp and CBD companies are also increasingly sponsoring academic research on the plant and its extracts. Among them is Oregon CBD, which recently announced a $1 million gift to Oregon State University’s Global Hemp Innovation Center to research the plant’s genetics.

Max Simon, CEO and co-founder of Ventura, CA-based Green Flower Media, likened professional cannabis opportunities to the tech industry where students who gain specific skills are in high demand. The weed industry is crying out for more informed, experienced and talented people to meet growing demand, he added.

“There are educational opportunities in the medical sector, in business, in horticulture and in the legal and compliance sector,” he said. “There is a shortage of well-trained people. We are still very much in the first inning here, but it is developing.”

UC Davis and its newly formed Cannabis and Hemp Research Center is a good example of the interdisciplinary nature of what the industry can offer. It brings together research around possible environmental and health impacts, applications for use, social implications and legal and public policy.

Source: Hemp Industry Daily

Posted under: University-Industry Engagement Week

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