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Northern Michigan University Offering “First Of Its Kind” Marijuana Chemistry Degree

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Photo by David McNew/Getty Images

College is the first time a lot of NERDS (kidding? kind of?) people experiment with drugs, marijuana included. But now at one Mighican college, even students who don’t get high may find themselves crossing paths with the chronic.

Northern Michigan University (does Michigan have a university for every direction on the compass?) is now offering a course called “Medicinal Plant Chemistry”.

Medicinal Plant Chemistry is a four-year course involving chemistry, biology, botany, horticulture, marketing, and finance.

According to Dr. Mark Paulsen, director of the university’s chemistry department, although the course its first semester, the class has 12 students and the number is increasing every week.

While schools such as Harvard, University of Denver, Vanderbilt University and Ohio State offer marijuana-business related courses, NMU claims there’s is “the only degree program of its kind.”

via NMU:

Increasing legitimacy and legality of medicinal plants nationwide has created great demand for qualified technical personnel and great opportunity for the skilled entrepreneur in the cannabis, herbal extract, and natural product industries.

Medicinal Plant Chemistry at Northern Michigan University is the only 4-year undergraduate degree program of its kind designed to prepare students for success in the emerging industries relating to medicinal plant production, analysis, and distribution.

The required coursework provides a foundation in chemistry and plant biology, with a capstone research experience involving experimental horticulture and instrumental analysis of natural products, while focus tracks allow students to explore their interests in the relevant areas of business and accounting (Entrepreneurial Track) or advanced topics in chemistry and biology (Bio-analytical Track).

In an interview the Detroit Free Prees, Alex Roach, a 19-year-old sophomore at Northern Michigan University, said that when people find out his major they say, “Wow, cool dude.” However, he reiterates that it’s not an easy degree at all.

As of today, the legal marijuana business employs between 165,000 and 230,000 Americans. In 2016, the recreational and medicinal legal marijuana industry earned $6.8 billion nationally in sales.

By 2021, the market is projected to grow to $21.6 billion.

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