The marijuana degree is about to be on offered at Dunlap-Stone University, a Phoenix-based online academy, is putting a whole new spin on the concept of higher learning.
The university will begin offering classes on the budding marijuana industry as early as 2016. The survey course, which faculty will pilot next semester, is called “The Modern Cannabis Industry.”
Imagine degrees where you study cannabinoid medical techniques and therapies or which trains you to launch the next great cannabis business. That’s what Dunlap-Stone university is looking to launch with their new cannabis bachelor’s degrees.
According to the Phoenix New Times, the school also plans to implement degrees in areas of the budding weed business, including a Bachelor of Health Administration with a specialization in cannabinoid therapies, and a Bachelor of Business with a specialization in cannabis operations.
“A lot is happening in the marijuana industry, and education is needed,” says university President Donald Burton. “We see the demand for a quality education program. We are looking all the way toward programs at the doctorate level.”
While there may be other educational programs that provide technical training in cannabis horticulture, university president Donald Burton says that the courses will be the first to meet national accreditation standards and to address the business side of marijuana operations.
“It’s not just about growing weed anymore,” Burton says. “It’s a very specialized science. It’s very exacting getting the various strains needed for treatment . . . It’s become a burgeoning industry with jobs in medical research, biology, chemistry, and medical .”
Gerry Bedore, a former horticulturist for the state of Georgia and a leader in the cannabis industry, is the primary educator for the class. He says students will explore the history of cannabis in the United States, myths and stigmas associated with the plant, recent medical uses and scientific discoveries, and legal issues.
“The class will offer an in-depth look at the industry as a whole,” Bedore says. “People can really expect to get a good understanding of how we got to where we are now, including a little about the history of cannabis and the legal realities.”
And while marijuana may be an ever-growing business, securing jobs in the industry takes more than simply an abiding passion for the herb. That’s why the program at Dunlap-Stone is designed to help students find employment after graduation.
“People don’t want to hire someone who doesn’t know anything about except that they like smoking it,” says Dane Volkel, an instructor at THC University, which introduced Colorado’s first professional marijuana-cultivation training program. “It’s a tough industry to get a job in, but education and certification can be very helpful.”
The six-week elective course costs $990 for three credit hours and is open to anyone who meets its general requirements, which include having a high school diploma.