At colleges and universities in the United States and Canada, there is a rapidly growing trend of offering more and more cannabis-related courses. Now, a school in New York is taking that trend to the next level. Officials at the State University of New York (SUNY) Morrisville recently announced that they are currently developing a brand new Cannabis Industry Minor.
New Cannabis Minor at SUNY Morrisville
The primary objective of SUNY Morrisville’s upcoming Cannabis Industry Minor is to give students a rigorous and broad background that will prepare them to move into a number of different positions in the legal marijuana industry.
To accomplish this, the program will bring together expertise from a number of different fields. For example, the program will draw from the university’s agricultural engineering, science, horticulture, and business departments.
The hope is that a broad-based education will give students familiarity with many different aspects of the legal cannabis industry. This includes not only cultivating and manufacturing actual product, but also running a successful business.
In particular, school officials and instructors hope that a more organized, formal, and academically rigorous background will give students a competitive edge when it comes to the job market.
“They want students who went for horticulture or similar environmental majors because they understand plant growth,” Howard Rice, an Instructional Support Associate in the school’s Horticultural Department, told local news sources. “They’re not just hiring the guy who was growing in his basement for 10 years, they want the people who understand the science behind it.”
The program is currently in the development phase. But if all goes well, the school hopes to have the program up and running and available to students in time for the Fall 2019 semester.
One of the most interesting aspects of SUNY Morrisville’s Cannabis Industry Minor is that students will have the chance to interact hands-on with actual cannabis plants.
Under current federal laws, the school is barred from working with cannabis plants that do produce THC. But hemp plants with minimal or no THC production are allowable.
In many ways, laws regarding the cultivation of hemp plants have recently been clarified. In late December, President Trump signed into law a new bill commonly known as the Farm Bill.
Among a number of changes affecting several different federal agencies and programs, the bill officially made it legal to grow, produce, and use products from no-THC hemp plants.
This also opened the door to possible research using hemp plants. And by extension, it makes it possible for schools like SUNY Morrisville to grow hemp plants for educational purposes.
SUNY Morrisville is not the first school to offer cannabis-themed courses. In fact, there have been more than 11 universities and colleges throughout the U.S. and Canada to offer such courses.
And most recently, UConn launched a brand new cannabis cultivation course. As with SUNY Morrisville’s proposed program, the UConn course will give students scientifically-proven, hands-on training in how to grow cannabis.