The cannabis industry is booming, and we need a qualified workforce to fill the jobs legal weed continues to create. If you want to join the cannabis revolution, but aren’t sure where to begin, check out these colleges with cannabis courses. Whether you’re a lawyer, biologist or a freshman, there is a class, program or degree for everyone. Here’s where to start (or continue) learning about cannabis business, agriculture, law, medicine or all of the above in the classroom.
The University of Washington
Washington’s State’s leading research university offers a “Medicinal Cannabis and Chronic Pain” training program, designed for medical professionals. At the end of it, doctors, nurses and other healthcare professionals can take a quiz to receive Continuing Medical Education credit. This is key for people wishing to expand their area of healthcare expertise to include cannabis.
The course begins with the basics of the endocannabinoid system. This includes which cannabis products are available, which conditions can be treated with what in Washington. The second part of the course delves into marijuana for chronic pain, and weed’s other applications and side effects. It also goes into the differences between cannabis delivery methods. This can mean answering questions like: Is it better to smoke weed or take a tincture for a certain condition?
UCLA Cannabis Research Initiative
There isn’t just one class on cannabis at the Univesity of California, Los Angeles. Instead, there’s a whole research institute devoted to studying the herb! The Research Initiative was founded in 2017 with the goal of making up for lost time: After decades of cannabis oppression, we don’t fully understand the health science behind cannabis, or the legal, social, and economic implications of legalization. With the backing of a major university, researchers are making major headway.
At UCLA’s newest program, linked with the Semel Institute for Neuroscience and Human Behavior, top scientists in the health-related fields are studying cannabis. You can participate in one of the ongoing studies. Currently, there’s one on “Does Marijuana Smoke Affect The Lung’s Defenses Against Infection.” Another study looks at the effects of cannabis on depression and anxiety.
Though this isn’t technically one of our colleges with cannabis courses, work through this program could define coursework to come.
The University of Vermont
In light of Vermont’s recent legalizastion—albeit without a retail market—it makes sense for the state university to offer courses on cannabis. The University of Vermont has a “Cannabis Science and Medicine Program.” This includes a Continuing Medical Education (CME) program for medical professionals.
Interested in work at a dispensary, pharmacy, edibles company or in advising patients on medical cannabis? UVM was the first university to offer this sort of a cannabis science program. Though it, you’ll learn the science behind cannabis as a therapeutic agent, and cover the business and legal side of it.
The Community College of New Brunswick
Canada is so desperate for cannabis professionals that the government is helping students pay for college cannabis classes. Specifically, last year, the Canadian government contributed $70,000 so that 25 students could take the Community College of New Brunswick’s “Medical Cannabis Cultivation” course.
This intensive program lasted 12 weeks and taught students how to grow weed to meet the Canadian government’s standards. This involved working at a nearby marijuana grow, Organigram, whose CEO worked with the college to create the program.
They’ve yet to announce whether the Dieppe campus program will continue this year. However, the school’s proximity to large-scale cannabis producers and the nation’s need for qualified growers will undoubtedly allow the program to continue.
Northern Michigan University
Northern Michigan University’s Medicinal Plant Chemistry degree is one of the first 4-year undergraduate programs dedicated to teaching students about the cannabis industry. Run by the university’s chemistry department, this program begins with a foundation in plant biology, chemistry and horticulture, with a focus on cannabis and other medicinal herbs.
Afterward, you can pursue two different tracts. There’s the Bio-analytical Track, which goes more in-depth into the chemistry behind cannabis. Similarly, the Entrepreneurial Track includes biology but also explores business and accounting.
Durhan College, located near Toronto, Ontario, is offering weed business classes, which can go towards a Cannabis Certification Program. To begin the program, you start off with the intensive two-day Medical Cannabis Fundamentals for Business Professionals class. This will give you a baseline understanding of its history, laws, cultivation practices and clinical uses.
After taking the introductory course, which is offered throughout the summer, there are more college weed classes offered in the fall that can go towards your cannabis certification. This includes options like an “Importing and Exporting Cannabis” class—Canada is a global weed exporter, after all—and “Cannabis in the Adult-Use Market.”
The University of California, Davis
Two of our colleges with cannabis courses are part of the University of California system. UC Davis held a class on “The Physiology of Cannabis” this past spring. Aimed at biology students, this class covered cannabis’ biology and physiology. Ever wanted in-depth insight into the endocannabinoid system? This course could be for you.
Likewise, for those who aren’t students at UC Davis, don’t worry. The school plans on offering an array of classes for medical students and anyone from the public hoping to learn more about cannabinoids.
The University of Denver
It makes sense that the University of Denver has had some of the most varied coursework on our colleges with cannabis course list. The Daniels College of Business just concluded its “Business of Marijuana” class, which taught 24 students that included undergraduates, MBAs and alumni.
Prof. Paul Seaborn, who taught the course, designed it to teach his students about legal weed in relation to finance, marketing, ethics and business management. The ten-week course, which began in March of this year, was met with acclaim from both students and media.
Another course, titled”Cannabis Journalism,” explored the industry from a different angle. To create a narrative about legalization, students interviewed dispensary employees and industry insiders to understand both personal and political ramifications.
The University said that as a result of the business course’s popularity, similar elective will follow. Previously, they offered a law class on “Representing the Marijuana Client.”
Niagara College of Canada
The School of Environment and Horticulture at Niagara College in Ontario now has a “Commercial Cannabis Production” program. This one-year curriculum gives you a certificate, and the skills to work as a weed grower, production manager or quality assurance professional.
Much of the coursework is focused on Health Canada’s stringent grow regulations. Additionally, it focuses on how to grow a great marijuana crop again and again. This means understanding lighting, nutrition and pest control. It will also teach you about cost-effective production and update you on the latest fads in growing.
In contrast to other colleges with cannabis courses, this program focuses more on honing large-scale production skills, well-suited for Canada’s adult use market.
Ohio State University
Ohio State University just announced a class on cannabis business starting this year. The course, titled “Cannabiz: Exploring the ‘Legalized’ Cannabis Industry,” is offered through the Moritz College of Law. It will investigate the entrepreneurial side, specifically the risks and rewards of starting or investing in a cannabis company.
Though the university hasn’t finalized the course’s exact content, students will be able to register for it this fall.
Kwantlen Polytechnic University
This British Columbia polytechnic university offers three online courses for future cannabis professionals. In “Plant Production and Facility Management,” students can learn about horticulture without leaving home. What does a healthy root look like? How do you store weed? What is a hydroponic system? This class will teach you all this.
There is also a class for those looking at colleges with cannabis courses on the pharmaceutical side of weed: “Marketing, Sales and Drug Development.” This covers the drug developing process and the medical benefits of cannabis. Another course, “Financing a Cannabis Enterprise in Canada,” explores how public and private weed businesses raise capital.
There Are More Colleges With Cannabis Courses Than Ever
As the weed market continues to grow, so do employment opportunities. Though people have traditionally learned about weed through the grey market, many would prefer to learn in a classroom setting. Formal education is especially important as more states legalize medical marijuana: we need medical professionals who are equipped with the knowledge, and certification, to prescribe the right kind of medical cannabis.
And as cannabis begins to resemble other industries, many people want to study it from a business or law perspective, rather than as growers. These colleges with cannabis courses prove that education is yet another way that the marijuana industry is creating new opportunities.