Northern Michigan University Launches ‘Medicinal Plant Chemistry’ Degree Program

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Marquette’s Northern Michigan University is the latest U.S. college to offer cannabis-related courses with the school rolling out a four-year medicinal plant chemistry degree program, the Detroit Free Press reports. The program is a mix of chemistry, biology, horticulture, marketing, and finance.

This is the first semester the major is being offered to students.

The classes include organic chemistry, biochemistry, biology, soils, biostatistics and genetics for cultivation; gas and liquid chromatography for testing; and financial management and perspectives on society for legal industry operations.

Dr. Mark Paulsen, director of Northern Michigan’s chemistry department, said the first group consists of about 12 students, but he expects the program’s enrollment to grow “with a full 12 months of recruitment.”

The program has the support of the university’s board of trustees.

“Many of the states are legalizing different substances and they’re really looking for quality people to do the chemistry and the science,” said trustee James Haveman in the Free Press report. “And it’s the university’s responsibility to produce those kinds of students for those kinds of jobs.”

Steve Mitchell, another trustee, said that there wasn’t any pushback from the board to approve the program but noted the students are not violating state and federal laws by actually growing cannabis plants.

Hocking College, one of two the Ohio institutions that applied to test cannabis for the state’s medical cannabis program, announced plans to launch their own cannabis laboratory tech major. City College of San Francisco, California, and the Vermont College of Medicine’s Department of Pharmacology are among the mainstream U.S. colleges and universities to offer medical cannabis-centric programs.

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