I’m not too old to remember my college days pretty well. When I was at the University of Georgia, it had a reputation as a party school, and I knew plenty of people who made cracks that they majored in beer or partying or whatever.
People didn’t talk openly about marijuana back then, but I knew my share of potheads at UGA. I imagine that plenty of college students today joke that they’re majoring in weed. Guess what? At one college in Colorado, students will soon be able to major in cannabis studies.
Colorado State University’s Pueblo campus will begin offering a bachelor’s of science degree program in Cannabis Biology and Chemistry this fall. The program has two tracks: one that will focus on the chemistry of cannabis, and another that will concentrate on the biology of the plant.
“The new major is a pro-active response to a rapidly changing national scene regarding the cannabis plant,” a proposal for the program by CSU-Pueblo officials says, citing shifting attitudes toward cannabis and its legalization for recreational use in numerous states, including Colorado.
Graduates could begin careers either in the cannabis and hemp industries or in the government.But they could also be competitive in a “wide variety of businesses outside of the cannabis industry,” it said, such as agriculture, food science, biochemistry and environmental sciences.
“Educating students who are capable of understanding cannabis science is required for the industry in all its aspects to be effective and safe for the consumer,” it said.
The marijuana industry has raked in over $6 billion between 2014 and 2019, so it makes sense that a college program in Colorado could help students take advantage of the industry.
And, while the jokes about weed write themselves, there’s a booming industry with plenty of health benefits for those who aren’t looking to get high. We’re seeing plenty of cannabis-derived products that are helping people stay healthier without worrying about THC, the chemical that generates the high. (Full disclosure: I use CBD oil to help with anxiety, and it makes a tremendous difference.)
It’ll be interesting to see where the industry will go when a generation of young scientists who have studied cannabis emerge in the workforce. Or will they all become potheads from sampling their work?